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Professor Christian J Tams

Director of the GCILS

Christian J. Tams is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow and one of the directors of the GCILS. He also convenes the dual degree programme in international economic law. Christian is an expert in public international law, with special expertise in the law of treaties, State responsibility, dispute settlement and investment law. He studied law at the universities of Kiel, Lyon III, and Cambridge (LLM, 2000; PhD, 2004), and is a qualified German lawyer (admitted in 2005). Before joining the School of Law he was an assistant professor at the Walther Schücking Institute of International Law at the University of Kiel.

Christian is the review editor of the European Journal of International Law, a member of the Council of the German Society of International Law and of the Standing Steering Group of the International Law Association, and an emeritus fellow of the Young Academy of Scotland. Over the past years, has held visiting positions at universities in France, China, Japan, and Austria; and in 2018, directed the Centre of Research and Studies at The Hague Academy of International Law. An academic member of Matrix Chambers London, Christian is frequently instructed in international litigation, and in recent years, has acted in proceedings before the International Court of Justice, the Iran-US Claims Tribunal, and arbitral tribunals.


Enforcing Obligations Erga Omnes in International Law

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The concept of obligations erga omnes - obligations to the international community as a whole - has fascinated international lawyers for decades, yet its precise implications remain unclear. This book assesses how this concept affects the enforcement of international law. It shows that all States are entitled to invoke obligations erga omnes in proceedings before the International Court of Justice, and to take countermeasures in response to serious erga omnes breaches. In addition, it suggests ways of identifying obligations that qualify as erga omnes. In order to sustain these results, the book conducts a thorough examination of international practice and jurisprudence as well as the recent work of the UN International Law Commission in the field of State responsibility. By so doing, it demonstrates that the erga omnes concept is solidly grounded in modern international law, and clarifies one of the central aspects of the international regime of law enforcement. The dissertation, upon which this book is based, was awarded the 2005 Yorke Prize of the Faculty of Law of the University of Cambridge.