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Ralph Wilde  

B.Sc. (Econ.) International Relations, LSE, 1995; CPE, City University, London, 1996; MA (Law), City University, 2004; Diploma in European Human Rights Law, European University Institute, Florence, 1998; LL.M., Cambridge University, 1999; Ph.D., Cambridge University, 2003

contact details:
Room 240, Bentham House
phone: +44 (0)20 7679 1491 | internal: x21491 | fax: +44 (0)20 7679 1429



Ralph Wilde is working full-time on research until September 2017. During this time he will not be teaching, and will not be available for dissertation supervision, including doctoral supervision.


Ralph Wilde has been a member of the Law Faculty at University College London, University of London since July 2002. He was formerly a Supervisor in International Law at Trinity, Corpus Christi and St. Edmund’s Colleges, Cambridge, a Guest Lecturer at the Cambridge University Law Faculty, and the Henry Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Yale Law School. Since joining UCL Ralph has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Texas Law School, an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, a Senior Global Research Fellow at NYU Law School, a Visiting Faculty Member at the Central European University in Budapest, a Senior Fellow at Melbourne University School of Law, and a Visiting Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles.

Ralph is an expert in public international law, and also has an interest in the interface between international law and related academic disciplines, including international relations and legal and political theory.   

Ralph’s research included work on the administration of territory by international organizations and the concept of trusteeship in international law and public policy. His monograph on this topic, International Territorial Administration: How Trusteeship and the Civilizing Mission Never Went Away (OUP, 2008), won the Certificate of Merit (book prize) of the American Society of International Law in 2009. He is currently continuing his work on the extraterritorial application of human rights law.  His publications on this topic include ‘Legal “Black Hole”?:  Extraterritorial state action and international treaty law on civil and political rights’ (2005) 26(3) Michigan Journal of International Law 739 – 806.  
More information about his research, and a list of publications, is contained in his CV; a separate list of conference presentations can be found here.

For his research Ralph has been awarded grants from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the British Academy and the Nuffield Foundation, and a Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust. In 2010 the UK Leverhulme Trust awarded him a Philip Leverhulme Prize, which is given to UK-based academics under 40 who are judged to be ‘outstanding scholars who have made a substantial and recognized contribution to their particular field of study, recognized at an international level'.

In 2012 Ralph was awarded a €1.1 million Starting Grant (in the ‘consolidator’ category) from the European Research Council. This is funding a five-year interdisciplinary project on the extraterritorial application of human rights law, covering both civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development. The project will provide a critical treatment of the law and policy in this area applying a range of methodological approaches from cognate disciplines, including political theory, feminist theory, post-colonial theory and international history. The project, on which Ralph will work full-time, began in February 2013.

Ralph is regularly invited to speak on international law matters at conferences and universities, and has been involved in organizing international law events. Details are contained in his CV and conference presentations list.

Ralph is a member of the Executive Board of the European Society of International Law, the Advisory Panel on Public International Law of the British Institute for International and Comparative Law, and the Peer Review Council of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. He previously served as Academic Secretary of the British Branch of the International Law Association (ILA), and as one of the two UK representatives on the international ILA Executive Council, from 2004-2011. Ralph was also Rapporteur of the ILA Study Group on UN Reform, and Co-Rapporteur of the ILA Committee on Human Rights. He was formerly a Trustee and member of the Board of Directors of the AIRE (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) Centre in London, and a member of the Advisory Board of the UCL Centre for International Courts and Tribunals, the Steering Committee of the UCL Institute for Human Rights, the UK Lawyers’ Committee of Peace Brigades International, the governing boards of the LSE and the University of London, the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, the executive Committee of the UK Human Rights Lawyers’ Association, and the Advisory Committee of International Lawyers for Africa. Ralph is a member of the editorial advisory boards of the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law, the London Review of International Law, and the journal Global Change, Peace & Security. He was previously joint book review editor of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, a member of the editorial boards of the Yale Journal of International Law and the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, and a member of the editorial advisory boards of Current Legal Problems and the International Journal of Statebuilding.

Click here to listen to Ralph discussing the international law of self-determination on BBC Radio 4.

Click here to listen to Ralph discussing the International Court of Justice case concerning Kosovo's independence declaration (the interview is at about the 36.10 minutes mark)

This page last modified 16 May, 2014 by Laws Webmaster