Philippe Sands QC

Philippe Sands QC

Professor of Law

+44 (0)20 3108 8375

You can now order Professor Sands’ latest book East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (order in the United States).


Also available to order: City of Lions (Pushkin Collection).

Read Philippe’s Eric Hobsbawm Lecture: East West Street: On The Origins Of Genocide And Crimes Against Humanity delivered at this year’s Hay Festival on Sunday 29 May,

As part of the book launch, Professor Sands will make the following appearances:

Saturday 2 September FT @ Kenwood House
Thursday 7 September Naples, Italy (European Society of International Law)
Sunday 10 September Strasbourg, France, Libraries Ideales, Opera House
Saturday 16 September

to Sunday 17 September

PEN Congress, Lviv, Ukraine
Friday 22 September

to Monday 25 September

Hay Festival Segovia, Spain
Wednesday 27 September Frontline Club, Paddington, London
Wednesday 4 October Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
Thursday 5 October ISREC, Parma, Italy
Friday 6 October Henley Literature Festival
Saturday 7 October Rendezvous de l’Histoire, Blois, France
Sunday 8 October Cheltenham Literature Festival
Wednesday 11 October Max Planck Institut, Luxembourg
Thursday 12 October Institute of Advanced Studies, London
Sunday 15 October Jewish Public Library, Montreal
Wednesday 18 October Bristol Festival of Ideas
Thursday 19 October Belfast International Arts Festival, Belfast
Tuesday 24 October Librairie Pedone, 13 rue Soufflot, Paris (with Astrid Busekist, translator)
Wednesday 25 October Libraririe Atout, 203bis Avenue Dumesnil, Paris
Thursday 26 October Memorial de la Shoah, Paris
Saturday 4 November

to Sunday 5 November

East West Street: A Song of Good and Evil, The Hague, Netherlands
Friday 10 November

to Saturday 11 November

Lviv Festival, Ukraine
Saturday 18 November

to Sunday 19 November

Mumbai International Literary Festival, India
Monday 27 November Middle Temple Historical Society
Wednesday 29 November Bonnart Lecture, London
Wednesday 10 January 2018 Center for Jewish History, New York
Monday 5 February Stockholm
Tuesday 6 February Lund
Monday 12 February Berlin East West Street: Song of Good and Evil
Saturday 17 February to Sunday 18 February In Conversation with Philippe, City Recital Hall Sydney
Tuesday 20 February Melbourne Law School
Wednesday 21 February Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall
Friday 23 February Elder Hall Adelaide with Hawke Centre
Saturday 24 February Queensland Conservatorium with Griffith University
Monday 26 February USC, Shoah Foundation, and UCLA, Los Angeles
Tuesday 27 February UC, San Diego
Tuesday 20 March Lewes Literary Society
Monday 23 April

to Friday 27 April

Japan (Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo)


Philippe Sands joined the Faculty in January 2002. He is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals in the Faculty, and a key member of staff in the Centre for Law and the Environment. His teaching areas include public international law, the settlement of international disputes (including arbitration), and environmental and natural resources law.

Philippe is a regular commentator on the BBC and CNN and writes frequently for leading newspapers. He is frequently invited to lecture around the world, and in recent years has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto (2005), the University of Melbourne (2005) and the Université de Paris I (Sorbonne) (2006, 2007). He has previously held academic positions at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, Kings College London and University of Cambridge and he was a Global Professor of Law at New York University from 1995-2003. He was co-founder of FIELD (Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development), and established the programmes on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the European Journal of International Law and Review of European Community and International Environmental Law (Blackwell Press). In 2007 he served as a judge for the Guardian First Book Prize award.Philippe Sands joined the Faculty in January 2002. He is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals in the Faculty, and a key member of staff in the Centre for Law and the Environment. His teaching areas include public international law, the settlement of international disputes (including arbitration), and environmental and natural resources law.

As a practicing barrister he has extensive experience litigating cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, and the European Court of Justice. He frequently advises governments, international organisations, NGOs and the private sector on aspects of international law. In 2003 he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel. He has been appointed to lists of arbitrators maintained by ICSID and the PCA.


Professor Sands directs the Project on International Courts and Tribunals ( The project has the following aims and objectives:
- to facilitate access to and transparency in the work of international courts and tribunals;
- to enhance the effectiveness of international courts and tribunals;
- to promote greater knowledge about international courts and tribunals; and 
- to promote international peace through international justice and rule of law.

The project is doing research into policy, legal and operational, issues in the administration of international justice in the twenty-first century, such as the composition and independence of the international bench. In 2006 the Centre for International Courts and Tribunals was awarded an AHRC grant of £250,000 to examine the appointment of international judges.

View Philippe’s research profile on the UCL IRIS website



The International Court of Justice and Nuclear Weapons, (collection of essays edited with Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Cambridge University Press, 1999)

Principles of International Environmental Law, Manchester University Press, 1995 (Vols. I, II and III); 2nd edition to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2003.

The Manual of International Courts and Tribunals, (with Shany and Mackenzie), Butterworths, 1999

Bowett’s Law of International Institutions, Sweet & Maxwell, 5th edition, 2001 (co-author with Pierre Klein, Universite Libre de Bruxelles)

Principles of International Environmental Law, Second Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2003

Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules, (Penguin, 2005) (translated into Arabic (2006) and Farsi (2007), Chinese translation forthcoming(2008))..

East West Street,  Alfred Knopf/Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2016

City of Lions, Pushkin Press, 2016

Edited Books

Greening International Law (editor), Earthscan, 1993

Environmental Law, The Economy and Sustainable Development, (co-edited with Richard Stewart and Richard Revesz) Cambridge University Press, 2000

Justice for Crimes Against Humanity, Hart Publishing, 2003 (edited with Mark Lattimer)

Documents in International Environmental Law, Cambridge University Press, 2004 (edited with Paolo Galizzi)

From Nuremberg to The Hague: The Future of International Criminal Justice, Cambridge University Press, 2003 (editor)

Recent Articles

‘Chernobyl: Law and Communication’, 340 pp. (Grotius Publications/Cambridge University Press) 1988.

Newspaper Articles

Guardian Comment is Free, Weblog:

Guardian profile, including articles

Op-Ed, ‘Policymakers on torture take note — remember Pinochet‘, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 November 2005

Debate with Professor John Yoo, World Affairs Council of Northern California, ‘America is Undermining Global Legal Order … Or Not?‘, 31 October 2005 

Current Teaching


Law and Policy of International Courts & Tribunals
International Environmental Law