Fen Greatley-Hirsch

Fen Greatley-Hirsch


I joined the Law School at Leeds in October 2018 on an AHRC-funded Doctoral Studentship awarded by the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH). Supervised by Prof Dr Elies van Sliedregt and Dr Amanda Keeling, my PhD thesis centres on the concept of capacity in international criminal law – how it emerged and developed, what it means now and the role it plays in the establishment of jurisdiction, ascription of responsibility, and availability of defences under the Rome Statute.

Previously I read Law with French Law at the University of Warwick, spending a year abroad in France at Université Paris Descartes, before moving to the Netherlands to study Public International Law at Universiteit Leiden. I specialised in international criminal law and wrote my master's thesis, titled "The Judicial Language of Genocide: A Corpus-Based Legal Linguistic Analysis", under the supervision of Professor William Schabas. While living in the Hague, I worked as a Research Assistant for Human Rights in Practice and represented the winning Leiden team in the final of the International Criminal Court Moot Court Competition.

With the generous support of a major Queen Mother Scholarship from my Inn of Court, The Honourable Society of Middle Temple, I returned to the UK to complete my studies in Legal Practice at BPP Law School, and was Called to the Bar of England and Wales in November 2018. In September 2019 I will start a common law pupillage at Broadway House Chambers, based in Leeds/Bradford, practising on the North Eastern Circuit.

Research interests

Sitting at the intersection of a number of different disciplines – chiefly law, criminology, psychology, philosophy and politics – my research requires me to consider difficult questions such as what makes a perpetrator, the factors that lead to the commission of international crimes and the elements of criminal responsibility.

I am also interested in debates on the nature of the legal subject (liberal versus vulnerable), theories of criminal responsibility, criminal defences, and international criminology more generally.


  • LLB Law with French Law
  • Advanced LLM Public International Law
  • LLM Legal Practice (Barristers)