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Dr Philippa Webb

Philippa WebbContact details


Room: SW3.13







Dr Philippa Webb is Reader (Associate Professor) in Public International Law. She joined The Dickson Poon School of Law in 2012 after a decade in international legal practice. She was previously visiting Assistant Professor in the Advanced LLM Programme at Leiden University (2009-2011). She has been Visiting Professor at Université Paris X Nanterre, ESADE Law School and Pepperdine University’s London programme.

Dr Webb holds a doctorate (JSD) and an LLM from Yale Law School. She obtained the University Medal in her LLB and the University Medal and First Class Honours in her BA (Asian Studies), both of which were awarded by the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Dr Webb has extensive experience in international courts and tribunals. She served as the Special Assistant and Legal Officer to Judge Rosalyn Higgins during her Presidency of the International Court of Justice (2006-2009) and, prior to that, as the Judicial Clerk to Judges Higgins and Owada (2004-2005). She was the Associate Legal Adviser to Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo at the International Criminal Court (2005-2006).

She is on the International Advisory Panel for the American Law Institute’s project Restatement Fourth, Foreign Relations Law of the United States. Dr Webb has served as legal advisor to the Inquiry launched by United Nations human rights rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC into the use of drones in counter-terrorism operations. She was elected as co-convenor of the International Law Section of the Society of Legal Scholars for 2014-17 and to the Board of the European Society of International Law for 2016-2020.

Dr Webb has worked at the UN Secretariat in New York and in the Sydney and Tokyo offices of an international law firm. She speaks French and Japanese. Dr Webb has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Mooting in the School of Law. 

She is a member of Public International Law Advisory Panel, British Institute for International and Comparative Law, a Board Member of the Young Public International Law Group, and Board Member of the Clooney Foundation for Justice.

Dr Webb is also a barrister at 20 Essex Street Chambers and appears before the English courts and international courts in cases involving public international law. 

Research interests and PhD supervision

Dr Webb’s research interests are in public international law, including international dispute settlement, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and the law of international organisations. She is also very interested in the immunities of States, their officials and international organisations. Her co-authored treatise with Lady Hazel Fox QC, The Law of State Immunity (Oxford University Press, 2013; revised and updated paperback 2015) has been cited by the UK Supreme Court, the English Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa.

On the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Genocide Convention in 2008, she published, together with Hirad Abtahi, the complete travaux préparatoires. In 2012, she was the co-editor, with Professor Claus Kress, of the tenth anniversary issue of the Journal of International Criminal Justice. She is co-chair of the Journal’s Editorial Committee.  She is on the Editorial Board of the Leiden Journal of International Law. She is book review editor of the British Yearbook of International Law.

A monograph based on her doctoral thesis, International Judicial Integration and Fragmentation, was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press (paperback 2016). 

She is currently working on research projects related to the legal practice of the United Nations, the law of State immunity, and the right to a fair trial under international law. She is the recipient of:

  • Nuffield Foundation Grant for Research and Innovation: The Right to a Fair Trial under International Law - Comparative Perspectives 
  • KPI Policy Impact Grant: Effective Parliamentary Oversight of Human Rights.

PhD Supervision

  • Pelin Ekmen (first supervisor)
  • Rishi Gulati (first supervisor)
  • Jessica Hazelwood (first supervisor)
  • Tomas Hamilton (second supervisor)
  • Niccolo Ridi (second supervisor)
  • Koldo Casla (second supervisor in collaboration with European Studies)

Completed PhDs

  • Dr Dalia Malek
  • Dr Kirsten Roberts
  • Dr Nikolaos Voulgaris
Selected publications

Social Science Research Network



Book chapters

  • ‘Individual Criminal Responsibility’ in Amal Alamuddin, Nidal Nabil Jurdi and David Tolbert (eds), The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Law and Practice (OUP 2014) Chapter 6
  • ‘International Organisations: Uneasy Analogies’ in Christian Tams, Antonios Tzanakopoulos and Andreas Zimmermann (eds), Research Handbook on the Law of Treaties (Edward Elgar 2013)
  • ‘Human Rights and the Immunities of State Officials’ in Erika de Wet and Jure Vidmar (eds), Norm Conflicts and Hierarchy in Public International Law: The Place of Human Rights (OUP 2012)
  • ‘Immunities and Human Rights: Dissecting the Dialogue in National and International Courts’ in Andre Nollkaemper and Ole Fauchald (eds), The Practice of International and National Courts and the (De-)Fragmentation of International Law (Hart 2012) Chapter 11

View Dr Webb’s full list of publications.



  •  Public International Law
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