David Garciandía Igal



david garciandia igal




David Garciandía Igal

DPhil candidate, Faculty of Law



David Garciandía Igal is a DPhil (PhD) candidate in Law at the University of Oxford, where he is also a tutor in EU law at Oriel and Hertford colleges. His doctoral research, funded by the Government of Navarre, examines the diffusion of human rights laws from the EU to China, under the supervision of Ngoc Son Bui and Iyiola Solanke. He has worked as the research assistant to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, has taught EU law at SOAS University of London and has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Manchester.  

He holds an MPhil in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge (Ramón Areces scholarship) and a BBA and an LLB from the Public University of Navarre (Extraordinary Prize for the top GPA of the Law Faculty). He spent six months at Shijiazhuang Tiedao University (China).  

His main research interests cover EU law, international law and comparative law, with a special focus on human rights. He has published several peer-reviewed articles, a book chapter and a book. He has given numerous talks and presented at different conferences.  

He is a convenor of the Oxford EU Law Discussion Group and a founder and former president of the Oxford University Spanish Society. Additionally, he has worked for the Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations in Vienna, as well as for different private companies (Siemens Gamesa) and law firms (Garrigues).

DPhil topic

'The Diffusion of Human Rights from the European Union to China'

The thesis explores the role of the EU as a global legal actor in the field of human rights in China. In particular, the dissertation explains how and why some human rights standards contained in EU laws or shaped by the EU in international law have found their way into Chinese law, policy and practice.  

This process of diffusion is broader than just direct EU human rights promotion in China. In addition to active initiatives through multilateral (e.g., influencing international laws subsequently applied in China) or bilateral forms (e.g., conditionality in investment treaties), there are other non-induced ways in which the Asian country has reformed its laws according to European standards on its own initiative.  

The thesis thus debunks a widespread myth among China's political elite: despite substantial differences in the understanding of human rights and the current growing geopolitical tensions, the Chinese system is not impervious to Western foreign influences.