Skip to main content


Dr Christine Bicknell

Senior Lecturer


01392 723364

Amory 103I

  • BA Hons (Law with French, Newcastle upon Tyne)
  • LLM (Public International Law, Bristol)
  • PhD (Bristol)

Dr. Christine Bicknell is a public international lawyer with research interests in international human rights law and European human rights law. She specialises in the prevention and prohibition of torture at both European and UN levels, in which she has direct practical experience working. Funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Dr. Bicknell has worked previously in a research capacity directly supporting the UN’s Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT) through a significant period of growth, and has also been seconded to its Secretariat in Geneva. She has similarly also been involved in collaborative work with the UN’s National Human Rights Institutions Unit. Prior to this, Dr. Christine Bicknell’s doctoral thesis considered the work of the SPT’s regional counterpart, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). In 2018 the Council of Europe published ‘Preventing Torture in Europe’: a book Dr. Bicknell co-authored with Professor Sir Malcolm Evans and Professor Rod Morgan, which both locates the CPT in a broader framework for torture prevention and considers the Committee’s work, standards and key findings over its more than 25 years of operation. Also in 2018, the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court of England and Wales, appointed Dr. Bicknell as an Academic Fellow, in recognition of her research and teaching excellence. 

Dr. Bicknell was previously a Research Associate with the Human Rights Implementation Centre (HRIC) at the University of Bristol, where she undertook research on a number of human rights themes. Significant contributions include: research and drafting support contributing to an important publication by the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom or Belief; and a large study on human rights treaty body monitoring, commissioned by the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission. Dr. Bicknell has also acted as a consultant for the EU on the Freedom of Expression, under the framework of Partnership in Governance between the EU and the African Union.

Dr. Bicknell is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Before coming to Exeter, Dr. Bicknell has taught previously at the Universities of Bristol, Strathclyde and Cardiff. Her more than ten years of teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level have included: Tort law, Constitutional Rights, Constitutional and Administrative law, Jurisprudence, European Human Rights Law, International Human Rights Law, and Public International Law. She has also been variously invited to deliver guest lectures to overseas military officers and high-level civil servants at the UK’s Defence Academy and Royal College of Defence Studies. 

Research interests

Dr. Christine Bicknell’s research interests are mainly in the areas of international and European human rights law, specifically with a focus on the implementation of human rights norms and standards. Related to this work, her deeper focus lies with the politics involved as the law meets with practical on the ground realities. In this regard, she has been especially interested in the relationships between different international and national bodies, as well as those between independent human rights monitoring bodies and states. 


Dr. Christine Bicknell’s engagement with research to date, and particularly in respect of her work for the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT), has necessarily remained either out of the public domain or unattributed. Specifically, her SPT work remains confidential under the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. Accordingly, the list below includes a number of unpublished studies, which nevertheless give a flavour of the work with which Dr. Bicknell has been engaged to date. Published work can be viewed on the next tab.


Monitoring in Prisons: the increasingly complex relationship between international and domestic frameworks 
Dr. Christine Bicknell and Prof. Sir Malcolm Evans
Presented at international conference, Leuven Institute of Criminology, December 2015.
Forthcoming as Book Chapter, Palgrave Macmillan

Freedom of Expression: the Role and Impact of New/Social Media in Africa 2012
Dr. Christine Reynolds and Professor Rachel Murray
Published online, Africa-EU Partnership on Democratic Governance and Human Rights, Tunis

Regulation and Governance of Freedom of Expression in Africa 2012
Professor Rachel Murray and Dr. Christine Reynolds
Published online, Africa-EU Partnership on Democratic Governance and Human Rights, Tunis

Select unpublished commissioned studies

Study of National Preventive Mechanisms in the Western Europe and Others Group of States, 2013

Corruption and the Prevention of Torture: Exploring the Link 2013

Effectiveness of the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Treaty Monitoring Work 2012
Professor Rachel Murray and Dr Christine Reynolds
Commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

 Edit profile