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Silvia  Borelli

Dr Silvia Borelli

Visiting Lecturer

Research interests

  • Law


Dr Silvia Borelli is Principal Lecturer in Public International Law and Director of Research in the Department of Law and Finance at the University of Bedfordshire, and has been a Visiting Lecturer at King’s since 2009.

She holds a PhD from the University of Milan, an MA in International Relations from the University of Bologna and a law degree from the University of Parma. She is also qualified as an attorney (avvocato) in Italy (non-practising). She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was previously (2012-2015) a member of the Peer Review College of the AHRC.

Silvia has been a visiting scholar at various institutions, including the University of Trento, Reykjavik University, the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge, and the British Institute of International Law (BIICL). She also collaborates with various human rights organizations based in London. From 2011 to 2018 she was a member of the Lawyers Advisory Committee of Peace Brigades International UK, and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk.

She previously convened the International Human Rights LLM module and the International Human Rights in War Times LLM/MA module, and at present co-convenes the LLM module on Transnational Human Rights Litigation and teaches on the undergraduate Public International Law course.

Research Interests

Silvia’s research interests are in the general field of public international law, with a particular focus on international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international refugee law. Recent research concentrates on the relationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law, specifically as regards the applicability of international human rights standards in the context of extraterritorial military operations.

Other long-standing research interests include counter-terrorism and human rights; human rights and religion; and the protection of fundamental rights in the context of immigration control operations.

Recent funded research includes a project examining the effect of changes in the availability of legal aid in the UK upon the right of access to justice of refugees and asylum seekers, and a study undertaken for the British Red Cross and the Families Together Programme examining Refugee Family Reunification in the UK.


Public International Law (undergraduate)
Transnational Human Rights Litigation (LLM module)
Human Rights in War Times (LLM module) (not running in 2020/21 academic year)

Selected Publications 

‘Extraordinary Rendition, Counter-Terrorism, and International Law’, in B. Saul (ed.), Research Handbook on Terrorism and International Law (2nd ed.) (Edward Elgar, 2020), pp. 336-353

‘The Italian Response to Exploitation of Migrant Workers in the Agricultural Sector: Between Criminalization and Prevention’, Italian Yearbook of International Law, vol. XXIX (2020) (with M.C. Vitucci) (available at

‘Pushing Back Against Push-backs: A Right of Entry for Migrants and Asylum Seekers Unlawfully Prevented from Reaching Italian Territory?’, Diritti umani e diritto internazionale, vol. 14(1) (2020), pp. 236-245 (available at

‘The (Mis)-Use of General Principles of Law: Lex Specialis and the Relationship between International Human Rights Law and the Laws of Armed Conflict’, in L. Pineschi (ed.), General Principles of Law – The Role of the Judiciary (Springer, 2015), pp. 265–293 (available at

‘Troubled Waters in the Mare Nostrum: Interception and “Push-backs” in the Mediterranean and the European Convention on Human Rights’, Uluslararası Hukuk ve Politika – Review of International Law and Politics, vol. 10 (2014), pp. 29–69, (with B. Stanford) (available at

‘Article 8’ and ‘Article 9’, in C.J. Tams and R. O’Keefe (eds), The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property: A Commentary (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 124–136 and pp. 137–151 (with Simon Olleson)