International Law

A broad range of research interests covering the use of force and international humanitarian law, questions exterritorial measures and jurisdiction, international economic law and international investment law, the constitutionalisation of international law, the relationship between specialized areas of international law, in particular international and EU law, and feminist perspectives of international law.


News, events and current work

New International Law book

Dr Rossana Deplano (Leicester Law School) has co-edited the Elgar handbook on research methods in international law.
New International Law book

Research Methods in International Law


Dr Rossana Deplano (Leicester Law School) and Prof. Nicholas Tsagourias (University of Sheffield) co-edited the first ever handbook on Research Methods in International Law. Divided into 28 chapters, the handbook contains a wide-ranging overview of the diverse research methods used within international law. It thus provides an insightful examination of how international legal knowledge is analysed by scholars and offers a deeper understanding on the role and place of research methods in international legal theory, reasoning and practice.


International Law in Africa Network

Dr Eki Omorogbe establishes International Law in Africa Network: first meeting held at University of Leicester
International Law in Africa Network

Dr Eki Omorogbe

On 29 September 2016, the first meeting of the International Law in Africa Network took place at College Court, Leicester. The network was established by Dr Eki Omorogbe of University of Leicester’s Law School in late 2015 to promote discussion, debate, and collaborative interdisciplinary research on International Law and Policy in Africa. At present, the group has more than 85 members. These are academics, practitioners, and NGOs located mainly in Europe and Africa. If you would like to know more about this group or are interested in joining it, e-mail

Katja Ziegler organises session at American Society of International Law conference in Washington DC - video available

Law professor organises and moderates session on 'Comparative Perspectives on the Judicialization of Foreign Affairs: Adjudication of Military Deployment in National Courts' at the 110th ASIL Annual Meeting.
Katja Ziegler organises session at American Society of International Law conference in Washington DC - video available

Professor Katja Ziegler

Focusing on recent cases in Europe, the United States, and Israel, the session will analyze the circumstances under which courts have been willing to adjudicate issues relating to military deployment. It will also assess the operational impact of this trend toward the judicialization of military deployment decisions.

Session video

In many jurisdictions, the executive branch has historically conducted military operations with limited interference from the judicial branch. Modern interpretations of human rights and the rule of law, both at the level of national and international law, have resulted in increased judicial engagement with executive decisions to use armed force. This trend has raised serious concerns among some governments about whether more judicial involvement might overly constrain military operations or even make decisions to use force impossible in the first place. Militaries have also encountered practical challenges in planning and conducting operations, for example in the context of detention, targeting, and civilian casualties. At the same time, some have noted that judicial involvement can promote desirable outcomes such as providing a remedy for civilians harmed by military operations and promoting better integration of human rights considerations into military planning and operations. This session explores these and other issues in a comparative context.

Moderators: Katja Ziegler, University of Leicester Law School


• Major General Thomas Ayres, Judge Advocate General’s Office, U.S. Army

• Eyal Benvenisti, Tel Aviv University, University of Cambridge Faculty of Law

• Claire Landais, French Ministry of Defense

• Douglas Wilson, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Islam and Warfare, Tuesday 10 May 2016

Onder Bakircioglu (Leicester Law School)
Islam and Warfare, Tuesday 10 May 2016

Dr Onder Bakircioglu

Dr Onder Bakircioglu will talk about his book 'Islam and Warfare' on Tuesday, 10 May, 4.00pm, JGR.

The question of how Islamic law regulates the notions of just recourse to and just conduct in war has long been the topic of heated controversy, and is often subject to oversimplification in scholarship and journalism. This book traces the rationale for aggression within the Islamic tradition, and assesses the meaning and evolution of the contentious concept of jihad. The book reveals that there has never been a unified position on what Islamic warfare tangibly entails, due to the complexity of relevant sources and discordant historical dynamics that have shaped the contours of jihad. Onder Bakircioglu advocates a dynamic reading of Islamic law and military tradition; one which prioritises the demands of contemporary international relations and considers the meaning and application of jihad as contingent on the socio-political forces of each historical epoch. This book will be of great interest to scholars and students of international law, Islamic law, war and security studies, and the law of armed conflict.

Reviews "With admirable scholarly mastery, Onder Bakircioglu, explores the nature of jihad in Islamic thought about war and peace, demonstrating conclusively that there is no authoritative doctrine available to resolve interpretative controversies so central to current debates about Islamic extremism. An indispensable study for legal specialist, and indeed, for anyone concerned with a deep understanding of the bearing of Islam on the regulation of warfare." - Professor Richard Falk (Professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University)

"This is a scholarly, rigorous, thoroughly documented and intellectually honest account of the ambiguity and complexity of the Islamic doctrine of jihad. By persuasively demonstrating that war and peace are always outcomes of human agency, this book is an eloquent call to moral choice and political action, beyond stale polemics of absolute text or abstract doctrine." - Professor Abdullahi A. An-Na’im (the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law)

Time and Date: Tuesday, 10 May 2016, 4.00pm
Venue Jan Grodecki Room, Law, Fielding Johnson Building

The European Court of Human Rights and the UK: A New Court for a New Era? – Conference report

Leicester Law School conference with Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law.

CELI, jointly with the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, organised a high profile conference on the fourth anniversary of the Brighton Declaration of April 2012. The event provided an opportunity to hear leading experts consider how the Strasbourg Court has evolved in recent years and reflect upon its longer-term future. Speakers also considered how the reform process has informed debate in the UK about the European Court/Convention system and a possible British Bill of Rights.

A summary report of the conference is now available (pdf) pdf file

The conference was part of a series of events marking the 50th Anniversary of the Leicester Law School.


This conference will look at how the European Court of Human Rights has developed its approach to substantive decision making over the last five years, which is of relevance to the current debate about reform of the Human Rights Act. It will be an opportunity to hear from leading experts on the process of convention reform, including the important report on the convention’s ‘Longer-term Future’ (December 2015). Dominic Grieve QC, the former Attorney General and Sir Nicolas Bratza QC (former President of the Court) are amongst the speakers.

Leicester Law School was founded in 1966, the same year that the UK accepted the jurisdiction of the Strasbourg Court. The Conference will provide an opportunity to take stock of the position of the Court at another critical moment in its history. The conference is part of Leicester Law School’s Jubilee celebrations (1966-2016) and is being held with the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law (London).

The Conference continues on from ‘The UK and European Human Rights: A Strained Relationship?’ a two day event held in Leicester in May 2014 – which led to a major publication by Hart, edited by Prof Katja Ziegler, Prof Liz Wicks and Dr Loveday Hodson.

Full conference details and booking (via Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law)
Conference poster (pdf) pdf file

Human Rights research at Leicester Law School

Centre for European Law and Internationalisation

China and the WTO Appellate Body’s Rule of Law – 14 May, 2014

Henrik Andersen, Copenhagen Business School


Date: 3:30–5:00pm, 14 May, 2014

Venue: Jan Grodecki Room, first floor, Fielding Johnson Building (Maps and directions)

Contact: For more information please contact

Her proper name: a revisionist history of international law – 7 May, 2014

Yoriko Otomo, SOAS


Date: 1:30–-3:00pm, 7 May, 2014

Venue: Jan Grodecki Room, first floor, Fielding Johnson Building (Maps and directions)

A sandwich lunch will be provided from 1:00pm

Contact: For more information please contact

‘Women and Children: The Protection of Civilians and Robust Peacekeeping’, 12 February 2014

Dr Gina Heathcote (SOAS), Wednesday, 12 February 2014, 3–5 pm (Jan Gredecki Room/FJ164)

pdf fileRobust Peacekeeping, Gender and the Protection of Civilians’, Dr. Gina Heathcote (SOAS, University of London)

‘The African Union and the International Criminal Court: Conflict or Cooperation?’, 29 January 2014

Dr Eki Omorogbe, Leicester Law School Wednesday, 29 January 2014, 3.30-5pm (JGR/FJ164)

Dr Eki Omorogbe of the University of Leicester Law School will present ‘The African Union and the International Criminal Court: Conflict or Cooperation?' on Wednesday, 29 January 2014, 3:30–5:00pm in the Jan Gredecki Room (Fielding Johnson 164)

Workshop on feminist international judgments project – 21 June 2013 (tbc)

Dr Troy Lavers and Dr Loveday Hodson will convene a workshop on the feminist international judgments project. The workshop will focus on a discussion for those who have expressed an interest in participating in the project and three invited speakers. 21 June (tbc).

Seminar: ‘Natural Seduction: Development and International Environmental Law’ – 8 May 2013

Stephen Humphreys and Yoriko Otomo, SOAS will present and discuss their joint paper: ‘Natural Seduction: Development and International Environmental Law’ on 8th May, 2-4 pm in room FJ L66.

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