ACADEMIC STAFF
Prof. Kirsten Eve SELLARS
Assistant Professor
Tel (852) 3943 4318
Fax (852) 2994 2505
Email kirsten.sellars@cuhk.edu.hk
Office

Room 647,
Faculty of Law,
6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sha Tin, NT, Hong Kong SAR



Kirsten Sellars focuses on public international law — specifically, the law governing uses of force, law of the sea, and international criminal law — with particular emphasis on Asian perspectives. Her current book, ‘Crimes against Peace’ and International Law, addresses the issue of international aggression.

Her route into academia began with journalism, having written for various newspapers and magazines, including The Times, Guardian, New Statesman, Spectator, Los Angeles Times, Vogue and Arena. Her first book, The Rise and Rise of Human Rights (2002), was nominated as one of the books of the year in the New Statesman. Her second, ‘Crimes against Peace’ and International Law (2013), was published by Cambridge University Press, as is her latest, the edited volume, Trials for International Crimes in Asia (2015). Articles arising from her research have appeared in David Forsythe’s award-winning Encyclopedia of Human Rights (2009), and in journals including the Journal of International Criminal Justice, European Journal of International Law, and Edinburgh Law Review.

After completing her PhD at the School of Law, University of Aberdeen, she was appointed Postdoctoral Fellow, then Research Fellow, at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore (latterly based at the Faculty’s Centre for Asian Legal Studies). In 2014 she was a visiting fellow at the East-West Cluster of Excellence at the University of Heidelberg, and at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg. She will return to the Max Planck Institute in 2015 and 2016.

She has taught international criminal law and international human rights law at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore, and the School of Law, University of Aberdeen, and currently teaches jurisprudence and international human rights law. She has delivered speeches and lectures at many institutions, including the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Phnom Penh; the London School of Economics; Jindal Global Law School, Haryana; the University of Oxford; the Netaji Research Institute, Kolkata; the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Phnom Penh; and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. She has contributed to programmes on BBC Radio 4, the BBC World Service, ABC Radio (Australia), and NPR (United States), and has judged the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and Hong Kong Human Rights Moot Competition.

Research interests
  • Public International Law
  • Law of the Sea
  • Law of Armed Conflict
  • International Criminal Law
  • Human Rights/Humanitarian Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Legal History

Her current research interests include law of the sea, the Macaulay Code and its legacy, and the International Crimes Tribunals in Bangladesh. She welcomes proposals for postgraduate supervision in the fields of law of the sea, international criminal law, and the law governing the uses of force.

Publications

BOOKS

 

Reviews

'Kirsten Sellars … has put together a remarkable series of essays by authors of great expertise to chart the development from 1945 to date of international criminal trials in Asia.' — Steven Kay QC, Muslim World Book Review, April 2016

 

 

  • K. Sellars, ‘Crimes Against Peace’ and International Law (Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law) (Cambridge University Press, 2013, hardback edition).



 

Reviews

‘There are many good books on the road to international criminal law, but if you were to read just one, I would recommend this. Its lucid pungent analysis makes it a pleasure to read.’ — Neil Boister, Edinburgh Law Review, January 2014

‘Sellars does an excellent job of highlighting the various controversies and personality clashes that almost scuttled the early, and flawed, experiments in international criminal justice. She succeeds in synthesizing a narrative … in which the pertinent questions of international law… are placed in the context of great power politics.’ – Victor Kattan, Journal of International Criminal Justice, November 2013

‘Kirsten Sellars concentrates… on the formative period in the development of the idea of ‘crimes against peace’ in the years after the Great War through to the Nuremberg and Tokyo prosecutions that followed the Second World War. And with this focus, Sellars does a masterful job. Drawing heavily on period documents, many of them unpublished at the time, she provides a highly readable account of the fits and starts that accompanied the emergence of the notion that individuals may be prosecuted for a war of aggression.’ — John B. Quigley, International Affairs, September 2013

 

  • K. Sellars, In-gwon Geu Wiseon-eui Yeoksa (tr. Oh Seung-hoon) (Eunhaengnamu, 2003).





  • K. Sellars, The Rise and Rise of Human Rights (Sutton, 2002).





Selected as one of the books of the year in the New Statesman

Reviews

  • ‘It is the eradication of evil and cruelty in society that was the engine room of the human rights revolution, no better chronicled than in The Rise and Rise of Human Rights.’ – John Cooper QC, The Times
  • ‘This book is essentially a polemic, although a well-researched one, on the gap between appearance and reality with respect for the campaign for human rights’ — Stephen A. Garrett, International Affairs
  • ‘Kirsten Sellars’ Rise and Rise of Human Rights… challenges triumphalist multilateralist narratives about the abatement of traditional conceptions of sovereignty even as it highlights the way human rights ideas have come to the fore – and exerted influence – at moments when other ideals were exhausted or in abeyance’ — Elizabeth Borgwardt, Harvard Law School Legal History Colloquium
  • ‘Sellars has a sharp eye for colourful detail, and tells a good story’ — Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph


JOURNALS



CHAPTERS

RECENT CONFERENCE PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS
  • 25 August 2017: Presentation on 'Hobbesian Themes at the Red Fort Trial', CILRAP conference, 'Philosophical Foundations of International Criminal Law', Indian Law Institute, New Delhi.
  • 24 August 2017: Presentation on 'Decolonising the High Seas', Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, Haryana.
  • 24 August 2017: Paper presentation on 'Hobbesian Themes at the Red Fort Trial', School of Law, Governance and Citizenship, Ambedkar University, New Delhi.
  • 23 August 2017: Paper presentation on 'Hobbesian Themes at the Red Fort Trial', Centre for Historical Studies, SSSIII, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
  • 1 March 2017: Paper presentation on 'Rocking the Boat: The Paracels, the Spratlys and Other Features of the South China Sea Controversy', Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • 10-12 December 2016: Presentation on ‘The Evidentiary Turning Point at the Red Fort Trial’ at the ‘Thinking with Evidence: Seeking Certainty, Making Truth’ LASSnet conference, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
  • 24-26 November 2016: Paper presentation on ‘The Soviets’ Decisive Role in the Conceptualisation of the Crime of Aggression’ at the ‘State Socialism, Legal Experts and the Genesis of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law after 1945’ conference, Humboldt University of Berlin.
  • 3-5 October 2016: Paper presentation on ‘“Waging War against the King”: The Strange Afterlife of a British Colonial Law in Delhi, Tokyo and Dhaka’ at the ‘Law Between Global and Colonial: Techniques of Empire’ conference, Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki.
  • 9 March 2016: Presentation on 'Decolonising the High Seas: The Asian States' Interventions at the Law of the Sea Conferences', Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • 26-27 November 2015: Paper presentation on ‘The Making of the 1973-82 Law of the Sea Conference” at the 5th Biennial Conference of the Asian Society of International Law on ‘International Law and the Changing Economic and Political Landscape in Asia”, Bangkok.
  • 19 November 2015: Book launch for Kirsten Sellars' edited volume, Trials for International Crimes in Asia (Cambridge University Press), at the Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. This was addressed by Michael Y. Liu (Executive Director, Chinese Initiative on International Law), Professor Nina H. Jørgensen (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), and Kirsten Sellars.
  • 11-12 September 2015: Paper presentation on ‘Definitions of Aggression as Harbingers of International Change” at the ‘Reconceptualizing the Laws of War International Experts’ Meeting on the Illegal Use of Force’, convened by the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute and the Planethood Foundation, Washington University School of Law, St. Louis.
  • 3-4 September 2015: Presentation on ‘Lessons from Legal History’ at the Exploratory Workshop on the Legitimacy of International Criminal Law, University of Zürich.
  • 25 February 2015: Presentation on ‘Another Meaning of Treason: The Legacy of the Red Fort Trials in International Law’, Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • 23-24 January 2015: Presentation on ‘The Influence of the Red Fort Trials on International Law’ at the ‘Asia in Bengal, Bengal in Asia: 1900 to the Present’ conference, Netaji Research Bureau, Kolkata.
  • 3-5 December 2014: Paper presentation on ‘Hermann Jahhreiß, Takayanagi Kenzo, and the Crimes against Peace Charge’ at the ‘The Defence in International Criminal Courts’ conference, convened by the International Research and Documentation Centre on War Crimes Trials, Philipps-Universität Marburg.
  • 27-29 October 2014: Paper presentation on ‘Another Meaning of Treason’, at the ‘Rethinking Justice: Decolonization, Cold War, and War Crimes Trials’ conference, convened by the University of Heidelberg’s East-West Cluster of Excellence, University of Heidelberg.
  • 22 July 2014: Inaugural Lecture on ‘The Enduring Legacy of the Tokyo Dissents’, of the ‘Origins of International Criminal Law’ series, convened by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, and held at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.
  • 22 July 2014: Seminar on ‘The Concept of Aggression in International Criminal Law’ at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Phnom Penh.
  • 3-5 July 2014: Presentation on ‘Mr. Litvinov’s Legacy’ at the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law conference, ‘Towards International Peace through International Law’, Australian National University, Canberra.
  • 1-2 March 2014: Paper presentation on ‘Trying the Kaiser: The Origins of International Criminal Law’ at the ‘Historical Origins of International Criminal Law’ conference, convened by the Peking University Law Institute, the European University Institute, and City University of Hong Kong, and held at the latter.
  • 1-2 March 2014: Paper presentation on ‘Innovation and Orthodoxy at the 1945 London Conference’ at the ‘Historical Origins of International Criminal Law’ conference, convened by the Peking University Law Institute, the European University Institute, and City University of Hong Kong, and held at the latter.
  • 28 February 2014: Seminar on ‘Criminalising Aggression: Some Benefits, Some Pitfalls’, at the Centre for Rights and Justice, Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • 21 November 2013: Presentation on ‘New Meanings of Treason: The Remaking of Public International Law at the Red Fort Trials’ at Jindal Global Law School, Haryana.
  • 14-16 November 2013: Paper presentation on ‘The Legacy of the Tokyo Tribunal in International Law’ at the 4th Biennial Conference of the Asian Society of International Law on ‘Asia and International Law in the 21st Century’, New Delhi.
  • 17-18 October 2013: Convenor, ‘Trials for International Crimes in Asia’ conference, hosted by the Centre for Asian Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.
  • 17-18 October 2013: Paper presentation on ‘The Tokyo Tribunal’s Legal Hinterland’ at the ‘Trials for International Crimes in Asia’ conference, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.
  • 18 October 2013: Chair and convenor, ‘Roundtable on Trials for International Crimes in Asia — Past Experience, Future Developments’. Addressed by Judicial Commissioner Lionel Yee (Supreme Court of Singapore), Professor Robert Cryer (University of Birmingham), Professor Jia Bing Bing (Tsinghua University), Professor Komariah Emong Sapardjaja (Universitas Padjajaran, former Judge, Supreme Court of Indonesia), and Abdur Razzaq (Senior Advocate, International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh), and hosted by the Centre for Asian Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.
  • 12-13 September 2013: Presentation on ‘The Versailles Treaty: Blueprint for International Criminal Law’ at the ‘Inaugural Australian International Criminal Law Workshop’, convened by the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, University of Melbourne Law School.
  • 4-6 July 2013: Presentation on ‘The Stillbirth of International Criminal Law at the Paris Peace Conference’, at the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law conference on ‘Accountability and International Law’, Australian National University, Canberra.
  • 26 June 2013: Seminar on ‘Uses of Force and International Law’ at the ATLAS Agora, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.
  • 12 February 2013: Paper presentation on ‘Recurring Patterns of State Behaviour Since the Paris Peace Conference’, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.
FELLOWSHIPS
  • 2017-2018: Visiting Research Fellowship, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University;
  • 2017-2018: Visiting Research Fellowship, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London; 
  • July-August 2016: Visiting Fellowship, Max Planck Institute for Public Comparative and International Law, Heidelberg;
  • July-September 2015: Visiting Fellowship, Max Planck Institute for Public Comparative and International Law, Heidelberg;
  • September to December 2014: Visiting fellowship, University of Heidelberg’s East-West Cluster of Excellence, Heidelberg;
  • September to December 2014: Visiting Fellowship, Max Planck Institute for Public Comparative and International Law, Heidelberg;
  • July 2013-July 2104: Research Fellowship, Centre for Asian Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore;
  • July 2012-July 2013: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.
RECENT AWARDS
  • 2017: Nominated for the CUHK Faculty of Law's Teaching Excellence Award;
  • 2016-2017: Chinese University of Hong Kong's Direct Grant, 'Decolonising the High Seas';
  • 2015-2016: Chinese University of Hong Kong's Direct Grant, 'The Making and Breaking of the Law of the Sea Regime'.
MOOTING
  • 2016: Coach, Chinese University of Hong Kong team, Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition. The team won the White & Case Jessup Cup in the regional rounds — as well as awards for Best Applicant Memorial, Best Respondent Memorial (with City University), Best Oralist, and Second Runner-Up Oralist — and represented Hong Kong at the international rounds In Washington DC.
  • 2015: Finals Judge, Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition, Indonesian National Rounds, Jakarta;
  • 2015: Judge, Hong Kong Human Rights Moot, Hong Kong;
  • 2014: Judge, Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition, Indonesian National Rounds, Jakarta.
PEER REVIEWER
  • Cambridge University Press (Law)
  • Oxford University Press (Law)
  • University of Pennsylvania Press (Law)
  • Asian Journal of International Law
  • Australian Journal of Asian Law
  • European Journal of International Law
  • Journal of the History of International Law
  • Law & Social Inquiry: Journal of the American Bar Foundation
  • Leiden Journal of International Law
  • Millennium (LSE Journal of International Studies)
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
  • American Society of International Law
  • Asian Society of International Law
  • European Society of International Law