Dr Peter Coe appointed as an Associate Research Fellow at the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Dr Peter Coe has been appointed as an Associate Research Fellow at the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Peter will be collaborating with the Institute, and its Information Law and Policy Centre, on a number of public events during the course of 2021-22 academic year.

Dr Charlotte Smith receives a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant

Dr Charlotte Smith has been awarded a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant of £9982.74 for her project: “The Colonial Bishoprics Fund and the Birth of the Worldwide Anglican Communion: Legal Transplants, Networks and Constitutional Change in the British Empire”. This project offers a fascinating case study of the impact of common law approaches to empire upon the transmission of law and constitutional ideas within the British Empire. It also, at a pivotal point in the development of the Worldwide Anglican Communion today, seeks to inform a better understanding of the legal frameworks, ideologies, and relationships underpinning global Anglicanism, and of the forms and consequences of legal relationships between metropolitan and daughter churches across the common law world. It achieves these two objectives through the completion of the first ever legal history of the Colonial Bishoprics Fund. This charitable trust, founded by individual subscribers in London in 1841, was the primary means of funding and co-ordinating Church of England efforts to export the Anglican Establishment, with all its legal and constitutional privileges, across the expanding British Empire. Through its activities the seeds of what became global Anglicanism were sown.

Dr Saaed Bagheri publishes his new book ‘International Law and the War with Islamic State’

Dr Saaed Bagheri’s book, International Law and the War with Islamic State, has been published by Hart Publishing. This book looks at the aim of Islamic State to create an effective government, with an economically independent regime, which focused on key oilfields in Syria and Iraq. Having addressed Islamic State’s quest for energy resources in Iraq and Syria, the book explores the lawfulness of the war with Islamic State from a variety of legal aspects. It has been attempted to make inroads into the most controversial aspects of contradictions in the application of jus ad bellum and jus in bello, particularly when discussing the use of extraterritorial armed force against ANSAs, and the obligation to protect civilian objects, including the natural environment.

The question is whether the targeting of energy resources should be regarded as a violation of the laws of armed conflict, even though the war with Islamic State being classified as a non-international armed conflict. Ambitious in scope, the study argues that legal theory and state practice are still problematic as to how and under what conditions states can justify resorting to military force in foreign territory, and to what extent they can target natural resources as being part of state property. Furthermore, it goes on to examine the differences between international and non-international armed conflicts, to establish whether there is any difference in the targeting of energy resources as part of the war-sustaining capabilities of either party.

Through an examination of the Islamic State case, the book offers a comprehensive study to close the gaps in jus in bello by contextualising the questions of civilian protection, victimisation and state responsibility by evaluating the US’s war-sustaining theory as a justification for the destruction of a territorial state’s natural resources that are occupied by ANSAs.

Dr Peter Coe at the Society of Legal Scholars’ Annual Conference at Durham University

From the 31st of August until the 3rd of September Dr Peter Coe convened the Media and Communications Law Subject Section at the Society of Legal Scholars’ Annual Conference at Durham University. Peter was joined by speakers from around the world, discussing subjects ranging from advertising in the time of COVID, to corporate reputation, to the development of privacy law, to misinformation and disinformation.

Dr Peter Coe on the regulation of hate speech online and its enforcement in a comparative perspective

On Tuesday the 31st of August, Dr Peter Coe formed part of an international panel of experts convened by the British Association of Comparative Law to discuss ‘The regulation of hate speech online and its enforcement in a comparative perspective.’ Peter’s paper discussed the UK’s Draft Online Safety Bill and its potential implications for free speech.

The School of Law are delighted to announce the appointment of Professors James Kraska and Sean Watts

A warm welcome to the School of Law to two new visiting professors who are both eminent scholars in their respective fields of expertise.

James Kraska


Professor James Kraska (Professor Kraska is the Chair of the Stockton Center for International Law at the United States Naval War College, an outstanding maritime security law scholar and a visiting professor at Harvard Law School).


Sean Watts


Professor Sean Watts (Professor Watts is Director of the Lieber Institute at West Point and a  pre-eminent law of armed conflict scholar).

Mike Schmitt and Louise Arimatsu on “The Plea of Necessity: An Oft Overlooked Response Option to Hostile Cyber Operations”

Professor Mike Schmitt and Principal Visiting Research Fellow Louise Arimatsu have co-authored an article published in International Law Studies which examines when states may claim “necessity” as the legal basis for an otherwise unlawful response to a hostile cyber operation.

The article can be found here.

2021 Stowe Family Law Prize Winner announced

Many congratulations to Rebecca J Cork and Megan Largier, joint winners of the 2021 Stowe Family Law Prize. Rebecca and Megan achieved the highest first class marks in the Family Law final examination, demonstrating a high standard of work and commitment to their studies.

In recognition of Rebecca and Megan’s outstanding performances, they have been awarded a monetary prize. The prize would normally offer work experience at Stowe Family Law’s Reading office, however, due to the unprecedented circumstances from COVID-19 this year, they have been awarded with a cash alternative.

Prize-winner Rebecca Cork said “I really enjoyed the Family Law module because of the great teaching which made achieving high marks a lot easier”.

Professor Thérèse Callus, module convenor for Family Law said “We are delighted that Rebecca and Megan are able to benefit from the generous prize offered by SFL, Reading, and we appreciate SFL recognising our students’ achievement. The performance of both students over a very challenging year, culminating in excellentexamination results is testament to their hard work and it was a pleasure to have them in my class this year. Both students are very worthy winners and the School of Law is very proud of them. We are very grateful to SFL, Reading,for their on-going support.”

The Family Law Module provides students with a working knowledge of how private law relates to the family and to the breakdown of families. The content of the final year module includes critical engagement with family law policy trends and debates, coupled with the study of the relevant law on the creation and dissolution of formal (and informal) partnerships, domestic violence, financial provision and arrangements for children following family breakdown.

Stowe Family Law are specialists in assisting married and non-married cohabitants with their finances, property ownership and child arrangements during divorce and separation. For the last few decades, the firm has had its finger on the pulse of political & policy issues surrounding family law, including why the law seeks to regulate certain familial relationships and how it is done.

Stowe Family Law and the School of Law at the University of Reading are pleased to offer theFamily Law prize again in the coming academic year and look forward to building further collaborative links for the benefits of the students. It is hoped that the work experience component of the award willonce again be possible, as it gives students a fantastic opportunity to see how family law in practice operates.

Africa Bauza Garcia-Arcicollar looks at climate change and justice in the Maldives

Africa Bauza Garcia-Arcicollar recently completed her PhD thesis in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading looking at climate change and justice in the Maldives. Africa said:

My doctoral research was motivated by exploring what just climate futures might look like for small island communities in the context of climate change. I travelled to two islands in the Maldives, Thulusdhoo and Rinbudhoo, and spoke to young women about their hopes and aspirations, their experiences of movement, and their anticipation of loss were the islands to become uninhabitable. I found that islanders imagined their futures in the Maldives, in terms of a continuity of place and way of life, and so that climate-related migration and displacement signified an important disrupture to ‘island life’. Accordingly, a future elsewhere would constitute an unjust future that requires a justice response which embraces the non-material and symbolic dimensions of climate change and island life.