Ronan McCrea

Ronan McCrea

Barrister at Law (Republic of Ireland, 2011), Ph.D. (LSE, 2009), Barrister (England and Wales, 2003), M.Sc. (Comparative Politics, LSE, 2002), LL.B. (Trinity College Dublin, 2001)

Senior Lecturer in Law

+44 (0)20 3108 8350

Ronan McCrea joined UCL in September 2011 as Lecturer in Laws and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2013. In November 2011, he began a three year term as academic fellow of the Inner Temple. He was previously a Lecturer at the University of Reading and a référendaire (judicial clerk) in the chambers of Advocate General Poiares Maduro at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.

Ronan completed his PhD at the London School of Economics. His dissertation was awarded the University Association for Contemporary European Studies prize for best the PhD thesis of 2010. He is a member of the Bar of England and Wales where he was Prince of Wales Scholar of Gray’s Inn and the Bar of the Republic of Ireland. Before undertaking his doctorate, he completed pupillage at Matrix Chambers in London and worked as Legal Officer of the Refugee Legal Centre. He was a former associate counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice in New York, has advised several non-governmental organisations including Liberty, Oxfam and the National Secular Society and litigates cases in areas related to his expertise before the European Courts.

Ronan is currently a visiting professor at the Central European University in Budapest where he teaches on the Comparative Constitutional Law programme and an Associate Academic Fellow of the Inner Temple. He is a member of the panel of experts responsible for evaluating applications under the Euroepan Commissions Horizon 20/20 researach programme and a Trustee of the legal charity Justforkids Law. From 2014-15 he was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence.


Ronan’s research focuses on comparative constitutional law, European Union law and the relationship between law and religion in liberal democracies.

View Ronan’s research profile on the UCL IRIS website

Selected Publications:


Religion and the Public Order of the European Union Oxford University Press, Oxford Studies in European Law, (Oxford, October 2010) 300 pages.

  • Winner of the Research Endowment Trust Fund prize for best research in the social sciences in 2010.
  • Short-listed for the  2011 John Birks Book Prize of the Society of Legal Scholars
  • Reviewed in the Modern Law Review (2011) 74 (6) MLR 974-977, the Yearbook of European Law [2011] YEL 488-492, the European Law Journal 18 ELJ (2012) 169-171, Politics Religion and Ideology Vol. 12 (4) (2011) 484-485, the Irish Jurist Vol. XLVI (2011) 368-370, Journal of Common Market Studies JCMS 2012 Vol. 50 (2) 358-359, the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion OLJR (2012) 1-6, Eunomia: Revista en Cultura de la Legalidad No.4 (2013) 310-315.
  • Paperback edition with new foreward (2014).

Religion et l’Ordre juridique de l’Union européenne, (Brussels, Bruylant/Groupe de Boeck, 2013 translated by Isabelle Blake-James) 354 pages.

Journal Articles    

“Forward or Back: The Future of European Integration and the Impossibility of the Status Quo” European Law Journal (forthcoming,  2017, 15,000 words).

“Rights as a Basis for Strict Separation of Religion and State: Lessons from Europe for American Defenders of Non-Establishment” International Journal of Constitutional Law 14(4) (2017) (forthcoming).

“Secularism before the Strasbourg Court: Abstract Constitutional Principles and the Limits of Rights” Modern Law Review 79(4) (2014)

“Singing from the Same Hymn Sheet? What the Differences between the Strasbourg and Luxembourg Courts Tell Us about Religious Freedom, Non-Discrimination, and the Secular State” Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 5(2) (2016)

“Why the Role of Religious Tribunals in the Legal System Should Not Be Expanded” Public Law [2016] 214-222.

“La religion, la loi et l’État dans l’Europe contemporaine : perspective comparative des principaux dilemmes” Politique Américaine N. 23 2014/1, 73-90 (translated by Anne-Claire Lévy).

Religion in the Workplace: Eweida and Others v United Kingdom” Modern Law Review, 77(2) (2014) 277-291 .

Religious Dress and Human Rights” Equal Opportunities Review, EOR 235, April 2013 8-11.

“Veil Bans and European Law” Human Rights Law Review, HRLR 13(1) 57-98.

Discriminatory Equality? Religious Freedom and anti-discrimination policies in Europe” JUSTICE Journal, 2012 Vol 9 No. 2. 127-139.

“Religion as a Basis of Law and the Constitutional Order of the European Union” The Columbia Journal of European Law, Colum. J. Eur. L. 16.1 (2009-2010).

“Limitations on Religion in a Liberal Democratic Public Order: Christianity, Islam and the Partial Secularity of the European Union” The Yearbook of European Law, [2008] YEL 195.

“The Supreme Court and the School Chaplains Case” Trinity College Law Review, (1999) 2 TCLR 19.

Book Chapters

‘The Consequences of Disaggregation and the Impossibility of a Third Way’ in C. Laborde and A. Bardon (eds.) Religion in Liberal Political Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017 (forthcoming).

‘Squaring the Circle: How Can an Egalitarian and Individualistic Conception of Freedom of Religion or Belief Co-Exist with the Notion of Indirect Discrimination?’ in H. Collins and T. Khaitan (eds.) Foundations of Indirect Discrimination Law, Oxford, Hart, 2017, (forthcoming).

‘Religion, law and state in contemporary Europe: key trends and dilemmas’ In M.-C Foblets et al (eds.) Belief, Law and Politics: What Future in a Secular Europe? (London, Ashgate, 2014) pp. 91-98.

‘L’Interdiction du Port du Voile Intégral et l’Ordre Publique Européen’, in D. Koussens and O. Roy (eds.), Quand la Burqa Passe à l’Oeust: Enjeux Politiques et Légaux (Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2014).

‘Article 10: Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion’ in S. Peers, T. Hervey, J. Kenner and A. Ward (eds.) The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2014) pp. 291-310.

‘Rhetoric, Choices and the Constitution’ in The Constitution of Ireland: Perspectives and Prospects Eoin Carolan (ed.) (Dublin, Bloomsbury Professional, 2013) pp. 59-68.

‘Ireland’ in M. Hill (ed.) Religion and Discrimination in the European Union (Trier, The European Consortium for Church-State Research, 2012) pp. 181-190.

‘Contributions to Law and Policy Making in a Secular Political Order: The Approach of European Institutions’ in L. Leustean (ed.) Does God Matter? Representing Religion in the European Union (London, Routledge Press, 2012,) pp. 217-236.

‘La Prohibition de la Burqa et l’Ordre publique Européen’ in D. Koussens and O. Roy (ed.) Quand la Burqa Passe à l’Ouest; Enjeux éthiques, politiques et juridiques (Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2014, 123-157).

PhD Supervision

Ronan welcomes approaches from students interesting in doing a PhD in areas related to his expertise. He is currently supervising:

Eugenio Velasco “Liberal Theories of Freedom of Religion”(primary supervisor).

Ashleigh Keall “Freedom of Religion, Discrimination and Theories of Harm” (primary supervisor).

Sara Rezai “Judicial Independence in the Middle East” (second supervisor)

Piotr Godsisz “Adoption of Hate Crimes Laws in Central and Eastern Europe” (second supervisor).