Jesus College

Turl Street, Oxford OX1 3DW

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01865 287256


Ewan Smith is the Shaw Foundation Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College. He is an Associate at the Bonavero Institute for Human Rights, the Programme for the Foundations of Law and Constitutional Government and the Oxford University China Centre.

Ewan read law at Brasenose College and the University of Paris (B.A.) and at Harvard Law School (LL.M.). He has previously worked at Trinity and Hertford Colleges and at Peking, Tsinghua and Renmin Universities in China. He is admitted to practice in New York, where he worked for Debevoise and Plimpton LLP. Before returning to Oxford, he spent ten years at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Ewan’s work explores how rules govern powerful institutions, with a focus on foreign affairs law and comparative public law. His doctorate examines the constitutional role played by political rules in Britain and China. His research over the next two years will look at how the constitution regulates political parties, how treaties will shape the post-Brexit constitutional landscape, and why the law treats foreign policy differently to other government business.

Ewan convenes the faculty's Public Law Discussion Group.


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  • E Smith, 'The Rule of Law in Party Documents' (2019) China Law and Society Review (forthcoming)
  • E Smith and Eirik Bjorge, 'The United Kingdom' in Fulvio Maria Palombino (ed), Duelling for Supremacy: International Law and National Fundamental Principles (Cambridge University Press 2019) (forthcoming)
    ISBN: 9781108475266
  • E Smith, 'Acts of State in Belhaj and Rahmatullah' (2018) 134 Law Quarterly Review 20 [Case Note]
  • E Smith, 'The Rule of Law Doctrine of the Politburo' (2018) 79 China Journal 40

Research projects