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Dr Roise Connolly

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Róise Connolly is a Lecturer in Law at the Open University (OU). Before joining the OU, Róise held positions at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Queen’s University Belfast, and Irish Legal News. Róise was awarded a PhD from Queen’s University Belfast School of Law for her thesis exploring the intersections of health law, patent law, and human rights law. Róise also holds an LL.B. (Hons) degree from Queen’s University Belfast and an LL.M in Law, Medicine and Healthcare from the University of Liverpool. 

Research interests

Róise’s primary research interests lie in healthcare law, medical patent law, and human rights law, particularly exploring access to diagnosis and gendered experiences of diagnosis.

Róise’s Ph.D. thesis is an original contribution to health and human rights scholarship. It concentrates on diagnostics as a specific aspect of healthcare that demands further attention in the spheres of patent law and human rights law. It combines doctrinal legal methods with socio-legal methods to draw attention to the consequences of existing barriers to diagnosis, particularly how diagnosis deprivation can exacerbate health inequalities.

More recently, Róise has undertaken research exploring gendered experiences of diagnosis, particularly focusing on whether the gender pain gap and diagnosis deprivation engage the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In June 2023, Róise presented her paper "Separate and unequal experiences of diagnosis: Dismissal and distrust of women’s pain as inhuman and degrading treatment" at the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Róise recent research also examines the extent to which Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights can protect a right to access genetic information. In 2023, Róise was awarded Seedcorn Funding from the Open University Faculty of Business and Law to gather qualitative data for her ongoing project "The dilemma of disclosure: Maintaining confidentiality or strengthening the autonomy of ‘at-risk relatives’?". In September 2023, Róise presented her paper "A Human Right to Access Genetic Information? Presenting the Case for a Disclosure-as-Default Framework in the United Kingdom" at the European Human Rights Law Conference, University of Cambridge.

Róise welcomes potential PhD candidates, particularly in the fields of healthcare law, human rights law, and medical patent law, to contact her via email at

Teaching interests

Róise has broad teaching interests and teaches across various undergraduate law modules. She is currently the Chair of the undergraduate law module Equity, Trusts and Land Law (W302), and has authored module units for Law, Society and Culture (W340), Trusts Law (W311), and Property and Private Client Law (W322 SQE).

Róise is also involved in the teaching of:

  • Land Law (W312)
  • Business and Employment Law (W240)
  • Criminal Law and the Courts (W111)
  • Civil Justice and Tort Law (W112)