As a practising Barrister Professor Malcolm Shaw has developed an international reputation for advising on territorial disputes; law of the sea; state succession; state immunity; recognition of foreign governments and states; human rights; self-determination, international arbitration and international organisations. Advice has been given to the UK Government Legal Department, Army Prosecuting Authority, CPS, and a varied and significant number of foreign governments, as well as international organisations, multinational corporations and private clients. He has appeared before the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Justice, the Court of Final Appeal (Hong Kong), the High Court of Ireland, the UK Supreme Court, the House of Lords, the Court of Appeal and the High Court of England.
In addition to a varied and wide international practice, he has also had an extensive career in the academy, having been Head of a Law School, and a member of the national Law Panels for both the 1996 and 2001 Higher Education Funding Council’s Research Exercises, as well as a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Review of Law in 2005. He was the Founder and First Director of the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, 1983 and is also the author of a widely-cited textbook on international law now in its eighth edition (2017) and of the fifth edition of Rosenne’s multi-volume work on the Law and Practice of the International Court of Justice (2016). He has been a Trustee of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and is Member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR). He was elected an associé of the Institut de Droit International in 2013.
He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris Ouest, Nanterre, France and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He has given a considerable number of papers at home and abroad, including before the UN Security Council and in Hong Kong. He has also given the Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures at the University of Cambridge and the inaugural General Course on International Law at the Academy of International Law, University of Xiamen, China.
Selected Clients & Work
Government of Azerbaijan in inter-state applications before the European Court of Human Rights (2020-)
Government of the United Arab Emirates in cases before the International Court of Justice (CERD and ICAO cases) (2017-9)
Government of Malaysia (lead counsel) in its two applications for the revision and interpretation respectively of the Malaysia/Singapore judgment of the International Court (2016-8)
Government of Ukraine in commercial arbitration cases against Russia (eg. Law Debenture Trust case) (2016-)
Government of Azerbaijan on human rights issues before the European Court of Human Rights (2012 – 9) and on human rights and territorial issues generally before the United Nations (2012-20)
Government Legal Department on diplomatic materials (Bancourt (3) before Court of Appeal and Supreme Court) (2015 -7)
Government of Serbia on questions relating to Kosovo before the International Court of Justice (2008-10).
Government of Cameroon on boundary issues before the International Court of Justice (1994- 2002 and 2011).
Government of Ireland on neutrality and armed conflicts (Horgan) (2003)
Army Prosecuting Authority on international humanitarian law issues (Payne).
Treasury Solicitor on questions of international law concerning terrorism and self-determination, 1999 (Shafiq ur Rehman).
Treasury Solicitor on questions of justiciability and immunity (Noor Khan) (2011-4)
Government of Cyprus on state succession (Feb 1996), Security Council resolutions (Jan-Feb 1996), egregious human rights violations (May 1996), issues before the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (1997) and certain issues concerning sovereignty (Spring 1999).
Treasury Solicitor on questions of independence and succession in a shipping case, 1998 (R v Foreign and Commonwealth Office, ex parte ITWF).
Crown Prosecution Service on international law issues concerning torture and immunity, 1998 (re Pinochet).
Treasury Solicitor on the status of Germany in an extradition case, 1995, (re Anthony).
Government of the Province of Quebec on state succession in 1992, 1995 and 2002; and on territorial issues, 1995 (the latter being a substantial and widely disseminated 100 page joint opinion).
Government of Chad on boundary issues before the International Court of Justice (1990-1994).
Governments of Singapore, Azerbaijan, Peru, Rwanda, Serbia, Tanzania, Indonesia and Hong Kong on assorted questions of international law, plus other foreign governments and international organisations whose identities are currently covered by confidentiality.
Malcolm Shaw has also advised international organisations on constitutional issues and oil companies and other multinational corporations on relevant international legal issues, including interpretation of concessions, production sharing agreements, constitutional issues, corporate liability, international treaties and state succession. Expert opinions have also been given in domestic and international commercial proceedings on relevant questions of international law.
Issues upon which advice has been given include territorial disputes; law of the sea; state succession; state immunity; recognition of foreign governments and states; human rights; self-determination; secession; treaties, and international investment arbitration questions.
- What others say
“Well known for the quality of his advocacy and very learned too.”
“A very nice guy who is brilliant and very easy to get along with.”
Chambers UK 2016 – Public International Law
‘He handles even the hardest questions with ease – that only comes from being a master of international law.’
Legal 500 2016
“He has a well-established position as one of the leading practitioners in international law in the world and is among the very first tier of experts.” “Powerful and persuasive, he has sound judgement.”
Chambers UK 2015 – Public International Law
“He is not only a leading academic, but also an absolute delight to work with.”
Legal 500 2014 – Public International Law
Senior Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge;
Emeritus Sir Robert Jennings Professor of International Law;
Associé of the Institut de Droit International