UCL Laws Research: Academics

Alex Mills   ALEX MILLS
BA (Sydney), LLB (Sydney), LLM (Cambridge), PhD (Cambridge)
Senior Lecturer

contact details:
Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 5057 | internal: x55057
Email: a.mills@ucl.ac.uk

Alex Mills joined UCL in September 2011 from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Fellow and College Lecturer at Selwyn College and an Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Law from 2006-2011. He holds undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Law from the University of Sydney, Australia, and practised for three years as a Solicitor in Sydney before completing an LLM and a PhD (awarded the Yorke Prize in 2007) in Law at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge.

Alex has published, taught and given presentations to both academic conferences and legal professionals, widely and internationally. He has held visiting academic positions at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign Private Law and Private International Law in Hamburg, Columbia University School of Law in New York, the University of Nancy II in France, and the University of Sydney in Australia. In 2009 he was awarded an Early Career Fellowship from the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge. In 2010, he was awarded the American Society of International Law’s inaugural Private International Law Prize (“recognizing an exceptional article in the field of private international law”). He has been consulted on private international law issues by government departments, legal practitioners and non-governmental organisations, and has served as an expert witness on matters of English and European private international law.

Alex’s research covers a range of topics in Public International Law and Private International Law (also known as the Conflict of Laws), and he is particularly interested in areas which cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries, including international investment law and arbitration, transnational law, and globalisation and governance.


Articles/book chapters::

Case notes, book reviews and blog posts:

  • “A Tale of Two Presumptions”, Symposium on Kiobel v Royal Dutch Shell decision of the US Supreme Court, Opinio Juris, 18 April 2013
  • “From Russia with Prejudice? The Act of State Doctrine and the Effect of Foreign Proceedings Setting Aside an Arbitral Award”, Case note on Yukos Capital SARL v OJSC Rosneft Oil Company [2012] EWCA Civ 855, (2012) 71 Cambridge Law Journal 465-8
  • Book review of Calliess, G-P and Zumbansen, P, “Rough Consensus and Running Code: A Theory of Transnational Private Law”, (2012) 75(3) Modern Law Review 451-3
  • “The Kosovo Advisory Opinion: If you don’t have anything constructive to say…?”, Case note on Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo, ICJ Advisory Opinion of 22 July 2010, (2011) 70 Cambridge Law Journal 1-4
  • Book review of Davies, M, Bell, AS and Brereton, PLG, “Nygh’s Conflict of Laws in Australia” (8th edn, 2010), [2011] Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 151-2
  • “The Formalism of State Sovereignty in Territorial and Maritime Disputes”, Case note on Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v Colombia) Preliminary Objections (Judgment of 13 December 2007) and Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (Malaysia/Singapore) (Judgment of 23 May 2008), (2008) 67(3) Cambridge Law Journal 443-7
  • “Arbitral jurisdiction and the mischievous presumption of identity of foreign law”, Case note on Tamil Nadu Electricity Board v ST-CMS Electric Company Private Limited [2007] EWHC 1713 (Comm), (2008) 67(1) Cambridge Law Journal 25-27
  • “Fear and Mayhem in Equatorial Guinea: Justiciability in Public and Private International Law”, Case note on Mbasogo v Logo [2006] EWCA Civ 1370, (2007) 66 Cambridge Law Journal 3-6
  • “Renvoi and the Proof of Foreign Law in Australia”, Case note on Neilson v Overseas Projects Corporation of Victoria Ltd [2005] HCA 54, (2006) 65 Cambridge Law Journal 37-40

Working papers:

Selected recent Lectures, Seminars and Conference Papers

  • “Private International Law and Peer Governance”, Symposium on the Future of International Law and Global Governance, Swansea University, June 2013
  • “Normative Individualism and Jurisdiction in Public and Private International Law”, Scrymgeour Seminar, Dundee Law School, November 2012
  • “The Kiobel decision and Jurisdiction in Public and Private International Law”, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington DC, November 2012 (Co-sponsored by the American Society of International Law)
  • “The Identities of Private International Law – Learning from the US and EU Revolutions”, What is Private International law?, Duke University, North Carolina, November 2012
  • “Normative Individualism and Jurisdiction in Public and Private International Law: Toward a ‘Cosmopolitan Sovereignty’?”, Inaugural Conference: Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law, University of Cambridge, May 2012
  • Towards a Public International Perspective on Private International Law: Variable Geometry and Peer Governance”, Private International Law as Global Governance Workshop Series, Sciences Po, Paris, April 2012
  • “Rediscovering the Public Dimension of Private International Law”, Commemorative Conference: Inspiration and Innovation in International Law and Politics, 100 Years Nobel Peace Prize Tobias Asser, Peace Palace, The Hague, December 2011
  • “Private International Law, Pluralism and Global Governance”, International Law Forum, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, November 2011
  • “Justice and the Europeanisation of Private Law”, Justice, Centre of Excellence in Foundations of European Law and Polity Research, Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, September 2011
  • “Normative Individualism and Jurisdiction in Public and Private International Law: Toward a ‘Cosmopolitan Sovereignty’?”, Sovereignty in Question (W. G. Hart Legal Workshop), Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, June 2011
  • “Party Autonomy in Non-Contractual Private International Law Disputes”, Journal of Private International Law Conference, Milan, April 2011
  • “International Economic Law – An Overview”, Foreign and Commonwealth Office International Law Course, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, September 2010 and September 2009
  • “The Foundations and Limits of Party Autonomy: Private International Law and Non-State Regulation”, International Law Association Biennial Conference, The Hague, August 2010
  • “Conceptions of Public and Private in International Investment Law”, Society of International Economic Law Biennial Conference, Barcelona, July 2010
  • “The Limits of Party Autonomy in Contractual Choice of Law and Choice of Forum”, Lipstein Memorial Law Colloquium, Clare College, University of Cambridge, May 2010
  • “The Uncertain Status of International Investment Law: Between the Bilateral and the Universal?”, International Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration Conference: Evolution and Revolution in Substance and Procedure, Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney, February 2010
  • “The Confluence of Public and Private International Law”, Seminar, Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney, January 2010

Current Teaching
Conflict of Laws (convenor)

Foundations and Principles of International Law (convenor)
International Commercial Litigation (convenor)

PhD Supervision
Alex Mills welcomes approaches for supervision from prospective PhD students.


page updated on 23 January, 2014