I hold an undergraduate degree in law and an LLM in public international law (with distinction) from the University of Sheffield. My research interests include international law relating to the use of force, international criminal law, the relationship between international law and international politics and theories of state sovereignty.
Prior to taking up my position as a doctoral researcher at the University of Leeds I worked in the public law department at a UK Top 20 law firm conducting a wide range of health, social care, civil liberties and human rights litigation. I was also previously a research assistant in the public international law team at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law where I contributed to a report entitled: Protecting Education in Insecurity and Armed Conflict. I am currently a director of the Human Security Centre, an independent not-for-profit foreign policy and international affairs think-tank.
What motivated me to undertake PhD study?
I wanted to read for a Ph.D. as I wanted to further explore the relationship between international law, international politics and the changing nature of the world order and particularly with reference to the development of international criminal law and the International Criminal Court. I also hoped that it would enhance my employability because of the knowledge and skills that I would develop of the course of the three years.
What makes me passionate about my subject?
I am passionate about this area of study because it is little understood and it is therefore possible for me to make a significant contribution to the existing knowledge. It is also a very interesting and important area of study.
What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?
Once I have completed my Ph.D. I hope to practice as a barrister whilst maintaining an academic career.
The overarching purpose of my thesis is to contribute to the research agenda which considers the sustainability of liberal norms of international society in the age of shifting power balances. More specifically, my research intends to enhance the understanding of the functioning and sustainability of the International Criminal Court in a world order which has undergone significant change, both politically and legally, since the end of the Second World War and the signing of the Charter of the United Nations in 1945.
The changing world order is characterised by the economic and political rise of emerging states and the development and institutionalisation of international law with the objective of regulating state behavior and protecting human rights effectively throughout the world.
To that end my research principally seeks to investigate the relationship between emerging states, namely China, India, Russia and Brazil, and the International Criminal Court, and particularly how those relationships are influencing the operation of the court and norms of international criminal justice more broadly.
Within this framework I specifically propose to consider why emerging states oppose the International Criminal Court, how that opposition is manifested in foreign policy, how that opposition impacts on the ability of the International Criminal Court to discharge its mandate effectively and thus the sustainability of the International Criminal Court project and liberal norms of international criminal justice more broadly.
My work will be explanatory in nature and will not advance a position within the normative debate, although it will engage with it. I will employ a comprehensive theoretical framework drawing on international law and international relations scholarship which will help me to explain what is occurring with reference to a broader historical and theoretical context.