Professor Surya P Subedi O.B.E.
Professor of International Law
I am Professor of International Law at Leeds and a Barrister of the Middle Temple. I was educated in law at Oxford for my doctoral degree.
I have published extensively in several areas of international law, including international human rights law, international investment law, and the interaction between WTO law and environmental protection. My endeavours are aimed at advocating fairness and promoting the rule of law in international affairs.
In addition to five other books, I am the author of a major book entitled International Investment Law: Reconciling Policy and Principle. Widely regarded as agenda-setting in the field, it has received positive reviews in seven leading international journals and its second edition was published in 2012.
At present, I am writing a book on 'the UN human rights system in a multi-polar world', examining the deficiencies and challenges of the current system and developing policy recommendations for its further reform.
I have been serving as the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia since my election unanimously by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2009. As one of only ten country-specific UN special rapporteurs in the world, I have identified human rights problems in the country and have given constructive recommendations to help tackle them.
I have produced four substantive and substantial reports (published by the United Nations) focusing on judicial, parliamentary, and electoral reform and on the impact of economic and other land concessions on people's lives. My work was featured in two articles in two British national newspapers – one written by a reporter and feature writer, Matthew Reisz, in The Times Higher Education of 7 February 2013 and another one by Mark Tran in The Guardian of 14 May 2012.
I have also been serving as a member of a high-level Advisory Group on Human Rights to the British Foreign Secretary, the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP, since November 2010. I was elected to the Institut de Droit International in 2011, a highly selective body of distinguished international lawyers.
I was appointed a UK member of the Water Resources Law Committee of the International Law Association (ILA) in 1997 whose work resulted in 2004 in the adoption of the Berlin Rules on Water Resources.
I have also served as a UK member of the Committee on Legal Aspects of Sustainable Development of the ILA, whose work led to the adoption of the New Delhi Declaration of Principles of International Law Relating to Sustainable Development in 2002 and the Sofia Guiding Statements on the Judicial Elaboration of the New Delhi Declaration in 2012.
In addition to Leeds, I have taught at other universities in Great Britain, the US and the Netherlands. I have also been invited to deliver lectures at universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, George Washington, Tokyo, Australian National University in Canberra, Wuhan in China, Jawaharlal Nehru in India, and the Seoul National University in Korea, and to present papers (many of them as a key-note speaker) and to chair panels at nearly 120 international conferences around the world.
My name has been designated to serve on the Panels of Arbitrators and of Conciliators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes operating under the auspices of the World Bank and on the Panel of the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization. I am a founder Co-Editor of the Asian Journal of International Law (published by Cambridge University Press) and a Vice-President of the Asian Society of International Law.
I have received a number of state and other honours, along with prestigious prizes. I was appointed an OBE (Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen of the UK in 2004 for my services to international law.
The then British Foreign Secretary, the Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP, in his speech at the FCO at an OBE investiture summed up my contribution to international law in the following words: “Professor Subedi has made a highly distinguished contribution to our understanding of international law, and to its evolution” and his work has “spanned almost every aspect of it - with a special focus on issues… which make a real difference to people’s lives.”
The full texts of Mr Jack Straw’s speech and my OBE acceptance speech were published in the Newsletter of the International Law Association (ILA), London, 2005, No. 22, pp.10-12.]
I was awarded the Dasturzada Pavry Memorial Prize for an outstanding doctoral thesis by the University of Oxford, a prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship by the British Society of Legal Scholars (formerly SPTL) for one of my books, and the Josephine Onoh Memorial Prize for best LLM student of the year by the University of Hull. I was awarded an FCO scholarship to Oxford for my doctoral studies and a British Council Scholarship for LLM studies at Hull.
I hold a DPhil in law from the University of Oxford, an LLM with Distinction from the University of Hull, and an LLB from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. I was called to the Bar of Nepal in 1981 and to the English Bar at the Middle Temple in 2007.
- Professor Subedi's CV [PDF: 316KB]
Scholarly and Research Interests
My current research interests include all major areas of international law, including international investment law, international human rights law, international watercourses law, the law of the sea, and WTO law.
Throughout my academic career, I have taught all major courses within international law.
I would be willing to consider good research proposals from strong candidates for research in any area of international law. Throughout my academic career, I have supervised eighteen doctoral students to successful completion and examined forty-two doctoral theses as an external examiner at most leading universities in the UK and abroad.
Subedi, S (2012) International Investment Law: Reconciling Policy and Principle (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2nd edition).
Subedi, S. (2011) ‘Problems and Prospects for the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in Dealing with Submissions by Coastal States in Relation to the Ocean Territory Beyond 200 Nautical Miles’, 26 The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers,, The Hague), pp.413–431.
Subedi, S. (2011) ‘Protecting Human Rights through the Mechanism of UN Special Rapporteurs’, 33 Human Rights Quarterly (The Johns Hopkins University Press, U.S.A.), 2011, pp. 201-228.
Chapters in Books
Subedi, S. (2012), ‘Ganges River’, in Rudiger Wolfrum (ed.), The Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Public International Law (Oxford University Press, Oxford), Vol. IV, pp.288-292.
Subedi, S. (2012) ‘Indus River’, in Rudiger Wolfrum (ed.), The Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Public International Law (Oxford University Press, Oxford), Vol. V, pp.157-160.
Subedi, S. (2010) ‘WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism as a New Technique for Settling Disputes in International Law’, in Duncan French, Matthew Saul and Nigel D. White (eds.), International Law and Dispute Settlement: New Problems and Techniques (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2010), pp.173-190.
Subedi, S. (2010) ‘Post-conflict Constitutional Settlement in Nepal and the Role of the United Nations’, in Morly Frishman and Sam Muller (ed.), The Dynamics of Constitutionalism in the Age of Globalisation (Hague Academic Press, The Hague, the Netherlands, 2010), pp.71-87.
- Full list of Professor Subedi's publications [PDF: 300KB]
Media Contact Areas
I am happy to speak to the press about the following issues.
- International boundary disputes
- International human rights law
- International watercourses law
- International trade and investment disputes.
- Room: 2.31, The Liberty Building
- Tel: 0113 343 4616
- Fax:0113 343 5056
- Email: email@example.com