Liverpool Skyline

School of Law

Dr Nirmala Pillay

Dr Nirmala Pillay



Welhengama G, Pillay N. 2014. The rise of tamil separatism in Sri Lanka: From communalism to secession :1-262 9780203797181 >DOI

Pillay N. 1998. Gadamer's Philosophical Hermeneutics Human Sciences Reserach Council. Pretoria

Journal article

Pillay N. 2014. The Rule of Law and the New Egyptian Constitution Liverpool Law Review, 35 :135-155 >DOI

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 :249-282 >DOI

Pillay N. 2002. The Significance of Gadamer's Hermeneutics for Cross-Cultural Understanding South African Journal of Philosophy, 21 :330-344

Pillay N, Prinsloo . 1997. Tradition in Transition? Customary Law in the South African Interim Constitution Acta Juridica, 3

Pillay N. 1991. Human Rights in south Africa - a Survey Information Update,

Pillay N. New Challenges to Education Woord en Daad,


Pillay N. 2013. Egypt's complicity in torture and extraordinary renditions Nijhoff Law Specials 82 :261-290 9789004230415

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

Pillay N. 2012. Legal Ethics: Lawyers and the Public Interest Feng S, McGettrick B. Professional Ethics: Education for a Humane Society Cambridge Scholars. Newcastle

Pillay N. 2007. Human Rights, Religion and Western Civilisation Stenhouse J. Christianity in the Post Secular West ATF Press. Adelaide

Pillay N. 1994. "Socio-Political Rights- Some Contemporary Problems in Human Rights in Historical Prespective" Leighton M. Rights of Man HSRC Publishers. Pretoria

Pillay N. 1994. Church and Society: Some Legal and Constitutional Perspectives Socio-Political Changes and the Challenge to Christianity in South Africa Univesity of South Africa. Pretoria


Pillay N. Gadamer's Philosophical Hermeneutics

Engagement & Impact

Conference presentation:

European Responses to the Refugee crisis in the context of European and International Law, The Middle East Migration Crisis - Genesis and Response, Initiatives of Change and Next Century Foundation: 24 Greencoat Place, London, Oral presentation 20/06/2016

Refugees: The Human Rights Challenge and the Scope of Our Obligations, Asylum Seekers, Migrants, Refugees and the Challenge of Human Rights, King's College London, Strand Street, Oral presentation 10/12/2015

The role of torture in radicalising political opposition in the Middle East, Arab Spring: Two years on, Liverpool John Moores University, Oral presentation 13/09/2013

Effective Historical Consciousness. A Problem in Philosophy and Methodology, Science and Vision, HSRC, Pretoria, Oral presentation

Human Rights in South Africa, Religion and Justice, Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) Harrisonburg, Virginia, Oral presentation

Women and Law in South Africa, Democracy and Development, Durban, South Africa, Oral presentation

New Challenges to Education, REBSA Education Conference, Potchefstroom University, Oral presentation

The Constitutional Court and a Working Bill of Rights: An evaluation of the Constitutional Court Decision to Abolish the Death Penalty, Conference on "The Death Penalty", University of Pretoria, Oral presentation

The Hermeneutical Challenge to Postmodernism, Challenges of Postmodern: symposium sponsored by Theology and Religious Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand, Oral presentation

Post-modernism and Justice, Postmodernism: Sponsered by Gender and Women's Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand, Oral presentation

Human Rights, Religion and Western Culture, Future of Christainty in the West, University of Otago, New Zealand, Oral presentation

The Rights of Refugees and the Obligations of States, Asylum Seekers, Refugees and the Challenge of Human Rights, Kings College, London, Oral presentation


Excellence in Undergraduate Studies, Race Relations

PhD Scholarship (University of Leiden, Netherlands), Stichtung Studiefunds, Netherlands

Goethe Institute Language Scholarship, Goethe Institute Mannheim

Research Council Grant for MA (Philosophy), Human Sciences Research Council

Abe Bailey Travel Grant for Student Leadership, Abe Bailey Trust

Human Sciences Research Council Grant for Honours in Philosophy, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Shell Company Bursary for Outstanding Results in an Undergraduate Degree, Shell Company

Excellence in undergraduate studies, Race Relations

Conference organisation:

Science and Vision International Conference, member of the organising committee

Philosophy and Methodology Conference

Universities of the New Era: The merging of the Universities of East and West Germany. Lessons for Universities in South Africa - post apartheid, Member of the organising committee

All Africa Science and Technology Conference, One of two organisers of this conference

External collaboration:

Liverpool Hope University, Teaching and Learning Unit: Production of a Film "Joe Plager writes an Essay" Time management, Plagiarism and Collusion. This is part of a longitudinal study monitoring initiatives taken on the Legal Research Module at LJMU to increase the research skills of students

External committees:

Appeals Panel, University of Liverpool, member

Estates Committee, University of Liverpool, member

Senior Remuneration Panel, University of Liverpool, Member

Research Ethics Committee, University of Liverpool, Chair

Council of the University of Liverpool, University of Liverpool, Council Member

Board of Trustees, Initiatives of Change, International UK Branch (Oxford Group), Trustee

Hope Forum for Professional Ethics, Liverpool Hope University, Member

Cathedral Chapter, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Lay Member

External PGR examinations performed:

University of Otago, New Zealand, MPhil, The Methodology of Gadamer in Psychology and Religion


Visiting Professor, Hope College, Michigan

Visiting Fellow/ Scholar, National Law University of India (Bangalore, Mysore)

Visiting Fellow, Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey

Media Coverage:

The results of a national research project that gauged attitudes to customary law using qualitative and quantitative methodologies and an investigation into the role of customary law in the South African Constitution, were announced on the SABC national news.

Membership of professional bodies:

member, Society of Legal Scholars

member, Philosophical Society of South Africa,

Other invited event:

symposium on Sri Lanka - the way forward, Liverpool Hope University, Government rhetoric after war in Sri Lanka exacerbated ethnic tensions. The roundtable symposium invited Tamil and Sinhalese academics in the social sciences and theology to explore the depths of the rift from the perspective of their disciplines and inform the audience of current government policies.

The Constitution and the Interim Bill of Rights in South Africa., Akron, Pennsylvania, Invited speaker to address the Mennonite Central Committee in Akron Pennsylvania on the Bill of Rights in South Africa.

Round Table consultation on the preamble of the South African Constitution., Cape Town, Invited delegate with Africa Enterprise on the drafting of the preamble to the South African Constitution. Albie Sachs, nominated by Nelson Mandela to the Constitutional Court of South Africa, made a submission to the drafting committee, on the outcome of the consultation.

Invited Speaker "The legislative response to the threat of terrorism in the UK", St Margaret's College, Universtiy of Otago, New Zealand, Public Lecture to the students, staff and associated members of the University of Otago, NZ on changes to the law in the UK in response to the threat of terrorism and the implications for civil liberties.

Public Lecture "Jus Cogens as a peremptory norm in International Law with special reference to the resurgence of torture", Hope College, Michigan, Invited Speaker: Public Lecture to the Hope College community of scholars, students, alumni, trustees and members of the public.

Invited Speaker: Public Lecture in the Critical Issues Series on the Middle East 2016. "Constitutional REform and the Democratisation in Egypt", Hope College, Michigan, The first public lecture in Hope College's Critical Issues series for 2016. The series focussed on understanding the region; society, politics, constitutional change, human rights and reform initiatives

Other Professional Activity:

Academic Advisor for Oxford University Press on the re-publication of a key textbook in Jurisprudence

Member of the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS)

Research Grants Awarded:

Stichtung Studiefunds, Hermeneutics and Human Rights, Grant value (£): $ 12 000, Duration of research project: One year

Teaching qualification:

Higher Education Diploma