Book Launch: Torts in UK Foreign Relations by Dr Uglješa Grušić
Dr Uglješa Grušić, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Laws, University College London
Dr Haim Abraham, Lecturer in Law at the Faculty of Laws, University College London
The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and the Conflict of Laws Discussion Group are delighted to host the launch of the book Torts in UK Foreign Relations by Dr Uglješa Grušić.
The book offers the first comprehensive account of private international law aspects of tortious claims arising out of the external exercise of British executive authority.
Can English courts hear tortious claims for wrongs allegedly committed by British armed forces and security services during their overseas operations? Should English courts hear such claims? What law governs issues raised by such claims? Can foreign judgments given on such claims be recognised and enforced in the UK?
Many questions such as these have arisen in relation to cases dealing with the tortious liability of the UK government and its officials for extraterritorial public acts committed during the conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and the 'war on terror'. Torts in UK Foreign Relations examines the English courts' treatment of such issues and offers a better understanding of this contested area of private international law. It shows that a defining characteristic of such tortious claims is that they are often subjected to the choice-of-law process and lead to the application of foreign law. Further, the author clarifies the nature of the doctrines operating in this field, maps out the relationship between different jurisdictions and rules that are engaged, and criticises the current approach to choice-of-law, while arguing that English tort law should play a more prominent role.
Comprehensive and methodological, Torts in UK Foreign Relations will appeal widely to academics, practitioners, and students in the fields of private international law, foreign relations law, tort law, and public law.
Dr Uglješa Grušić
Dr Grušić joined the UCL Faculty of Laws in September 2016, before which he taught at the University of Nottingham, the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Belgrade. He obtained his undergraduate degree in law from the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade, his LLM from the University of Nottingham, and his PhD (as a Wedderburn Scholar) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was also a visiting research student at Sciences Po in Paris, France.
Dr Grušić's research covers a range of issues in the field of private international law. His research has focused on the European private international law of employment and on the interplay between private international law and human rights, particularly on the private international law issues raised by tortious claims arising out of the external exercise of British executive authority and civil claims against multinational enterprises for overseas human rights violations. His research also covers all core areas of private international law, including jurisdiction, choice of law and recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. His other research interests include the regulatory function of private international law, foreign relations law, civil remedies for human rights violations, unjust enrichment in private international law and international commercial arbitration, particularly the issues of arbitral jurisdiction, choice of law and the relationship between domestic courts and arbitral tribunals.
Dr Grušić is a co-convenor of the LLB Conflict of Laws module and the Course Director of the Notarial Practice Course, in which he convenes the Private International Law module. And he teaches on the LLM International Commercial Litigation module. He has also taught Contract Law and Tort Law at the LLB and International Arbitration at the LLM. He is currently supervising one PhD student and welcomes approaches for supervision from prospective PhD students for research projects that fall within his area of expertise.
Dr Grušić has been consulted on private international law issues by European Union bodies, government departments, policy organisations and legal practitioners and has served as an advisor and an expert witness in court and arbitral proceedings, including before the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.
Professor Kate O'Regan
Kate O'Regan is the inaugural Director of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and a former judge of the South African Constitutional Court (1994 – 2009). In the mid-1980s she practiced as a lawyer in Johannesburg in a variety of fields, but especially labour law and land law, representing many of the emerging trade unions and their members, as well as communities threatened with eviction under apartheid land laws. In 1990, she joined the Faculty of Law at UCT where she taught a range of courses including race, gender and the law, labour law, civil procedure and evidence. Since her fifteen-year term at the South African Constitutional Court ended in 2009, she has amongst other things served as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court of Namibia (from 2010 - 2016), Chairperson of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in trust between the police and the community of Khayelitsha (2012 – 2014), and as a member of the boards or advisory bodies of many NGOs working in the fields of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and equality.
Dr Roxana Banu
Roxana Banu is a fellow and associate professor in law at Lady Margaret Hall and the Faculty of Law. Prior to joining Oxford University, she was a lecturer in private international law at Queen Mary University Faculty of Law and an Assistant Professor of Law at Western Law School in Canada.
Roxana read law at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she was awarded the DAAD Prize for outstanding results of a foreign student. She obtained her LL.M. magna cum laudae from Fordham Law School in New York, where she received the Edward J. and Elizabeth V. Hawk award for outstanding results. Her doctorate degree is from the University of Toronto, where she was awarded the Alan Marks Medal for the best graduate thesis and the Strauss Fellowship in International Law.
Roxana’s interests lie in private and public international law, legal history, and feminist theory. In legal history, she published on the nineteenth century intellectual history of private international law and on the history of private international law during the time of the League of Nations. She is currently working on a project on the history of private international law in the colonial context and on a social history of interwar cross-border family maintenance conventions.
Her work in legal theory focused on mid 20th-century theories of justice in private international law and on connecting moral contractualism to those theories of justice. She is the co-editor of the first volume on Philosophical Foundations of Private International Law, forthcoming with OUP in the series “Philosophical Foundations of Law.”
In feminist history and theory Roxana wrote on relational feminist perspectives on private international law, for which she received the 2016 ASIL Private International Law Interest Group Award. She also unearthed the role of female social workers in the history of private international law. She is currently working on an account of the pervasiveness of questions of gender in the theoretical and methodological development of private international law.
Dr Haim Abraham
Dr. Haim Abraham is a Lecturer in Laws. Dr Abraham holds a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from the University of Toronto, a Master of Law degree from the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor of Law degree combined with the Interdisciplinary Honours Program in the Humanities from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he was on the editorial board of the Israel Law Review. Dr Abraham was Co-Chair of the Institute for Law, Politics and Philosophy in 2023-23. Prior to joining UCL Faculty of Laws in 2021, Dr. Abraham was a Lecturer in Law at the University of Essex School of Law, and before his return to academia, Dr. Abraham served as a Law Clerk at the Israel State Attorney Office, Civil Department. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Abraham consulted various Ministries and Non-Governmental Organizations in the areas of tort law, surrogacy, and parental status, such as the Ministry of Health of Israel and Israel's LGBT Task Force.
Dr Ekaterina Aristova
Ekaterina is an academic and a lawyer specialising in the field of business and human rights. Her work focuses on strategic human rights and environmental litigation. She examines how conventional private law doctrines evolve in response to global challenges and are used creatively in different jurisdictions to foster human rights and environmental accountability. Ekaterina is a co-editor of ‘Civil Remedies and Human Rights in Flux’ (Hart Publishing 2022) and ‘Civil Liability for Human Rights Violations: A Handbook for Practitioners’ (Bonavero Institute of Human Rights 2022). She is also an author of a forthcoming book, ‘Tort Litigation against Transnational Corporations in the English Courts: The Challenge of Jurisdiction’ (OUP 2024), a revised manuscript of a PhD thesis completed at the University of Cambridge.
Since 2019, Ekaterina has been a Research Fellow at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights (Faculty of Law, University of Oxford), where she convenes a course ‘Business and Human Rights - Real World Accountability’ and supervises postgraduate students. In 2022, she was awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to complete a project on climate change litigation against corporations. Ekaterina is regularly invited as a guest lecturer and speaker to teach or talk about international litigation, ESG governance, climate change and business and human rights.
In the last few years, Ekaterina also served as a consultant on several research projects that have sought to strengthen corporate accountability for human rights violations. Prior to commencing my academic career, she practised corporate law, specialising in all aspects of M&A transactions, completing a training contract in White & Case’s Moscow office before spending seven years as a senior in-house lawyer at two leading Russian investment companies.
You can follow Ekaterina on Twitter.