Profile Douglas joined the Faculty of Laws in September 2007, after submitting his doctoral dissertation “Shipping Interdiction and the Law of the Sea” at the University of Cambridge. During his graduate studies Douglas held a British Council Chevening Scholarship and a Gates Cambridge Trust Scholarship.
Douglas had previously worked as a judge’s associate in the Federal Court of Australia and as associate to the President of the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal. He has also worked as a litigation solicitor in Sydney.
Douglas regularly gives talks on and speaks to the media about law of the sea issues, especially matters relating to high-seas piracy, continental shelf claims and the use of force at sea. He has prepared reports for NGOs and government clients on law of the sea matters, and was appointed in 2009 to prepare a report on treaty-based jurisdiction over pirates for the legal issues working group of the Contact Group on Piracy off Somalia (a grouping of over 100 government and industry lawyers). He remains involved in that working group, and recently acted as Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry into Somali piracy.
His articles on the law of piracy for International and Comparative Law Quarterly are among that journal’s most downloaded. He has also published on the law of stopping and searching ships at sea, migrant smuggling, theories of liability in international criminal law and the law of naval warfare.
Douglas’s main research interests include
the law of the sea;
the international law of jurisdiction;
international and transnational criminal law; and
international law and migrant labour.
Shipping Interdiction and the Law of the Sea (Cambridge University Press, 2009), lv + 374 pp.
Responsibility for Collective Atrocities: Fair Labelling and Approaches to Commission in International Criminal Law’ (2011) 64(1) Current Legal Problems, 32 pages (first published online), doi:10.1093/clp/cur006.
‘The Mavi Marmara incident and blockade in armed conflict’ (2011) 81 British Yearbook of International Law, 53 pages (first published online), doi:10.1093/bybil/brr002.
‘Combating Piracy: Executive Measures on High Seas', (2010) 53 Japanese Yearbook of International Law 149-177.
‘Transnational Criminal Law as a Governance Strategy in the Global Labour Market: Criminalizing Globalization from Below', (2010) Refugee Survey Quarterly 185-205.
‘The Laws of War and the Fight against Somali Piracy: Combatants or Criminals' (2010) 11 Melbourne Journal of International Law 141-153.
‘Counter-Piracy Law Enforcement and Human Rights' (2010) 59 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 141-169.
‘Piracy Off Somalia: UN Security Council Resolution 1816 and IMO Regional Counter-Piracy Efforts' (2008) 57 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 690-699.
‘Interdicting vessels to enforce the common interest: maritime countermeasures and the use of force on the high seas' (2007) 56 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 69-82.
‘Maritime interdiction of weapons of mass destruction' (2007) 12 Journal of Conflict and Security Law 1-36.
‘The Proliferation Security Initiative: Interdicting vessels in international waters to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction?' (2005) 29 Melbourne University Law Review 733-764.
‘Nulyarimma v Thompson: is genocide a crime at common law in Australia?' (2001) 29 Federal Law Review 1-36.
Chapters in books
‘Human Rights Issues and Non-Flag State Boarding of Ships’ in C. R. Symmons (ed), Selected Contemporary Issues in the Law of the Sea (Martinus Nijhoff, 2011).
‘The legal challenges in fighting piracy' in Bibi van Ginkel and Frans-paul Van Der Putten (eds), The International Response to Somali Piracy (Martinus Nijhoff, 2011)
Case notes and book reviews
‘Mevedyev and Others v. France, European Court of Human Rights' (2010) 25 International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 437-442.
‘ Complementarity in the Rome Statute and National Criminal Jurisdictions by Jann K. Kleffner' (2010) 126 Law Quarterly Review 484-7
‘ Accountability for Human Rights Atrocities in International Law: Beyond the Nuremberg Legacy by Steven R Ratner Jason S Abrams and James L Bischoff' (2010) 59 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 527-529
‘ Amnesty for Crimes against Humanity under International Law by Faustin Z. Ntoubandi' (2008) 6 Journal of International Criminal Justice 824-825
‘ Handbook of International Law By Anthony Aust', (2006) 55 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 769-770
‘ Great Powers and Outlaw States: Unequal Sovereigns in the International Legal Order by Gerry Simpson'  64 The Cambridge Law Journal 505-506
Current Teaching (on leave in 2012-13) Undergraduate
Public International Law
Graduate (on leave in 2012-13)
International Criminal Law (course convenor)
International Law of the Sea (course convenor)
Douglas Guilfoyle welcomes approaches from prospective doctoral students.
The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.
Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.
IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014
The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.
The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.