Rick has been called ‘a key figure in the emerging field of human rights and drug policy’, and is known for his leading research and teaching on subjects including international drug control law, prisoners' rights, HIV and human rights, capital punishment and harm reduction. Prior to joining the faculty at Swansea, Rick worked for over 25 years with national and international non-governmental organisations in Canada, Ireland and the UK.
He is the former Executive Director of Harm Reduction International (2010-2018) and the Irish Penal Reform Trust (2003-2007), and for more than a decade represented NGOs at high level United Nations fora including the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the UN Human Rights Council and the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board. Rick is a past member of the Strategic Advisory Group to the United Nations Drug Use and HIV, the Technical Advisory Group to the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and the Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and Injecting Drug Use.
He holds an MA in Sociology (York University, Toronto), an LLM in International Human Rights Law (Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland Galway) and a PhD in Law (Middlesex University, UK). His first book, Drug Control and Human Rights in International Law, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.