School of Law

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Christy Shucksmith-Wesley

Associate Professor in Law, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr Christy Shucksmith-Wesley is the Co-Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the School of Law.

Christy joined the School of Law in September 2018. Christy is a socio-legal researcher focused on law of international organisations, international humanitarian law, and international disaster law. Christy's work concentrates on the role of international organisations, including the the Red Cross Movement and WHO, in emergencies and disasters. Christy is currently working on her second monograph 'Health and Disasters: International Law and Disaster Risk Reduction' (Elgar). In February 2021, Christy was awarded an ESRC Impact Accelerator Award grant to research "Global Health Emergencies: Lessons for Readiness". Christy also participated in the Hague Academy of International Law Centre for Research and Studies, Epidemics and International Law.

In 2017, Christy co-authored the 'The Checklist on Law and Disaster Preparedness and Response in the United Kingdom', Multiple Contributors, (Global Security and Disaster Management, 2017). This is a major report for the International Federation of the Red Cross. It is used by governments in considering key elements to include in their legal framework for disaster risk management to adequately address preparedness and response. In addition, the International Federation of the Red Cross draws on this report to support governments and other stakeholders develop national disaster risk management legal frameworks. The Checklists developed around the world are being used to develop a Disaster Law Database of global disaster legislation and practice.

In 2010 Christy was awarded Economic and Social Research Council funding to undertake an MA and Ph.D. at the University of Nottingham. During this time, Christy was a Visiting Research Student at the Australian National University. Christy also conducted elite interviews with delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva. Christy published her first monograph in 2017, 'The International Committee of the Red Cross and its Mandate to Protect and Assist' (Hart, 2017).

Christy has received a number of research grants including the International Law Fund Scholarship from the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (University of Cambridge), Graduate School Travel Prize and Reuben Lipman Travel Scholarship (University of Nottingham), Teaching Innovation Fund (University of Lincoln), and a Graduate Teaching Associate Studentship 2017 (University of Lincoln).

Christy completed her LLB Law and LLM International Legal Studies at the University of Sheffield in 2008 and 2009 respectively. During this time Christy was a British Red Cross volunteer in South Yorkshire. On completion of her studies, Christy was recruited by the British Red Cross and the European Voluntary Service to be an Armenian Red Cross Society volunteer. Christy worked with refugees, children, and vulnerable adults in Yerevan, Armenia.

Expertise Summary

Christy's research focuses on the law of international organisations, International Humanitarian Law, International Disaster Law. As a recognised expert in international humanitarian and disaster law, Christy continuously works in cross-institutional forums and projects bridging academia and global institutions, most notably, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Christy has built a network across the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross, which oversee the development of legal frameworks for armed conflict and disasters, respectively. In addition, they each have a mandate for humanitarian protection and assistance across the globe.

Teaching Summary

Christy convenes and teaches International Disaster Law on the postgraduate programme.

Christy co-convenes and teaches International Humanitarian Law on the undergraduate and postgraduate programme.

Christy previously convened and taught Law of Trusts on the undergraduate programme.

Christy has supervised dissertations at undergraduate and postgraduate level on a range of public international law topics.

Selected Publications

  • CHRISTY SHUCKSMITH-WESLEY, 2018. Disaster Risk Reduction, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and Emergency Health for Women in Nepal 2015: Reflections and recommendations to prevent future human rights abuses. In: KATJA SAMUEL, MARIE ARONSSON-STORRIER and KIRSTEN BOOKMILLER, eds., The Cambridge Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law Cambridge University Press. (In Press.)
  • CHRISTY SHUCKSMITH-WESLEY, 2017. The International Committee of the Red Cross and its Mandate to Protect and Assist: Law and Practice Hart Publishing.
  • CHRISTY SHUCKSMITH-WESLEY, 2019. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Response to Ebola 2014-2016’. In: MARK ECCLESTONE-TURNER, ed., Infectious Diseases in the New Millennium: Legal and Ethical Challenges 82. Springer Nature. 65-88 (In Press.)

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

- International Disaster Law and Disaster Risk Reduction

- International Humanitarian Law

- Humanitarian Protection and Assistance in Armed Conflicts and Disasters

- Mandates of International Organisations and Humanitarian Organisations in Armed Conflicts and Disasters

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