UCL Faculty of Laws

Prof Alex Mills

Prof Alex Mills

Professor of Public and Private International Law

Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Sep 2011

Research summary

Professor Mills' research covers a range of issues in and around the fields of Public International Law and Private International Law (also known as the Conflict of Laws). One key theme of his research is an examination of the way that different areas of international legal regulation are conceived as public or private, or a mixture of the two, and the way that different public and private interests are balanced in various areas of international legal practice. He is the author of The Confluence of Public and Private International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Party Autonomy in Private International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2018), and co-author of Cheshire North and Fawcett's Private International Law (15th edition, Oxford University Press, 2017). In private international law, Professor Mills' research covers all core topics, including jurisdiction, choice of law, the recognition and enforcement of judgments, and arbitration, with a focus on commercial disputes. In public international law, his research has focused on questions of jurisdiction, state immunity, and international investment law, but he has taught a range of topics including sources (treaties, customary international law, general principles, etc.), legal personality, statehood and self-determination, dispute settlement, and questions of the constitutionalisation and fragmentation of international law. He is also interested in areas of international legal research and practice which cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries, including foreign relations law, global governance, sports arbitration, and transnational (non-state) law.

Professor Mills' research has been published in internationally leading journals and edited collections, and he has given presentations at academic conferences around the world. 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 (as an International Visiting Research Fellow) at the University of Sydney in Australia. 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”), and in 2015 he served on the panel of judges for the prize. In 2015 he was Director of Studies for the Private International Law Programme of the Hague Academy of International Law. He is a member of the International Law Association Committee on the Protection of Privacy in Private International and Procedural Law, the Academic Research Panel of Blackstone Chambers, the Academic Review Board of the Cambridge Journal of International Law, and the Editorial Board of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly. He has been consulted on public and private international law issues by government departments, legal practitioners and non-governmental organisations, and has also served as an expert witness in foreign courts on matters of English and European private international law.

Teaching summary

International Commercial Litigation (LLM) (Convenor)

Foundations and Principles of International Law (LLM) (Co-Convenor)

Conflict of Laws (LLB)

Professor Mills has supervised a number of PhD students in the Faculty of Laws through to the successful award of their Doctorates, and welcomes applications from prospective research students. (In addition, he is presently Director of Research Studies in the Faculty of Laws, which means he has administrative oversight for the PhD programme.)

Professor Mills is also Co-Director of the UCL Public International Law Pro Bono Project, which brings together LLM and PhD students with a background in international law and provides them with opportunities to get first hand practical experience in public international law.


University of Cambridge
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2007
University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, Master of Laws | 2003
University of Sydney
First Degree, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) | 1998
University of Sydney
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1996


Professor 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 to 2011. He holds undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Law (both with first class honours) from the University of Sydney, Australia, and practised for three years as a Solicitor in Sydney before completing an LLM (first class) and a PhD (awarded the Yorke Prize in 2007) in Law at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge.