UCL Faculty of Laws


Prof Roger O'Keefe

Visiting Professor

Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Sep 2014

Research summary

Professor O’Keefe is a generalist public international lawyer with a variety of specialist interests. He has published widely on canonical topics of public international law, such as the sources of international law, the law of treaties, the relationship between international and domestic law, statehood and admission to the United Nations, title to territory, jurisdiction and immunities, and state responsibility, as well on topics in the subfields of international criminal law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and international cultural heritage lawHis latest book, International Criminal Law (Oxford University Press), appeared in summer 2015, and follows The Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict(Cambridge University Press, 2006, paperback reissue 2011) and The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property: A Commentary(Oxford University Press, 2013, co-edited with Christian J. Tams). In 2004 he was awarded the Journal of International Criminal Justice Prize for his article ‘Universal Jurisdiction: Clarifying the Basic Concept’.

Teaching summary

On the LL.B., Professor O’Keefe convenes and is one of the lecturers for Public International Law (LAWS3014). On the LL.M., he convenes and is sole lecturer for International Criminal Law (LAWSG085) and International Cultural Heritage Law (LAWSG180), and is one of the lecturers for Foundations and Principles of International Law (LAWSG174), War Law II: International Law of Armed Conflict (LAWSG056B), and the Law of Treaties (LAWSG178).


Professor O’Keefe has been Professor of Public International Law at UCL since September 2014. Prior to this, he taught for fifteen years at the University of Cambridge, where was Senior Lecturer in Law, Deputy Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, and Fellow of Magdalene College. He took a B.A. in History and Italian and his LL.B. (with First Class Honours) from the University of Sydney, Australia, before coming to the UK to take his LL.M. (with First Class Honours and the Clive Parry Prize for International Law) and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He has been a visiting professor at Central European University, Budapest, since 2009, and in 2015 was Distinguished Visiting Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. He has taught courses in public international law at the Hague Academy of International Law and the Xiamen Academy of International Law, at universities in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Myanmar, and Spain, and on the United Nations International Law Fellowship Programme, and he has recorded several lectures for the United Nations Audiovisual Library of Public International Law. He is on the Conseil scientifique of the Revue Belge de Droit International, the peer review committees of the German Yearbook of International Law and Spanish Yearbook of International Law, the advisory boards of the Hungarian Yearbook of International and European Law, the Journal of Philosophy of International Law and the monograph series Cultural Heritage Law and Policy (Oxford University Press), and the editorial board of the monograph series Philosophy, Public Policy, and Transnational Law (Palgrave-Macmillan). He has given evidence before the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, has spoken before the Committee of Legal Advisors on Public International Law of the Council of Europe, and in 2009 was a member and the co-rapporteur of the African Union-European Union Technical Ad hoc Expert Group on the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction.