Professor Mike Schmitt and Dr Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne have both written chapters for The Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law


Professor Mike Schmitt and Dr Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne have both written chapters for The Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law. Mike’s chapter is on ‘International Humanitarian Law and the Conduct of Hostilities’ and Lawrence’s chapter looks at ‘Persons Covered by International Humanitarian Law: Main Categories’.

Latest from the Commercial Law Research Network Nigeria – Dr Bolanle Adebola

In April, Commercial Law Research Network Nigeria, which is convened by Dr Bolanle Adebola, published blog posts from its inaugural conference at the University of Reading in collaboration with  Each post describes the challenges facing an aspect of commercial law in Nigeria, reviews the reform responses proposed or taken by the government, and concludes with insights for future reforms.

All of the posts, including the keynote speech from Professor Chidi Oguamanam, can be accessed here.

Sendai Five Years on: Reflections on the Role of International Law in the Creation and Reduction of Disaster Risk

Dr Marie Aronsson-Storrier recently published an article in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science entitled ‘Sendai Five Years on: Reflections on the Role of International Law in the Creation and Reduction of Disaster Risk‘. This open-access article forms part of a special issue on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

School of Law students Romesa Altaf and Agnes McLoughlin-Weekes receive Access to the Bar awards from Middle Temple

Part 2 student Romesa Altaf has been awarded an Access to the Bar award from Middle Temple – she was awarded the COMBAR award. This is part of their outreach programme and offers funded mini-pupillages and marshalling for up to 30 undergraduates nationwide. Romesa was one of 2 students nominated by the School of Law and was successful after a video interview.

In addition, part 2 student Agnes McLoughlin-Weekes was also successful in being awarded a Middle Temple Access to the Bar award, from the Chancery Bar Association.

So both of our nominated students succeeded!

Mike Schmitt on Cyber Weapons and Humanitarian Law

Professor Michael Schmitt has co-authored an article with Professor Jeffrey Biller of the US Air Force Academy for International Law Studies entitled ‘Classification of Cyber Capabilities and Operations as Weapons, Means, or Methods of Warfare’.

The article discusses how the legal community struggled to keep pace with doctrinal development and technological advances as cyber capabilities were integrated into military operations. Practitioners used the process of “normalization,” adopting terms, concepts, and applications from existing military parlance and practice into the cyber context. In particular, they used terms and doctrine already resident in international humanitarian law (IHL).

While normalization produced acceptable results doctrinally, terminology like cyber attack frequently has different meanings in legal and colloquial discourse. This article examines three terms drawn from classic IHL—weapons, means, and methods of warfare—that are also being applied to cyber operations. They are of particular significance with respect to the use of cyber capabilities during an armed conflict because they are integral to IHL’s various prohibitions and obligations.

The article concludes that cyber capabilities cannot logically be categorized as weapons or means of cyber warfare, but in some circumstances cyber operations may qualify as a method of warfare and are subject to relevant legal prohibitions and limitations, as well as policy restrictions.

Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne’s monograph, Detention in Non-International Armed Conflict, released in paperback with new preface

Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne’s 2016 OUP monograph, Detention in Non-International Armed Conflict, has just been released in paperback with a new preface discussing recent practice and case law on the topic. The book remains the only comprehensive examination of the international legal regulation of detention in non-international armed conflict. It has had a significant impact on academia and policy. It has received the two most prestigious international academic awards in the field: the 2016 Francis Lieber Prize by the American Society of International Law and the 11th Paul Reuter Prize by the International Committee of the Red Cross. It has also been cited and relied upon by the UK Supreme Court.

Mike Schmitt extends his tenure as a ‘Robert Strauss Center for International Law and Security Distinguished Scholar’ at the University of Texas

Professor Mike Schmitt has been invited to extend his tenure for a third year as a Robert Strauss Center for International Law and Security Distinguished Scholar at the University of Texas. The Strauss Center is a renowned multidisciplinary global affairs research center that brings together expertise from academia and the private and public sectors to pursue practical solutions to emerging international challenges. Professor Schmitt is involved in its cyber security program.

Mike will also be a Visiting Professor at the University of Texas School of Law, from which he graduated in 1984. The Law School is consistently ranked in the top tier of American law schools.