Dr Nirmala Pillay, Course Director

Dr Nirmala Pillay

Course Director

Dr Nirmala Pillay joined Leeds Beckett University in February 2019 as Reader and Post Graduate Course Director Academic. Her main work is in philosophy and International Human Rights Law.

Nirmala studied philosophy and law in the UK, Netherlands (Leiden) and South Africa. She has taught philosophy and law in Universities in South Africa, New Zealand, the United States and United Kingdom.

Dr Pillay's main research and interests are in constitutional law, philosophy and human rights. As Chief Research Specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council (SA) she was involved in commissioned research in this area and co-organised the philosophy and law panels for the disbursement of research funds to academics. Her more recent research publications include constitutional and human rights issues in Sri Lanka and Egypt and health rights.

Her work is mainly in postgraduate teaching and supervision including the development of Masters courses. In 2016 she developed, in collaboration with the Political Science department of Hope College, Michigan, a new Masters course entitled Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights which was piloted at Hope College, Michigan and offered at Liverpool John Moore’s University.

Current Teaching

  • International human rights law (UG)
  • International Human Rights (MA)
  • Public Law

Research Interests

Nirmala is part of a research group funded by GCRF and MRC/AHRC grants to study the health rights of HIV positive women and infants in prisons in Zimbabwe and Malawi. She is currently being funded (BA Leverhulme Small Grants Scheme) to investigate the emerging right to health in international law.

Dr Nirmala Pillay, Course Director

Ask Me About

  1. Ethics
  2. Health
  3. Law

Selected Outputs

  • Pillay N (2013) Egypt’s complicity in torture and extraordinary renditions. In: Nijhoff Law Specials. pp. 261-290.

  • Pillay N (2012) Egypt and Extraordinary Rendition: The impact of democratic change in Egypt on the status of torture as a peremtory norm. In: Panara C; Wilson G ed. The Arab Spring: New Patterns for Democracy and International Law. Leiden and Boston: Brill,

  • Pillay N; Chimbga D; Van Hout MC (2021) Gender inequality, health rights, and HIV/AIDS among women prisoners in Zimbabwe. Health and Human Rights, 23 (1), pp. 225-236.

  • Pillay N (2014) The Rule of Law and the New Egyptian Constitution. Liverpool Law Review, 35 (2), pp. 135-155.


  • Welhengama G; Pillay N (2013) Minorities’ claim to secession by virtue of the right to self-determination: Asian perspectives with special reference to kosovo and Sri Lanka. Nordic Journal of International Law, 82 pp. 249-282.


  • Welhengama G; Pillay N (2014) The Rise of Tamil Separatism in Sri Lanka: From Communalism to Secession. Routledge.