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The Glasgow Centre for International Law and Security (GCILS) is a world-leading hub for cutting-edge research in international law and security. As a group of around 40 academics and doctoral researchers, we seek to contribute to a better understanding of major challenges facing the international legal community. In addition to analysing international law and proposing solutions to practical legal challenges, our research encompasses theoretical, comparative, historical and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Drawing on our recognised expertise in international law, we regularly engage not only with colleagues in academia, but also a wide range of community organizations, through frameworks such as the Glasgow Human Rights Network, the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network, and the Global Security Network.

Our research can be grouped into seven main areas, covering a broad range of topics relating to international law and security.

Specialist Areas

Recent Projects

International Security, Peace & Conflict

The Beyond Compliance Consortium

17th May 2024

  The Beyond Compliance Consortium is a partnership between the University of York, the University of Glasgow, Utrecht University, and six humanitarian NGOs, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, War Child UK, Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre, Center for Civilians in Conflict, Centre on Armed Groups and Fight for Humanity.  The Consortium, led by the University of York, includes Dr Rebecca Sutton as Co-Investigator at the University of Glasgow, together with Dr Iona Cismas (University of York), Dr Katharine Fortin (Utrecht University), Dr Ezequiel Heffes (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict), and other partners.  Funded with UK International Development from the UK government, the consortium is developing a three-year theoretical, empirical, and operational research programme “Building Evidence on Promoting Restraint by Armed Actors.” The research centres local communities’ everyday lived experiences of armed conflict and aims to contribute to the effective prevention and reduction of humanitarian need and civilian harm, and the facilitation of a broader protective environment in war. Dr Sutton said: “The urgent challenges that communities caught up in armed conflict are facing right now cannot be met by any single actor, nor by one body of…

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International Security, Peace & Conflict

EU Sanctions on Russia and the International Rule of Law

2nd May 2024

In September 2023, Dr James Devaney was awarded a re:constitution fellowship for a project entitled “Using EU Sanctions on Russia to Compensate Ukraine: Norm Collision and the Protection of the International Rule of Law in Europe”. This will see Dr Devaney undertake two mobility periods, the first with the Berlin-Potsdam Research Group (KFG) “International Law: Rise or Decline?” at the Freie Universität Berlin, and the second with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first Fellows Meeting took place at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin from 19-21 October. Using EU Sanctions on Russia to Compensate Ukraine: Norm Collision and the Protection of the International Rule of Law in Europe In February 2023 the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union announced the setting up of a Working Group to examine the possibility of using frozen Russian assets to compensate Ukraine. Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson stated at the time, “Russia must pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine. At the same time, this poses difficult questions. This must be done in accordance with EU and international law, and there is currently no direct model for this.” The current research project asks: can such a model…

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International Security, Peace & Conflict

Youth, Peace, and Conflict

18th April 2022

  Around the world, more than 600 million young people live in fragile and conflict-affected contexts today. Despite being deeply affected by violence in a myriad of ways, young people’s voices are not sufficiently heard in the processes of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. The active role young people play as peacemakers, mediators and peacebuilders at grassroots and local levels are under-acknowledged. Beyond peacebuilding, young people display ownership, agency and leadership in diverse areas that are of significance to local, regional, national and international peace and security, ranging from climate change to tackling inequalities. Yet, the achievements of young people are hindered due to the absence of adequate recognition, protection, funding and meaningful partnerships. Developed as a result of a youth-driven advocacy process, the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda of the United Nations for the first time recognises “the important and positive contribution of youth in efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security” (UNSC Resolution 2250). It is within this context that our research investigates the role of youth as agents of peace, exploring a range of interconnected issues including peacebuilding, justice, development, humanitarianism, migration, conflict and security, and human rights with a youth-participatory and multidisciplinary approach. …

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