Public International Law

The Law School has a vibrant international law research group with four academic staff (Churchill, Hartmann, Kirk and Shields), a post-doctoral researcher (Liu) and six postgraduate research students working in this area. Particular areas of expertise include human rights, international criminal law, international environmental law and the law of the sea.  In recent years staff have carried out funded research for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Seafarers Rights International, the UN Environment Programme and a number of foreign governments. Liu holds a Marie Curie Fellowship for research on the EU and the protection of marine biodiversity in the Arctic. Churchill’s publications have recently been cited in the decisions of courts in Kenya and Norway, in pleadings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and in the Report of the UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident (2011). Kirk’s research has informed debate at Intergovernmental Meetings to develop the Global Programme of Action on protection of the marine environment from land-based activities. Staff regularly present at conferences around the world and contribute to international law blogs such as EJIL: Talk!

Staff are on the editorial boards of leading international law journals, including the British Yearbook of International Law and the International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law. Kirk is on the Governing Board of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law and co-editor of its e-journal.

Key Publications

R. Churchill, The Law of the Sea (with A. V. Lowe), 3rd edition (Manchester University Press, 1999)  

J. Hartmann, "Unilateralism in International Law: Implications of the Inclusion of Emissions from Aviation in the EU ETS", Questions of International Law (2015) 19-32

E. Kirk, “Marine Governance, Adaptation and Legitimacy” (2012) 22 Yearbook of International Environmental Law 1-30

N. Liu, “The European Union's Potential Contribution to Enhanced Governance of Arctic Shipping,” Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht/Heidelberg Journal of International Law

K. Shields, “Rewriting the Centricity of the State in Pursuit of Global Justice” in A Perry Kessaris and D Ashiagor (eds), Socio-Legal Approaches to International Economic Law (Routledge, 2012), pp. 235-49