Professor Olga Martin-Ortega Law Degree (Spain), LLM, PhD


Key details

Olga Martin-Ortega

Professor Olga Martin-Ortega
Law Degree (Spain), LLM, PhD


Dr Olga Martin-Ortega is Professor of International Law at the School of Law and Criminology. She leads the Business, Human Rights and Environment Research Group and undertakes research on multinational enterprises and human rights, public procurement and human rights, post-conflict reconstruction and transitional justice (see research interests). 

Before joining Greenwich she was Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict (CHRC), School of Law, University of East London. From 2010 she was also member of the management team at the Centre. Before joining the University of East London, she was a lecturer in law at Napier University (Edinburgh), where she taught European Law. From 2001-05 she worked at the University of Jaen where she was a lecturer in law and undertook her PhD, funded by a prestigious grant from the Spanish Ministry of Education on formation and training of researchers and lecturers. 

Professor Martin-Ortega is a member of the Board of Trustees of Electronics Watch and CORE corporate accountability coalition. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium and the Steering Committee of the International Learning Lab on Procurement and Human Rights. She has worked with the UK Home Office Modern Slavery Prevention Unit, the Local Government Association, the international organisations OSCE and International Labour Organisation and numerous civil society organisations. 

She hosts the podcast The Female Professoriate and co-hosts the podcast The Rights of Others, with Seema Joshi and Fakhar Raza.


Responsibilities within the university

  • Leader, Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group
  • Director of Research and Enterprise, School of Law and Criminology
  • Programme Leader, Postgraduate Research Degrees, School of Law and Criminology
  • School of Law and Criminology representative, Faculty Research Degrees Committee
  • School of Law and Criminology representative, Faculty Research and Enterprise Committee
  • UoA18 REF Panel member, School of Law and Criminology
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion University REF Panel member


  • Member of the Board of Trustees and Advisory Group of Electronics Watch
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of CORE corporate accountability coalition
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium
  • Member of the Steering Committee of the International Learning Lab on Procurement and Human Rights
  • Consultant for the European Parliament, OSCE, ILO, Fair Trade Advocacy Office and others
  • Former member of the Academic Commission advising the Spanish Government of the drafting of the Spanish National Implementation Plan on Business and Human Rights
  • Founder and former Chair of the Board of the Interest Group on Business and Human Rights, European Society of International Law
  • Founder and former member of the Executive Committee of the London Transitional Justice Network
  • Former member of the Advisory Board of the Revista de Estudios Juridicos (Journal of Legal Studies, Spain)

Research / Scholarly interests

Professor Martin-Ortega's main research areas are in the field of Public International Law. In particular she researches on business and human rights, sustainable public procurement, post-conflict reconstruction, transitional justice and international criminal law. In the area of business and human rights her research has considered the roles and responsibilities of multinational corporations, with regards to the protection and respect of human rights and the tools available in International law to hold them to account when they participate in human rights violations. She has worked extensively on human rights in global supply chains, with specific focus on the electronics industry and on the development of transparency and human rights due diligence standards. Her latest research focuses on the roles and responsibilities of public buyers with regards to human rights in public supply chains. In the context of this work she advises public buyers, local authorities, governmental bodies and international organisations.

Professor Martin-Ortega's research has also included work on post-conflict reconstruction and justice after mass atrocities committed during armed conflicts. She has focused on the relationship between peace-building, the rule of law and transitional justice. In particular she has led a project considering the role of hybrid tribunals in prosecuting war crimes after conflict and their contribution to the rebuilding of the rule of law funded by the British Academy. She has also participated in projects on peace-building and transitional justice, with special emphasis on Africa, and conducted research on impunity and memory in Spain.

Current key funded projects

SAPIENS -Sustainability and Procurement in International, European, and National Systems- Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network (ITN) (2021-2025 (€3.9 million). 

The objective of SAPIENS is to foster interdisciplinary research into the evolving use of public procurement to address the social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. It aims to create a significantly increased European knowledge base and research capacity on the law, the economics and the business sciences of sustainable public procurement, thus helping Europe in addressing social and environmental challenges. At the heart of the project are 15 PhD projects on various multidisciplinary aspects of Sustainable Public Procurement linked to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

You can find out more about SAPIENS here.

Recent publications


Martin-Ortega, Olga and , Hoekstra, Johanna (2019), Reporting as a means to protect and promote human rights? The EU non-financial reporting directive, Sweet and Maxwell. In: , , , . Sweet and Maxwell, European Law Review pp. 622-644 ISSN: 0307-5400 (Print), (doi: ) Published.

Outhwaite, Opi and , Martin-Ortega, Olga (2019), Worker-driven monitoring – redefining supply chain monitoring to improve labour rights in global supply chains, SAGE. In: , , , . SAGE, Competition & Change pp. 378-396 ISSN: 1024-5294 (Print), 1477-2221 (Online) (doi: Published.

Martin-Ortega, Olga and , (2018), Public procurement as a tool for the protection and promotion of human rights: a study of collaboration, due diligence and leverage in the electronics industry, Cambridge University Press. In: , , , . Cambridge University Press, Business and Human Rights Journal ISSN: 2057-0198 (Print), 2057-0201 (Online) (doi: ) Published.

Martin-Ortega, Olga and , O'Brien, Claire Methven (2017), Advancing respect for labour rights globally through public procurement, Cogiato Press. In: , , , . Cogiato Press, Politics and Governance pp. 69-79 2183-2463 (Online) (doi: Published.


Martin-Ortega, Olga and , Methven O'Brien, Claire (2019), Public Procurement and Human Rights Opportunities, Risks and Dilemmas for the State as Buyer, Edward Elgar. In: , , , . Edward Elgar, ISBN: 9781788116305 (doi: ) Published NB Item availability restricted.

Book section

Methven O'Brien, Claire and , Martin-Ortega, Olga (2019), Discretion, divergence, paradox: Public and private supply chain standards on human rights, Hart Publishing. In: , , In: Sanja Bogojevic, Xavier Groussot, Jorgen Hettne (eds.), Discretion in EU Public Procurement La. Hart Publishing, Oxford, UK (1st) pp. 189-210 ISBN: 9781509919482 (doi: Published NB Item availability restricted.

Martin-Ortega, Olga and , (2018), Due diligence, reporting and transparency in supply chains: The United Kingdom Modern Slavery Act, Routledge. In: , , In: Angelica Bonfanti (ed.), Business and Human Rights in Europe: International Law Challenge. Routledge, (1st) pp. 110-121 ISBN: 9781138484672 (doi: ) Published NB Item availability restricted.

Alija-Fernández, Rosa Ana and , Martin-Ortega, Olga (2018), Franco’s victims in Spain: the long road towards justice and recognition, Palgrave Macmillan. In: , , In: Vincent Druliolle, Roddy Bret (eds.), The Politics of Victimhood in Post-Conflict Societies: Comparative and Analytical Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham pp. 53-76 ISBN: 9783319702018 (doi: Published.


Lin, Kevin , Foxvog, Liana, Martin-Ortega, Olga, Outhwaite, Opi (2018), Time for a Reboot: Monitoring in China's Electronics Industry, International Labor Rights Forum. In: , , , . International Labor Rights Forum, (doi: Published.


Methven O'Brien, Claire , Martin-Ortega, Olga, European Parliament, DROI Subcommittee (2020), EU Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation: Monitoring, Enforcement and Access to Justice for Victims, DROI- European Parliament. In: , , , . DROI- European Parliament, Brussels (doi: Published.

Martin-Ortega, Olga , Gorna, Anna, Islam, Rahima (2018), UK Modern Slavery Act transparency in supply chains: reporting by local authorities, BHRE. In: , , , . BHRE, London (BHRE Research Series, Report no. 2. March 2018) (doi: Published.

Working paper

Outhwaite, Opi and , Martin-Ortega, Olga (2017), Monitoring Human Rights in Global Supply Chains. Insights and policy recommendations for Civil Society, Global Brands and Academics, BHRE Policy Papers. In: , , , . BHRE Policy Papers, (doi: Published.