Professor Sandesh Sivakumaran

Professor of International Law, co-Deputy Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law

Sandesh Sivakumaran is Professor of International Law and co-Deputy Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. He was previously Professor of Public International Law at the University of Nottingham. He has been a non-resident research scholar at the United States Naval War College Stockton Center for International Law and has held visiting fellowships at Melbourne Law School and New York University School of Law.

Sandesh has published on a variety of topics in public international law. He is the author of The Law of Non-International Armed Conflict (OUP, 2012), which was awarded the International Committee of the Red Cross Paul Reuter Prize, the American Society of International Law Francis Lieber Prize, and the European Society of International Law Book Prize. He is the co-author of Oppenheim’s International Law: United Nations (OUP, 2017)(with Dame Rosalyn Higgins, Philippa Webb, Dapo Akande and James Sloan), which was awarded the American Society of International Law certificate of merit for high technical craftsmanship and utility to practicing lawyers and scholars. He is co-author of Cases and Materials on International Law (Sweet and Maxwell, 9 ed, 2020)(with David Harris), and co-editor of International Human Rights Law (OUP, 4 ed, 2022)(with Daniel Moeckli and Sangeeta Shah). He has published in leading journals including the European Journal of International Law, the International and Comparative Law Quarterly and the Human Rights Quarterly. His article on the courts of armed groups was awarded the Journal of International Criminal Justice Giorgio La Pira prize and the Antonio Cassese prize. His work has been cited by, among others, the UK, Netherlands, and Israeli Supreme Courts; the Colombian Constitutional Court; the International Criminal Court; the International Law Commission; and UN commissions of inquiry.

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, conflict advisor to the Secretariat of the World Humanitarian Summit, and a member of the working group on non-state armed groups at the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation. He is a member of the Reading Committee of the ICRC’s Commentaries on the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols, a member of the advisory board of Geneva Call and was a member of the Core Group of Experts for the Oxford Guidance on the Law Relating to Humanitarian Relief Operations in Situations of Armed Conflict. Sandesh regularly trains diplomats, members of the armed forces, and UN entities on international law and the law of armed conflict. He is a member of the Bar of the State of New York.

Prior to entering academia, Sandesh’s professional experience included: 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; Judicial Fellow 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.

Sandesh holds an MA and PhD from the University of Cambridge and an LLM from New York University School of Law where he was a Hauser Global Scholar.