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University of Bedfordshire
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Dr Silvia Borelli

Director of Research, Principal Lecturer in Public International Law

Dr Silvia Borelli

I joined the School of Law as Principal Lecturer in International Law and Director of Research in 2011. I am currently the Director of the School’s Centre for Research in Law (CRiL) and the Academic coordinator of the Refugee Legal Assistance Project (RLAP).

Prior to joining the University of Bedfordshire, I was a Research and Teaching Fellow in the Faculty of Laws, University College London (UCL) and a Research Fellow at the Catholic University of Milan.

I specialise in public international law, with a particular focus on international and European human rights law, international humanitarian law and international refugee law.

My current research focuses on counter-terrorism and human rights; the protection of fundamental rights in the context of extraterritorial military operations and the compatibility of immigration control measures with human rights standards.

I have extensive experience of large scale collaborative research, including through involvement in a project on cultural diversity and human rights, supported by the Italian Ministry for Universities, an EU-funded (FP7) research project investigating the impact of the decisions of international courts and tribunals on domestic prosecutions of mass atrocities (DOMAC) and an ESRC-funded project on international territorial administration.

In my capacity as academic consultant for human rights NGOs, I have been involved in a wide range of human rights cases, including before the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the House of Lords.

I have been a Visiting Fellow at the British Institute of Public International Law (BIICL), the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge, and the Faculty of Law at Reykjavik University. I am regularly invited to teach as a Visiting Professor at the University of Trento and the University of Parma in Italy.

Qualifications

  • Degree in Law (laurea) - University of Parma
  • Masters in International Relations - University of Bologna
  • PhD in Public International Law - University of Milan
  • Avvocato - Italian Bar (non-practising)
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Teaching Expertise

  • Public International Law (UG and PG)
  • International Human Rights Law (UG and PG)
  • International Humanitarian Law (PG)
  • Use of Force / War Law (PG)
  • Foreign Relations Law (PG)
  • European Human Rights Law (UG and PG)

Research Interests

My current research interests include:

  • The international protection of migrants and asylum seekers
  • Human rights in armed conflict
  • The extraterritorial application of international human rights obligations
  • Counter-terrorism and human rights
  • Cultural diversity and human rights (in particular issues relating to the right to manifest and practice one's religion)
  • Access to justice for asylum seekers and refugees.

Research Supervision

I currently supervise five doctoral students within the Centre for Research in Law. I am happy to consider supervising students in any of my areas of research interest, as listed above.

External Roles

  • Member of the Peer Review College of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (2012-2015)
  • Member, Lawyers Advisory Committee, Peace Brigades International UK (PBI UK)
  • Senior Research Fellow and Affiliated Faculty, Transnational Law Institute, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London
  • Cultore della materia, Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza, University of Parma
  • Academic consultant to NGOs specialising in international human rights advocacy
  • Member of the Society of Legal Scholars, the International Law Association (British Branch) and the Human Rights Lawyers’ Association
  • External Examiner, LLB (Hons) and LLB (Hons) Online, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Selected Publications

Edited Volumes

  • S. Borelli and F. Lenzerini (eds), Cultural Heritage, Cultural Rights, Cultural Diversity: New Developments in International Law (Martinus Nijhoff, 2012)

Journal Articles / Book Chapters

  • ‘The (Mis)-Use of General Principles of Law: Lex Specialis and the Relationship between International Human Rights Law and the Laws of Armed Conflict’, in L. Pineschi (ed.), General Principles of Law – The Role of the Judiciary (Springer, 2015), pp. 265–293 (available at ssrn.com/abstract=2575076)
  • Jaloud v. The Netherlands and Hassan v. United Kingdom: Time for a principled approach in the application of the ECHR to military action abroad’, Questions of International Law, vol. 2, issue 16 (2015), pp. 25–43 (available at www.qil-qdi.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/03_Jaloud_BORELLI_FIN1.pdf)
  • ‘Extraordinary Rendition, Counter-Terrorism, and International Law’, in B. Saul (ed.), Research Handbook on Terrorism and International Law (Edward Elgar, 2014), pp. 361–378 (pre-publication version available at ssrn.com/abstract=2432083)
  • ‘Troubled Waters in the Mare Nostrum: Interception and “Push-backs” in the Mediterranean and the European Convention on Human Rights’, Uluslararası Hukuk ve Politika – Review of International Law and Politics, vol. 10 (2014), pp. 29–69, (with B. Stanford) (available at ssrn.com/abstract=2431658)
  • ‘Article 8’, in C.J. Tams and R. O’Keefe (eds), The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property: A Commentary (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 124–136 (with Simon Olleson)
  • ‘Article 9’, in C.J. Tams and R. O’Keefe (eds), The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property: A Commentary (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 137–151 (with Simon Olleson)
  • ‘Domestic Investigation and Prosecution of Atrocities Committed during Military Operations: The Impact of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights’, Israel Law Review, vol. 46 (2013), pp. 369–404
  • 'Of Veils, Crosses and Turbans: The European Court of Human Rights and the Protection of Cultural Diversity in Europe', in S. Borelli and F. Lenzerini (eds), Cultural Heritage, Cultural Rights, Cultural Diversity: New Developments in International Law (Martinus Nijhoff, 2012), pp. 55-82
  • 'Rendition, Torture and Intelligence Cooperation', in H. Born, I. Leigh, A. Wills (eds), International Intelligence Cooperation: Challenges, Oversight and the Role of Law (Routledge, 2011)
  • 'Countermeasures: Obligations Relating to Human Rights and Humanitarian Law', in J. Crawford, A. Pellet and S. Olleson (eds), The Law of International Responsibility (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 1177-1196 (with Simon Olleson)
  • 'Allontanamento dello straniero dal territorio e norme internazionali per la tutela dei diritti umani', in L. Zagato (ed.), Verso una disciplina comune europea del diritto d'asilo (CEDAM, 2006), pp. 99-122
  • 'Estradizione, espulsione e tutela dei diritti fondamentali', in L. Pineschi (ed.), La tutela internazionale dei diritti umani: norme, garanzie, prassi (Giuffrè, 2006), pp. 773-800
  • 'Le riserve ai trattati sui diritti umani', in L. Pineschi (ed.), La tutela internazionale dei diritti umani: norme, garanzie, prassi (Giuffrè, 2006), pp. 724-751
  • 'Casting Light on the Legal Black Hole: International Law and Detentions Abroad in the "War on Terror"', International Review of the Red Cross, vol. 87 (2005), no. 857, pp. 39-68
  • 'Implementation of the Rome Statute in Italy', Finnish Yearbook of International Law, vol. 16 (2005), pp. 163-195 (with Paola Sacchi)
  • 'The Treatment of Terrorist Suspects Captured Abroad: Human Rights and Humanitarian Law', in A. Bianchi (ed.), Enforcing International Law Norms Against Terrorism (Hart Publishing, 2004), pp. 39-61
  • 'The Rendition of Terrorist Suspects to the United States: Human Rights and the Limits of International Cooperation', in A. Bianchi (ed.), Enforcing International Law Norms Against Terrorism (Hart Publishing, 2004), pp. 331-373
  • 'Terrorism and Human Rights: Treatment of Terrorist Suspects and Limits on International Cooperation', Leiden Journal of International Law, vol. 16 (2003), pp. 803-820
  • 'Estradizione e pena di morte: considerazioni in margine alla sentenza della Corte Suprema del Canada nel caso Burns', Rivista Internazionale dei Diritti dell'Uomo, vol. 51 (2001), pp. 76-110

Shorter Pieces / Book Reviews

  • "State Responsibility", in Oxford Bibliographies in International Law (ed. Tony Carty. Oxford University Press, 2012), see oxfordbibliographiesonline.com/obo/page/international-law
  • "Towards a Less Secular Europe? The Decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Lautsi v. Italy", ASIL Insight, vol. 15, issue 12 (May 2011), available at www.asil.org/insights/volume/15/issue/12/towards-less-secular-europe-decision-grand-chamber-european-court-human
  • Review of G. Blum and P. Heymann, Laws, Outlaws and Terrorists: Lessons from the War on Terrorism (MIT Press, 2010), Critical Studies on Terrorism, vol. 4 (2011), pp. 302-307
  • Editorial Review, 'Challenges to Security and the Rule of Law in the Fight Against Terrorism: Judicial Responses from the Commonwealth', Commonwealth Human Rights Law Digest – Special Issue on Security and Rule of Law (Autumn 2008), pp. xviii-xxxii
  • 'Editorial: Positive Obligations of States and the Protection of Human Rights', INTERIGHTS Bulletin, vol. 15:3 (May 2006), pp. 101-104
  • 'Balancing National Security Concerns and Individual Rights in the Fight against Terrorism: The ICJ's Advisory Opinion on "The Wall"', INTERIGHTS Bulletin, vol. 15:1 (November 2004), pp. 32-34

Contact Details

T: +44 (0)1582 743015
E: silvia.borelli@beds.ac.uk

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