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Professor Tonia Novitz

Professor of Labour Law

Areas on which Prof. Novitz writes: Labour law, international and EU law, jurisprudence and legal mechanisms for the protection of human rights.

Tonia Novitz is Professor of Labour Law at the University of Bristol. Her research interests focus predominantly on labour law, international and EU trade and the protection of human rights.

A graduate of the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand) and Balliol College, Oxford, Tonia Novitz has held fellowships at the International Institute for Labour Studies (Geneva), the European University Institute (Florence), the University of Melbourne and the University of Auckland. She has been a professor at Bristol since 2008. She is also a member of the executive committee of the Institute of Employment Rights and the Industrial Law Society. She is an honorary member of Old Square Chambers (based in Bristol and London).

From 2011 - 2014, she and Alan Bogg led a Leverhulme Trust project on Voices at Work, which has generated several special issues of journals and also a collection of essays published by Oxford University Press. In 2015 -16, she was engaged in various projects relating to international and comparative treatment of the right to strike, having assisted the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) recently in preparing a legal brief on this issue. These included contribution to two different studies coordinated by Rochelle Le Roux (at the University of Cape Town) and Shae McCrystal (University of Sydney). She has also been engaged in critical analysis of the Trade Union Act 2016 as it made its passage through parliament and much of her work on this has appeared in recent issues of the Industrial Law Journal.

Tonia Novitz is currently engaged in research on the protection of labour standards under EU trade law, as well as worker-related issues arising in the context of trade agreements and global supply chains. She is a key contributor to an EU Horizon 2020 project on Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART) led by the University of Oslo. She also provides an international and UK comparative perspective on a Swedish Research Council funded project on ‘inclusive and sustainable Swedish labour law - the ways ahead’ (2018 – 2020).These research interests have led her to expand her earlier research on the links between labour law, sustainable development and worker voice, which have additional relevance in the context of negotiated trade agreements and plans for Brexit.



Research keywords

  • labour law
  • human rights
  • international trade law
  • EU social policy

Membership of professional bodies

  • member of the Institute of Employment Rights
  • the Industrial Law Society
  • the SLS and the SLSA


  • Voices at Work: Leverhulme Trust International Network