M4C Logo AHRC Logo

Melisa Oleschuk

Law and Legal Studies, Birmingham City University

Thesis title:

Utilising International Human Rights Law to Promote Civil Liberties in the US: A Case Study on the UN Universal Periodic Review and the American Civil Liberties Union's Campaign for Smart Justice

My research explores the role of civil society in translating international human rights law into domestic legal change, focusing on their engagement with the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) human rights mechanism. Through my case study of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its Campaign for Smart Justice (CSJ), I seek to determing how the UPR can empower civil society to facilitate domestic legal reforms to be in line with the international human rights standard.

Research Area

  • Human Rights
  • Law and Legal Studies

Other Research Interests

  • Human Rights
  • Women's rights 
  • Reproductive rights
  • Humanitarian law
  • Diplomacy
  • International relations
  • History
  • Children's rights
  • Sovereignty
  • Constitutional law
  • Immigration
  • Feminist bioethics
  • LGBTQ+ rights
  • The UN's Universal Periodic Review
  • Genocide
  • Civil society
  • Diction of the law/campaigns


  • Student Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA)
  • Member of the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS)
  • Member of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)
  • Student Member of the UNAUK
  • Member of the UPR Academics Network

Education & Professional Training

  • Birmingham City University, M4C-Funded PhD in Law (2021 - Present)
  • Birmingham City University, PGCert in Research Practice (Sept. 2021 - Jan. 2022)
  • [Upcoming] Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Executive Course on the Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability (13-18th Nov. 2022)
  • [In Progress] Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA), Introduction to Teaching in HE (Oct. 2022 - Jan 2023)
  • Birmingham City University, LLM International Human Rights (2020-2021) - With Distinction
  • Birmingham City University, Law LLB (2017-2020) - First Class Hons

Awards & Scholarships