International and European law

International and European law (IEL) is a fast growing area of expertise within the Law School, combining policy and human rights analyses with jurisprudential, critical, postcolonial and feminist theory. Members use a range of methodologies and perspectives including: critical human rights and critical socio-legal frameworks, feminist and subaltern perspectives, empirical research and comparative analyses of regulation across different jurisdictions.

Principal areas of research include: the award winning jurisprudential analysis of fragmentation of international law, and postcolonial critique of international environmental law (Mario Prost); EU constitutional law and counter terrorism law (Maria Tzanou), EU disability and equality law (Eliza Varney), the relation of rights and reconstruction from post-disaster to everyday globalisation processes (Jane Krishnadas), and European & transnational criminal law and justice (Tomoya Obokata). Obokata’s research on ‘North-South Irish Responses to Transnational Organised Crime’ was recently supported by an AHRC Grant (£195,000), whose impact component was highlighted as best practice by RCUK.

Dr Forough Ramezankhah  is a socio-legal scholar with principal research interest in International Refugee Law. Forough has developed a new interdisciplinary postgraduate module in International Refugee Law, which introduces this very topical subject to the curriculum at Keele for the first time in September 2019, not only in the Law School, but as a part of the Law and Politics pathway, as well as being an optional module for the MSc in Applied Social and Political Psychology.

Members also actively engage in impact/knowledge transfer activities through research, education and consultancy. Obokata in the past served as a subject expert on human trafficking and provided advice to entities including the UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and the International Organisation for Migration.

IEL’s research culture is sustained through a thriving programme of research events and activities. These include the Keele International Law Lecture Series (past speakers include Judge Morrison of the International Criminal Court and Dr. Proulx of the International Court of Justice), academic workshops and the Patrick Thornberry Annual Lecture in International Law and Human Rights, established in honour of Patrick Thornberry (Keele emeritus professor) and his outstanding contribution to the fields of public international law and human rights.

IEL provides postgraduate education and research training through PhD supervision, the new LLM in International Law, and the MA Human Rights Globalisation and Justice.

Recordings of some of our Public Lectures can be found below. Please use the playlist selection option to view:

  1. Dr. Vincent Joël Proulx, International Court of Justice, ‘Transnational Terrorism and State Accountability’, 1 April 2014
  2. Judge Howard Morrison, International Criminal Court, ‘International Law – Hopes and Fears’, 23 October 2013.
  3. Prof. Tomoya Obokata, Keele University, ‘International Law on Human Trafficking’, 25 March 2013.
  4. Prof. Dapo Akande, University of Oxford, ‘The Application of Human Rights Law in Time of Armed Conflict’, Inaugural Lecture, 22 April 2015.
  5. Fatou Bensouda, International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor, Honorary Speech July 2015.

Public Lectures

  • ‘A-legal spaces and activities as strategies of social change’ (Carys Hughes).
  • 'Combating Trafficking in Saudi Arabia (Norah Al-Shareef). 
  • 'Increasing the participation of persons with disabilities within the legal profession' ().
  • ‘Climate Change and Disappearing Island States – Deterritorialisation, Sovereignty and Statehood in International Law’ (Emma Allen).
  • ‘Identifying the threshold at which the Security Council may begin to engage environmental threats within its current mandate’ ().
  • 'The extent to which anti-discrimination policies, legislation and adjudication, flowing from International Law, shield and maintain discriminatory policies, racial categorization and systematic denial of internationally-protected economic and social rights' (Sam Holder).
  • The dehumanizing effects of technology in Asymmetric Armed Conflicts (Yaar Dagan Peretz).
  • Legal analysis on safeguard measures of the World Trade Organization (Marieanne Oludhe).