Eric Heinze

Professor of Law and Humanities at QMUL

After completing studies in Paris, Berlin, Boston, and Leiden, Eric Heinze worked with the International Commission of Jurists and UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, in Geneva, and on private litigation before the United Nations Administrative Tribunal in New York. He conducts lectures and interviews internationally in English, French, German, and Dutch, and is a member of the Bars of New York and Massachusetts, and has also advised NGOs on human rights, including Liberty, Amnesty International and the Media Diversity Institute. From 2016 – 2019 he served as Project Leader for the four nation EU (HERA) consortium Memory Laws in European and Comparative Perspective (MELA), and in 2022 he served as General Rapporteur on the Criminalisation of Hate Speech for the 21st General Congress of the Académie Internationale de Droit Comparé, held in Asunción, Paraguay.  His prior awards and fellowships have included a Fulbright Fellowship, a French Government (Chateaubriand) Fellowship, a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) fellowship, a Nuffield Foundation Grant, an Obermann Fellowship (Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa), and several Harvard University Fellowships, including a Sheldon grant, an Andres Public Interest grant, and a C. Clyde Ferguson Human Rights Fellowship.

Heinze co-founded and currently directs Queen Mary’s Centre for Law, Democracy, and Society (CLDS).  His opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, The GuardianThe Independent, Times Higher Education, Aeon, The Raw Story, openDemocracy, Speakers’ Corner Trust, Quillette, The Conversation, Left Foot Forward, Eurozine, and other publications, and he has done television, radio and press interviews for media in Denmark, Brazil, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, the UK and the US. He serves on the Advisory Board of Social Theory and Practice, the International Journal of Human Rights, the University of Bologna Law Review and the British Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Politica (journal of the Italian Society of Political Philosophy) and Heliopolis: Culture Civiltà Politica.

Heinze’s most recent book, The Most Human Right: Why Free Speech is Everything (2022, The MIT Press) has been nominated for: ‘The Next Big Idea’, Season 18 (non-fiction published from February – July 2022). It has been reviewed in Joe Humphreys’ Unthinkable series in the Irish Times and in several other publications, and is currently being prepared for translation into Russian and Chinese. Heinze’s other books include Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 2016), The Concept of Injustice (Routledge 2013), The Logic of Constitutional Rights (Ashgate 2005; Routledge 2017); The Logic of Liberal Rights (Ashgate 2003; Routledge 2017); The Logic of Equality (Ashgate 2003; Routledge 2019), Sexual Orientation: A Human Right (Nijhoff 1995), and the collection Of Innocence and Autonomy: Children, Sex and Human Rights (2000). Several of those books have been translated internationally.

Heinze’s articles have appeared in Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Harvard Human Rights Journal, International Theory, Modern Law Review, International Journal of Human Rights, The Journal of Comparative Law, Constitutional Commentary, the International Journal of Law in Context, Ratio Juris, Legal Studies, the Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence, Michigan Journal of International Law, National Black Law Journal, Journal of Social & Legal Studies, Law & Critique, and several other journals.  He has also contributed chapters to such collections as Extreme Speech and Democracy (Oxford University Press, Weinstein & Hare, 2009); Religious Pluralism and Human Rights (Intersentia, Loenen & Goldschmidt, 2006) and Minority and Group Rights Toward the New Millennium (Nijhoff, Bowring & Fottrell, 1999).

Professor Heinze currently convenes the LLB modules Democracy and Justice; Law, Justice and Ethics; and Law and Literature, Parts I and II. He has also taught undergraduate and post-graduate courses in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Public International Law, International Human Rights Law, and US Constitutional Law.  He welcomes PhD proposals in areas of legal philosophy, justice theory, law and politics, free speech, and human rights.


‘A Tool to Advance Imperial Interests: Leftist Self-Scrutiny and Israeli Wrongdoing’, Responses to 7 October: Law & Society, Rosa Freedman and David Hirsh, eds. (London: Routledge, 2024).

‘But Israel claims to be a democracy! – Hypocrisy, double standards, and false equivalences’, Responses to 7 October: Universities, Rosa Freedman and David Hirsh, eds. (London: Routledge, 2024).

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