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Appointment
  • Reader
  • Faculty of Laws
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Biography

Before joining UCL, Ralph was a Supervisor in International Law at Trinity, Corpus Christi and St. Edmund’s Colleges, Cambridge, a Guest Lecturer at the Cambridge University Law Faculty, and the Henry Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Yale Law School.

Since joining UCL, Ralph has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Texas Law School, an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, a Senior Global Research Fellow at NYU Law School, a Visiting Faculty Member at the Central European University in Budapest, a Senior Fellow at Melbourne University School of Law, a Visiting Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, a Senior Visiting Researcher at the Fundação Casa Rui Barbosa, Rio de Janeiro, a Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Paraiba, João Pessoa, Brazil, a Senior Visiting Fellow at Al Quds University, Palestine, a Visiting Research Professor at Tel Aviv University, Israel, a Visiting Fellow at the British School in Athens, and a Visiting Professor at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro.

Ralph is a Senior Research Associate at the Refugee Law Initiative of the Human Rights Consortium of the University of London School of Advanced Studies, and a member of the UCL Migration Research Unit, the UCL Refuge in a Moving World Network, the Advisory Panel on Public International Law of the British Institute for International and Comparative Law.

Ralph previously served as Academic Secretary of the British Branch of the International Law Association (ILA), and as one of the two UK representatives on the international ILA Executive Council, from 2004-2011. He was also Rapporteur of the ILA Study Group on UN Reform, and Co-Rapporteur of the ILA Committee on Human Rights. He was formerly a Trustee and member of the Board of Directors of the AIRE (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) Centre in London, and a member of the Advisory Board of the UCL Centre for International Courts and Tribunals, the Steering Committee of the UCL Institute for Human Rights, the UK Lawyers’ Committee of Peace Brigades International, the governing boards of the LSE and the University of London, the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, the Executive Board of the European Society of International Law, the executive Committee of the UK Human Rights Lawyers’ Association, the Advisory Committee of International Lawyers for Africa, the Peer Review Council of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Advisory Board of the ‘Legal Tools For Peace-Making’ Project at Cambridge University.

Ralph is a member of the editorial advisory boards of the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law and the London Review of International Law. He was previously joint book review editor of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, a member of the editorial boards of the Yale Journal of International Law and the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, and a member of the editorial advisory boards of Current Legal Problems, the International Journal of Statebuilding and the journal Global Change, Peace & Security.

Research Summary

Ralph welcomes enquiries from prospective doctoral students in all areas of public international law - ralph.wilde@ucl.ac.uk

Ralph is an expert in public international law, and also has an interest in the interface between international law and related academic disciplines, including international relations and legal and political theory.  His CV, including publication list, is downloadable from the link at the right (viewed on a computer) or the bottom (viewed on a phone) of this page.

Ralph’s research has included work on the administration of territory by international organizations and the concept of trusteeship in international law and public policy. His monograph on this topic, International Territorial Administration: How Trusteeship and the Civilizing Mission Never Went Away (OUP, 2008), won the Certificate of Merit (book prize) of the American Society of International Law in 2009. He is currently continuing his work on the extraterritorial application of human rights law.

More generally, Ralph’s research covers the following topics: general international law; the law and practice of colonialism, occupation, international territorial administration, the League of Nations Mandate System and the UN Trusteeship System, ‘state-building’ and ‘post-conflict reconstruction’; the concept of trusteeship over people in international law and public policy; the extraterritorial activities of states, and the application of international law, including human rights law and refugee law, to this activity; the law and policy relating to forced migration, including refugees and internally displaced people; the administration of refugee and IDP camps by UNHCR; international organizations, including the UN, notably issues of legal responsibility, applicable law, immunities and reform; human rights law and overseas aid policy; the relationship between different areas of international law; international legal theory; state immunity and its interface with international criminal law and international human rights law; the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court; human rights law in wartime and occupation situations, and its relationship to the law of armed conflict, occupation law, and rights/obligations emanating from UN Security Council Resolutions; the law and practice of statehood and recognition of statehood, in general and in relation to the territories of the former Yugoslavia, notably Kosovo, in particular; international interventions in the following places: the territories of the former Yugoslavia, especially Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eastern Slavonia and Kosovo; East Timor; Western Sahara; the Palestinian Territories; Jerusalem; West Irian; Leticia, Danzig and the Saar in the 1920s and 1930s; the Congo in the 1960s; South West Africa/Namibia before independence.

For his research Ralph has been awarded grants from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy and the Nuffield Foundation, and a Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust. In 2010, the Leverhulme Trust awarded him a Philip Leverhulme Prize, which is given to UK-based academics under 40 who are judged to be ‘outstanding scholars who have made a substantial and recognized contribution to their particular field of study, recognized at an international level’.

In 2012 Ralph was awarded a €1.1 million Research Frontier Grant (in the ‘Consolidator’ category) from the European Research Council. This is funding a five-year interdisciplinary project, Human Rights Beyond Borders, on the extraterritorial application of human rights law, which runs until August 2018.  More information at the link to 'Human Rights Beyond Borders' under 'Research Activities' on the right (viewed on a computer) or the bottom (viewed on a phone) side of this page.

Teaching Summary
1 Doctoral student supervision

-Mathew Nicholson (now a member of the Law Department at Durham University)
-Alejandro Carballo Lleyda (now General Counsel of the International Energy Secretariat)

2 Public International Law course teaching

-Cambridge: LLB tutorials for Trinity, Corpus Christi and St Edmund’s Colleges, 1999-2001 
-Central European University, Budapest: undergraduate law degree course, as Convenor, 2011 Georgetown University Law Center: course for JD students, as Convenor, 2005-9 
-LSE: LLB tutorials, 1999-2000 
-Texas University Law School: JD course, as Convenor, 2004 
-UCL: LLB course, part of the course, 2002-10 (Co-Convenor, 2003–4)  

3 War Law (international law on the use of force and the law of armed conflict/IHL) course teaching 

-UCL: LLM course, as Convenor, 2007-10 

4 International Human Rights Law course teaching 

-Institute for Commonwealth Studies, University of London: guest lectures on MA course on ‘human rights law and practice’, 2000-2001 
-SOAS, University of London: guest lectures on the LLM course on ‘human rights in the developing world’, 2000-2001 
-UCL: LLM course, 2002-10 (Convenor, 2002–6) 
-University of Notre Dame Law School (in London): JD intensive summer course, as Convenor, 2004 

5 United Nations Law course teaching 

-UCL: LLM course, as Convenor, 2003 – 6

6 Human Rights Beyond Borders: the Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Law course teaching

-Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro: intensive graduate law degree course, as Convenor, 2017
-Federal University of Paraiba, João Pessoa, Brazil: intensive graduate law degree course, as Convenor, 2015
-European University Institute, Florence (summer course for law undergraduate and graduate students, focusing on socio-economic rights), 2013
-Melbourne University: intensive LLM course, as Convenor, 2011 and 2013 
-University of California in Los Angeles Law School: intensive JD course, as Convenor, 2012 
-Xiamen Academy of International Law: summer course for law undergraduate and graduate students, and early-career academics, 2010

7 International Territorial Administration and Trusteeship Over People in International Law and Policy course teaching

-Texas University Law School: JD seminar course, as Convenor, 2004  

8 European Human Rights Law course teaching 

-Cambridge University: guest lectures on LLB course, 1999-2002 
-UCL: LLM course, 2008-10  

9 External examining for other universities  

-Cambridge University: External examiner for master’s and doctoral dissertations 
-Oxford University: External examiner for master’s and doctoral dissertation  
-LSE: External examiner for doctoral dissertation 
-Essex University: External examiner for doctoral dissertation 
-Tel Aviv University: External examiner for doctoral dissertation

Academic Background
2003 LLD Doctor of Laws – International Law Trinity College Cambridge
2000 MA Master of Arts – Law City University
1999 LLM Master of Laws – International Law University of Cambridge
1998 Dipl. Diplom – Law European University Institute, Florence
1996 Dip. Diploma – Law City University
1995 BSc Bachelor of Science – International Relations London School of Economics and Political Science
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