School of Law

Sandesh Sivakumaran

Professor of Public International Law, Faculty of Social Sciences



Sandesh Sivakumaran is Professor of Public International Law. He is also a non-resident research fellow at the United States Naval War College Stockton Center for International Law and a member of the advisory board of Geneva Call. His research interests are in the area of general public international law, particularly international human rights, international humanitarian law and international criminal law. He is the author of The Law of Non-International Armed Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2012), co-author of Cases and Materials on International Law (Sweet and Maxwell, 8 ed, 2015)(with David Harris) and co-editor of International Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2 ed, 2013)(with Daniel Moeckli and Sangeeta Shah). He is a member of the board of editors of the Journal of International Criminal Justice and the Human Rights Law Review. His work has been awarded the International Committee of the Red Cross Paul Reuter Prize, the American Society of International Law Francis Lieber Prize, the European Society of International Law Book Prize (jointly), the Journal of International Criminal Justice Giorgio La Pira and Antonio Cassese prizes and cited inter alia by the UK and Israeli Supreme Courts.

Sandesh advises and acts as expert for a range of states, international organizations and non-governmental organizations. He has served as international legal advisor to the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and advised on international law aspects of peace processes. He is a member of the International Law Association Committee on International Human Rights Law and Practice, regularly trains diplomats and members of the armed forces on international law and the law of war, and is a member of the Bar of the State of New York.

Prior to entering academia, Sandesh's professional experience included: Fellow, previously Research Fellow, at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge; Fellow of the International Bar Association and Associate Legal Officer to Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen at the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda; Law Clerk to Judges Dame Rosalyn Higgins and Peter Tomka at the International Court of Justice; and Intern for former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, at Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative.

Selected Publications

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising students who want to work on the following areas:

  • Public International Law
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Criminal Law

Current PhD Students:

  • Shucksmith, Christy: An Analysis of the Legal and Practical Relationship between UN Operations and NGOs Operating in the Field of Peace and Security, Does the Role of Non-state Actors Challenge the State Paradigm of International Law?
  • Tsai, Pei-Lun: The Application of International Human Rights Law to Unrecognised Entities: The Case of Taiwan
  • Zamani, Masoud: When is the Use of Administrative Detention Justified in the Context of Counter-terrorism Measures?

Recent PhD Students:

  • Frisso, Giovanna: The Participation of Victims in International Criminal Trials
  • Kalpouzos, Ioannis: The Applicability of the Jus in Bello to Conflicts Involving Non-state Armed Groups
  • Rachovitsa, Adamantia: Fragmentation or Unity of International Law Revisited: Analyzing the European Convention on Human Rights when the European Court takes Cognizance of Public International Law Norms

School of Law

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