School of Law

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Klara Polackova Van der Ploeg

Assistant Professor in Law (specializing in International Law and International Dispute Settlement), Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr Klara Polackova Van der Ploeg is Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham School of Law, specializing in international law and international dispute settlement. She is the Head of the Business, Trade and Human Rights Unit of the Human Rights Law Centre and a member of the Nottingham International Law and Security Centre and the University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre. She also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the 3DI: the Data-Driven Discovery Initiative.

Dr Van der Ploeg's work focuses on transformations of international law with respect to collective non-state entities; international legal regulation and dispute settlement of global coordination problems; interface between private law and international law; international investment law; business and human rights; and international law in domestic courts. Her research includes both basic theoretical and empirical research and policy-oriented work.

Dr Van der Ploeg completed her PhD in international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland with highest distinction (summa cum laude avec les félicitations du jury). She also holds an LLM degree from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, USA (having attended as Michigan Grotius Fellow), and Master's and Bachelor's degrees from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. She has held visiting fellowships at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge, the British Institute for International and Comparative Law in London, and the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context, Queen Mary University of London.

Dr Van der Ploeg is also a dual-qualified attorney-at-law (State of New York; Czech Republic) and has advised States and private parties on a wide range of public international law and international dispute settlement matters. She served as a judicial assistant to Judge Sir Christopher Greenwood at the International Court of Justice and practiced public international law for several years with leading global law firms in the City of London, United Kingdom, and Prague, Czech Republic.

Teaching Summary

Dr Polackova Van der Ploeg teaches Business and Human Rights, International Dispute Settlement and International Investment Law at the postgraduate (LLM) level.

She currently co-supervises Lea di Salvatore's doctoral project entitled "Fossil Fuels Development Projects and Climate Change: A legal appraisal of the Mozambican Case" (with Anna La Chimia).

If you would like to approach Dr Polackova Van der Ploeg for doctoral supervision, please always send your research proposal along with your CV.

Information about the School of Law PhD programme and how to apply can be found here:

Information about scholarships can be found here:

Research Summary

Dr Van der Ploeg's first project, "Collective Non-State Entities in Contemporary International Law," for which she received the 2019 SNIS Award, explored the adaptations of international law to a… read more

Current Research

Dr Van der Ploeg's first project, "Collective Non-State Entities in Contemporary International Law," for which she received the 2019 SNIS Award, explored the adaptations of international law to a globalized environment by exploring direct regulation of collective non-state entities through rules of international law. Through an examination of primary sources in multiple substantive areas of international law (including law of peace and security, law of the sea, international human rights law, international investment law, and international humanitarian law), the research traced the ongoing processes of normative change and demonstrated that contemporary international law had developed to set forth direct rights and obligations for collective non-state entities without the interposition of any state.

Dr Van der Ploeg also edited a book exploring the relationship between international law and time, entitled "International Law and Time: Narratives and Techniques" (Springer, 2022). Divided into five parts and 21 chapters, the book puts the spotlight on time's fundamental significance for international law as a legal order and as a discipline.

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