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International law

Examining the legal aspects that regulate the globe

We explore the world’s international legal frameworks and how they relate to transnational and global issues.

Our vision

In an era of unprecedented globalisation our research explores the many ways in which international law and international institutions can promote peace, prosperity and human dignity. Many contemporary global challenges require international cooperation, coordination and governance, from climate change to terrorism and economic development. Our research identifies how international legal frameworks can help to address the pressing challenges of our time.

Our work

Our scholars work on most areas of international law.

  • Chester Brown works on international dispute settlement and international arbitration.
  • Vivienne Bath investigates international business and investment law and Chinese law.
  • David Kinley’s research examines the interactions between human rights and the global economy, especially the financial sector.
  • Luke Nottage is an expert in Japanese law, consumer law, and international business and investment law.
  • Ben Saul focuses on international security (including terrorism and armed conflict), human rights (particularly economic, social and cultural rights), and international crimes.
  • Jacqueline Mowbray is particularly interested in the human rights of minority groups, especially linguistic minorities, and in theoretical approaches to understanding human rights and development.
  • Tim Stephens focuses on international environmental law, law of the sea, and Antarctica.
  • Emily Crawford specialises in international humanitarian law.
  • Irene Baghoomians is an expert in human rights law and advocacy.

Our impact

The impact of research in this theme is wide and varied. It includes contributions to the fast-growing body of scholarship in the area by way of books and articles, but also in policy applications through reports and submissions to governments and international bodies, including the UN, the World Bank and the African Union. Our research is also directly applied through our work for and with private sector organisations such as NGOs, corporations, law firms and other professional bodies, including courts. Some examples of these outputs and impacts include the following.

  • Our books have been cited by international courts and superior national courts, including the UK Supreme Court and the Australian High Court.
  • The Oxford Commentary on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2014) by Ben Saul, David Kinley and Jacqueline Mowbray was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law.
  • Tim Stephens' book on the law of the sea is used by government legal advisers and law schools around the world.
  • A book on Antarctica by Ben Saul and Tim Stephens has become an essential reference work for governments and experts involved in the Antarctic treaty system.
  • Ben Saul regularly advises governments, United Nations bodies, and treaty negotiations on terrorism and international law
  • Our academics have appeared in cases before the International Court of Justice, international criminal tribunals, and UN and regional human rights bodies.

Our experts