UCL Faculty of Laws

Prof Virginia Mantouvalou

Prof Virginia Mantouvalou

Professor of Human Rights and Labour Law

Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Jul 2011

Research summary

Virginia has published extensively on human rights and labour law. She works on theoretical and legal aspects of labour rights and other human rights, such as the right to work and protection from unfair dismissal. She examines workers’ exploitation, domination, capabilities theory, global labour justice, privacy and free speech, the rights of undocumented migrants, domestic labour, modern slavery. 

Her work has appeared in journals such as the Modern Law Review, the Journal of Law and Society, Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, and the Industrial Law Journal. Her most recent co-edited book on the Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law (with Hugh Collins and Gillian Lester) was published by OUP in 2018.

Teaching summary

Virginia Mantouvalou teaches the undergraduate course Employment Law. For the LLM she convenes and teaches 'Human Rights at Work'. She also convenes and teaches the PhD Skills Seminars.


London School of Economics and Political Science
, |
University of Leicester
, |
London School of Economics and Political Science
, |
University College London
, | 2009


Virginia Mantouvalou is Professor of Human Rights and Labour Law. She is also a member of the Editorial Committee of the Modern Law Review, and was previously joint editor of Current Legal Problems. Before joining UCL, she taught at the University of Leicester and the London School of Economics. She has also been Dean’s Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University Law Centre in Washington DC.

Virginia holds a PhD in Law from the London School of Economics. She has received several scholarships and awards for her research, including an AHRC grant to work on theoretical aspects of social and labour rights. In 2017, Virginia received the UCL Provost Public Engagement Award for her research and collaboration with Kalayaan on migrant domestic workers.

Virginia has worked as specialist advisor to the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights on ‘Business and Human Rights’, and as consultant for projects of the International Labour Organisation. She is on the management board of Kalayaan (organisation working on the rights of migrant domestic workers), the Equal Rights Trust (organisation promoting equality), and on the Executive Committee of the Institute of Employment Rights. 

Selected recent publications


V Mantouvalou, H Collins, G Lester (eds), Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law, OUP, 2018

V Mantouvalou (ed), The Right to Work: Legal and Philosophical Perspectives, Hart 2015


'"I Lost my Job Over a Facebook Post: Was that Fair?" Discipline and Dismissal for Social Media Activity', (2019) International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations

'The UK Modern Slavery Act Three Years On', (2018) 81 Modern Law Review 1019

"'Am I Free Now?" Overseas Domestic Workers in Slavery', (2015) 42 Journal of Law and Society 329

Book Chapters

'Legal Construction of Structures of Exploitation', in Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law, OUP 2018