Emma joined the Law School as a Lecturer in 2019. She completed her PhD at the School in 2020, which was fully funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and titled ‘Climate Change and Disappearing Island States: Deterritorialisation, Sovereignty and Statehood in International Law’. This explored the international law implications of (and potential responses to) climate change-induced sea level rise and territorial loss for the community of Pacific small low-lying island states.

She graduated with an LLM in International Law with French (Distinction) and an LLB in Law with Philosophy (First Class Honours) from Keele in 2015 and 2011 respectively. Between her LLB and LLM, Emma undertook the LPC at the University of Law in Chester (graduating with Distinction) and began work as a trainee solicitor before ultimately deciding to return to academia. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (and working towards Senior Fellowship).


Research and scholarship

Emma specialises in public international law with particular expertise in matters of statehood, self-determination and state responsibility. Other areas of expertise include climate law, environmental law and the law of the sea. She also has a keen interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Her pedagogic research focuses on artificial intelligence in higher education, authentic assessment practices, decolonising the (international law) curriculum, engaging students as partners and game-based learning.

For a list of my publications, see (under ‘Works’ at the bottom).


Undergraduate modules:

  • Introduction to Public International Law (Module Leader)

*I am also involved in teaching on the Climate Change and Sustainability Pathway as part of the Global Challenge Pathways (for more information, see

Postgraduate modules:

  • Foundations of International Law (Module Leader)
  • Advanced International Law (Module Leader)
  • International Environmental Law

Further information

Emma is an external member of the Centre for Small States at Queen Mary University of London and was in November 2018 appointed as a member of the International Law Association Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise. This is a group of experts (including many of the key scholars who pioneered the study of the international law implications of sea level rise for small low-lying island communities) that is responsible for formulating proposals for the progressive development of international law in relation to the possible loss of all or parts of state territory and maritime zones due to sea level rise. Through the work and outcomes of the Committee, Emma is also in a position to convey key issues arising from her research to the International Law Commission which, in May 2019, likewise decided to include the topic of ‘Sea Level Rise in Relation to International Law’ on its programme of work. The Committee will exchange with an open-ended study group established by the Commission over the coming years.

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