Douzinas was educated in Athens during the Colonels dictatorship. He left Greece in 1974 and continued his studies in London, where he received a Masters and PhD from the LSE and, in Strasbourg, where he received the degree for teachers of Human Rights. Douzinas joined Birkbeck College in 1992 to set up its School of Law. He was Head of Department from 1996 to 2002. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities from 2002 to 2008. He was the Pro-Vice Master at Birkbeck for International Links from 2008 to 2014. In 2004, Douzinas set up the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and became its Director in 2008. Douzinas was a member of the group that established the Department of Law at the University of Cyprus and is a member of its international advisory committee.
Douzinas has been a visiting Professor at many Universities including the University of Athens, Paris, Thessaloniki and Prague. In 1997 he was awarded a Jean Monnet fellowship by the European University Institute, Florence. In 1998 he was a visiting fellow at Princeton University and at the Cardozo School of Law. Douzinas has been a Fellow at Griffith University, Brisbane and at the Universities of Beijing, Nanjing, Pretoria and PUC-Rio de Janeiro.
Douzinas is well known for his work in Human Rights, Aesthetics, Critical Jurisprudence, Postmodern Legal Theory and Political Philosophy. He was deeply involved in the British Critical Legal Studies Movement from the outset and was part of the team which set up the Birkbeck School of Law. He was involved in setting up Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought and has been its managing editor since 2000. Douzinas established and is the managing editor of Birkbeck Law Press. He received the lifelong achievement award by the Association of Law, Culture and the Humanities in 2014.
Douzinas contributes articles and columns to newspapers and websites around Europe including the Guardian and Efimerida Syntakton for which he writes a column entitled Philosophical Current.
- Syriza in Power: Reflections of an Accidental Politician (Polity 2017)
- The Meaning of Human Rights (CUP, 2014), with Conor Gearty
- Cambridge Companion to Human Rights Law (CUP, 2013), with Conor Gearty
- Philosophy and Resistance in the Crisis (Polity, 2013), translated in 4 languages
- The Idea of Communism (Verso, 2012), with Slavoj Zizek
- Critical Legal Thinking: Law and the Political (with Matthew Stone and Illan rua Wall) (Birkbeck Law Press/Routledge, 2012)
- Nomos and Aesthetics (Athens: Papazissis, 2009)
- Adieu, Derrida (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)
- Human Rights and Empire: The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism (Routledge Cavendish, 2007) translated in five languages
- Critical Jurisprudence (with Adam Gearey) (Hart, 2005)
- The End of Human Rights (Hart, 2000) translated in six languages
- Law and the Image: The Authority of Art and the Aesthetics of Law (with Lynn Nead) (University of Chicago Press, 1999)
- Justice Miscarried: Ethics and Aesthetics in Law (with Ronnie Warrington) (Prentice-Hall, 1995)
- Politics, Postmodernity and Critical Legal Studies: The Legality of the Contingent (Routledge, 1994)
- Postmodern Jurisprudence (Routledge, 1990), with Ronnie Warrington