Public International Law Programme


The British Institute of International and Comparative Law has a vibrant and extensive programme of activities in the field of public international law, including research, events and publications. The areas covered include international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law.

Over the years, the research projects relating to public international law have been extremely varied. Past projects have considered human rights, international humanitarian law and evidence before the International Court of Justice. The research project may be defined by a geographical context, such as the Council of Europe or the Commonwealth, or by a specific subject matter, such as international disaster relief. Research has been commissioned or funded by a number of institutions, including the European Commission, the Ministry of Justice, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Leverhulme Trust and the British Red Cross. An example of research currently being undertaken at the Institute is the project on Treaty Law and Practice, being carried out jointly with the Centre for International Law, Singapore. Another example of current research relates to the protection of education in times of conflicts and insecurity, which resulted in a recent publication and which will be the object of regular updates over the next three years. For more details on our current research programme, please consult our research page.

The Institute organises conferences, seminars, workshops and other events on topics of interest in public international law, providing a forum for a wide range of individuals, including practitioners, academics and government officials. In addition to numerous single events, the Institute also offers regular lecture series. From time to time the Institute arranges rapid response events to allow discussion of recent developments in public international law. Reports of our events are now regularly offered to our members. Information on upcoming and past events can be accessed on our events page.

The Institute benefits from an in-house publications department which welcomes book proposals in the field of public international law. For more information, please visit our publications page. The Institute sometimes edits and publishes the papers presented at its larger conferences. This will for example be the case for its recent conferences on the Convention on the Law of the Sea and on the International Criminal Court. Besides books, the Institute produces the International and Comparative Law Quarterly (ICLQ), a leading journal which regularly devotes space to public international law matters.

The Public International Law Programme is also present on Facebook.


Director: Professor Robert McCorquodale
Senior Research Fellow: Jill Barrett (the Arthur Watts Fellow)
Senior Research Fellow: Dr Andraž Zidar (the Dorset Fellow)
Research Fellows: Lara Blecher, Francesca Capone, Kristin Hausler, Nicole Urban
Consultants: Paul Barnett, Jonathan Bonnitcha, Gerard Limburg, Dr Conor McCarthy, Dr Sarah Williams, Dr Farkhanda Zia Mansoor

For more information, please consult our staff page.

The public international law programme is guided by the Public International Law Advisory Panel, comprising prominent academics, practitioners and government officials.

Chair: Sam Wordsworth.

Members: Dapo Akande, David H. Anderson CMG, Anthony Aust CMG, Sir Frank Berman KCMG QC, Sir Daniel Bethlehem KCMG QC, Michelle Burgis, Professor James Crawford SC, Tim Eicke, Professor Malcolm Forster, Vaughan Lowe QC, Iain Macleod, Alistair McGlone, Maurice Mendelson QC, Thérèse O'Donnell, Catherine Redgwell, Audley Sheppard, Robert Volterra, Chanaka Wickremasinghe, Ralph Wilde, Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG and Sir Michael Wood KCMG.

For any further information regarding our advisory board, please contact Jill Barrett (, Dr Andraž Zidar ( or Kristin Hausler (

Our team is also supported by a pool of enthusiastic and dedicated interns from all around the world. If you are interested in an internship, please see our internships page.


The Institute is very grateful for the generous assistance of the donors to the Watts Fellowship appeal, in particular Allan Myers AO QC of Melbourne, which enabled the appointment of the first Arthur Watts Fellow to proceed, and to the Dorset Foundation for its continued support of the Dorset Fellow.
The programme often seeks sponsorship for research projects and events. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jill Barrett (, Dr Andraž Zidar( or Kristin Hausler (