Faculty of Computing, Law and Psychology | School of Law

Dr Cynthia Umezulike

Lecturer in Law

Portrait photo of Cynthia Umezulike, Lecturer in Law at The University of Buckinghamcynthia.umezulike@buckingham.ac.uk

Dr Cynthia Chisom Umezulike is a Human Rights Lawyer, Researcher and Activist. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hon) from Igbinedion University Okada and is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A Master’s degree (LLM) from Queen Mary, University of London and a second Master’s Degree in ‘International Law and Criminal Justice from the University of East London. Undertaking a PG in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the University of Worcester. Cynthia obtained a Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Law from Birkbeck, University of London focused on International Human Rights Law/ Medical Law and Ethics and is a recipient of the Gilchrist Trust special notation recognising outstanding PhD research across the Birkbeck University of London.

Cynthia continues to consult for third sector and international organisations, delivering expertise guidance and report on implementing human rights due diligence in supply chains and also on climate change intersections with human rights (UN). Previously held academic post (Associate Lecturer) at Birkbeck, University of London teaching Constitutional and Administrative Law, Tort Law, Criminal law and Law of the Trial at Birkbeck, University of London. Cynthia has held key positions as Head of Legal and Governance in one of Europe’s most prominent private aviation firms, Diamond Hangar Aviation. She is a Founding Director of the Human Rights Centre London, Co-chair of Hon. Justice Innocent Umezulike foundation and the convener of the International Conference on Human Rights, Sustainability and Climate Change – a collaborative collation of multidisciplinary academics, researchers, policy makers and activists to present key findings, explore and activate result-based solutions to human rights issues in garment and supply chain.

Cynthia is an activist campaigning for climate sustainability and against fast fashion production, which fuels human rights abuse of garment workers, exploitation, gender-based violence and environmental degradation. She most recently spoke at the Women’s Parliament, Cambridge Council Chamber on “Violence Against Women and Economic Independence in Respect to African and Ethnic Minorities”. The Women Parliament stands together with the United Nations under the theme UNiTE activism to end violence against women.

Cynthia joined the University of Buckingham in 2023 and teaches international human rights law and tort law – working to develop a fashion and law module. Her interests draw on interdisciplinary and intersectional approaches to body autonomy, involuntary treatments of the anorexic bodies and the right to self-starvation under medical law and ethics. Cynthia’s academic writing is currently focused on environmental justice, climate change as a human rights issue, specifically on the impact of climate change on the socioeconomic welfare and living conditions of human beings. She is a member of UK Human Rights Lawyers Association, International Bar Association and Justice Human Rights Network.

Conference Presentations and Awards

  • Emerging Academic Scholar Award – Marymont Manhanttan University New York Twelfth International Food Conference 2022.
  • People’s Choice Winner, 3MT Ph.D. Thesis Competition, University of London.
  • Gilchrist Educational Trust Prize Special Notation in Recognition of Outstanding Ph.D. Research.
  • ‘The Legal and Ethical Implication of Committing Mentally ill Patients to Involuntary Treatment. A Case Study of Eating Disorders’ – The 27th Annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference, Philadelphia USA (2017).
  • ‘Self-Starvation: Media Influence in the Development of the Thin Body,’ at the Fashion, Body and Culture International Conference, University of Oxford (February 2020).
  • ‘Towards a Human Rights Perspective in the Involuntary Treatment of the Anorexic Body,’ at the Kent Critical Law Society Annual Conference, University of Kent (March 2017).
  • ‘The Meaning-Centered Anorexic Body: A Feminist Response to Control and Misogyny,’ at the Critical Legal Conference, University of Warwick.
  • ‘Thin Body Internalization: Media Internalization: Media Influence in the Development of the Anorexic Body,’ at Talking Bodies: An International, Interdisciplinary Conference on Identity, Sexuality and Representation, University of Chester.
  • Panelist on ‘Human Rights, Ethics and Social Care’ at the KCLS annual conference, University of Kent (March 2019).
  • Panelist in ‘Eating, Meat, Catastrophe’ at the CLC conference, University of Warwick. (September 2018).
  • Paper – “Violence Against Women: Economic Independence in Respect to African and Ethnic Minorities” at the Women’s Parliament, Cambridge Council Chamber, Cambridge United Kingdom (28th November 2022).
  • Paper – “Is Self-Starvation a Human Right: Understanding Meaning-Centred Anorexia in Non-Western Cultures” at the 5th International Academic Conference on Research in Social Sciences- Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • The Bravado of Modern Liberated Women” at the Bold and Brilliant Panel, London United Kingdom (11th of December 2022).
  • Paper – “Contexualising the Direct Link Between Fast Fashion and Climate Change: A Human Rights Based Approach”, at The 10th International Conference on Research in Behavioral and Social Sciences, Amsterdam Netherlands (November 2022).


Articles and Book Chapters

Cynthia Umezulike, Human Rights Based Approach: Critical Perspective in the Understanding of the Meaning-Centered Anorexic Body. Young Human Rights Lawyer Journal, (2017). 3YHRL

Cynthia Umezulike, “Human Rights Approach on the Involuntary Treatment of the Anorexic Body”, Birkbeck Law Review 6 (1), 2018.

Cynthia Umezulike, “Thin Body: The Influence of the Media in the Development of Anorexic Body”, Journal of Culture, Society and Development, 22 431 (2017).

Confirmed Papers for Presentation

Paper – “Self Starvation In Non Western Cultures: Rethinking The Role Of Food In The Quest For Autonomy And Bodily Integrity,” at the Twelfth International Conference on Food Studies Marymount University.New York, USA.

Paper – “Is Self-Starvation a Human Right: Understanding Meaning-Centred Anorexia in Non-Western Cultures” at the 5th International Academic Conference on Research in Social Sciences- Copenhagen, Denmark.

Paper – “Contexualising the Direct Link Between Fast Fashion and Climate Change”, at the International Conference on Eco-criticism and Environmental Studies – London, United Kingdom.

Books and Edited Volumes

Cynthia Umezulike Ph.D, Assistant Book Editor: ‘Hon. Justice Innocent Umezulike: A Chronicle of Leading Judgements.’ UCLJ (Vol. 1), 2019.

Other Published Work

The Bravado of Modern Liberated Women”, The Bold and Brilliant Series indexed in the National Library of Australia Archives.

Cynthia Umezulike, ‘Black Lives Matter: Breaking the Cycle of Silence on Social Media and Beyond’. The Cable Newspaper. 2020.

Cynthia Umezulike, ‘The Irony of the Wheels of Justice’. – The Guardian Newspaper, Vanguard Newspaper and This Day Newspaper. 2022

Cynthia Umezulike, Ph.D, ’10 Hacks for Self-Empowerment: Take Back Control of Your Life With These Simple Guides, Sustain X 2022.

Cynthia Umezulike, Ph.D, ‘Redrawing the Values of Liberal Feminism in the Modern Age’.

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