Dr Elizabeth Stubbins Bates

Junior Research Fellow in Law
Research

I work on international humanitarian law (IHL) also known as the law of armed conflict; and international human rights law (IHRL). My research focuses on procedural obligations in IHL: those relating to its implementation and enforcement, and whether and how these norms might be better used to prevent violations of international law in armed conflict. In addition to the Junior Research Fellowship at Merton, I am a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC), and an Early Career Fellow at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights.

Work in Progress or Under Review
  • ‘Proportionality, but Not as You Know It: The UK’s Operational Legacy Investigations on Iraq’.
  • ‘Military Training in International Humanitarian Law’ (in progress).
  • ‘International Humanitarian Law Compliance: Is it Time for a New Approach?’ (in progress).
  • ‘Due Diligence Norms in International Humanitarian Law’ (in progress)
Publications

Journal Articles and Authored Books

Conference Proceedings

  • ‘‘Law of Warcraft’: New Approaches to Generating Respect for the Law, Introductory Remarks by Elizabeth Stubbins Bates’, 108 (2014) Proceedings of the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting 275.
  • ‘From Assertion to Solid Methodology in Customary International Human Rights Law’, 103 (2009) Proceedings of the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting 492.

Short Notes

  • ‘Introductory Note: Hassan v. UK (European Court of Human Rights)’ 54(1) (2015) International Legal Materials 83.
  • ‘Introductory Note: Margus v. Croatia (European Court of Human Rights)’ 53(5) (2014) International Legal Materials 751.
  • ‘Introductory Note: Situation in Kenya, Prosecutor v. Muthaura, Kenyatta & Ali (Int’l Crim. Ct.)’ 51 (1) (2012) International Legal Materials 17.

Research Reports

Scholarly Blogs

Impact and Knowledge Exchange
  • Shared my research at a panel discussion in The Hague on the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor’s preliminary examination of the UK in Iraq.
  • Co-authored with Stuart Wallace and Noelle Quenivet a response to the UK Ministry of Defence consultation on Legal Protections for Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans serving in operations outside the United Kingdom.
  • My article for the ICLQ was cited by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in its Follow-up Communication to the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor, in relation to the latter’s preliminary examination activities on the UK and Iraq, July 2019.
  • Having been awarded a University Knowledge Exchange Seed grant, I am establishing the Oxford Forum for International Humanitarian Law Compliance, a series of five workshops on IHL’s norms of implementation and enforcement. At the first of these workshops, state representatives and scholars will share insights on the obligation to instruct the armed forces in IHL, and will build a collaborative rubric for states to share their practice in military training in IHL. The Forum is supported by the Oxford Law Faculty, the Oxford Institute of Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC), and the University of Adelaide Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics (RUMLE), 2019-2020.
  • My research findings on the British Army’s training in international humanitarian law, and on the closure of Ministry of Defence (MOD) investigations into ‘lower-level allegations of ill-treatment’ were cited in the Joint Civil Society Alternative report to the UN Committee against Torture on the practice of the UK. This was considered by the Committee in May 2019.
  • Co-organised a conference of scholars, military and civil society practitioners to reflect on the first anniversary of the judgment in Alseran v. MOD, 2019.
  • Shared my research findings with BBC Panorama for their pending work on Ministry of Defence (MOD) investigations into alleged torture in British military detention in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2019.
  • Shared my research findings with Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture (Q-CAT), 2018-2019.
  • Shared my findings from doctoral research with members of the Army Legal Services Operational Law Branch, 2018.
  • Participated in the Network for Critical Engagement with the Defence Establishment (Cardiff, 17 April 2018; RUSI, London, 17 May 2018).
  • Co-authored with Lutz Oette written evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on the Government’s Proposed Derogation from the ECHR (Centre for Human Rights Law, SOAS, University of London 2017).
Conference Presentations

‘A Collaborative Rubric for State Reporting on Military Training in International Humanitarian Law’, Keynote, Oxford Forum for International Humanitarian Law Compliance, Blavatnik School of Government and Law Faculty, University of Oxford, 27 March 2020 (postponed).

‘International Humanitarian Law Compliance: Is it Time for a New Approach’, Oxford Consortium for Human Rights, Magdalen College, University of Oxford, 18 March 2020 (postponed).

‘The Application of the European Convention on Human Rights to Military Operations’ (discussant, following the presentation of Dr Stuart Wallace), Bonavero Discussion Group, University of Oxford, 21 January 2020.

‘The Duty to Disobey Unlawful Orders’, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) Work-in-Progress Seminar, 17 January 2020.

‘Proportionality, but Not as You Know It: The UK’s Operational Legacy Investigations on Iraq’, Bonavero Perspectives, University of Oxford, 5 December 2019.

‘Fighting Double Standards at the ICC: Torture by UK Forces in Iraq’, panel discussion organised by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), REDRESS, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International; The Hague, 1 October 2019.

‘“Lower-Level… Ill-Treatment” and the UK’s Investigations into Alleged Violations of International Law in Iraq’, Bonavero Discussion Group, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Oxford, 30 April 2019.

‘The British Army’s Training in International Humanitarian Law’, The Alseran Case One Year On: International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, and Future Military Operations; Leigh Day and the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, 25 January 2019 (recording available here).

‘Can training troops in international law help to prevent torture in armed conflict?’, Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture (Q-CAT) Conference 2018 – Preventing Torture: Effective Action, Friends House, London, 3 November 2018.

'New Developments in International Humanitarian Law Training’, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Symposium on Changing the Narrative on International Humanitarian Law (invited participant), Geneva, 27 September 2017.

‘Laconic Norms of Prevention in International Humanitarian Law’ University of Nottingham Security Group (invited talk), 9 November 2015.

‘Solving the Conundrum between Training and Compliance in International Humanitarian Law’, Sociological Inquiries into International Law II, University of Toronto, 9-10 October 2015. 

‘The Neglected Architecture of Justice in International Humanitarian Law’, International Law Association British Branch conference, 29-30 May 2015.

‘Epistemic Injustice in the Al-Sweady Public Inquiry’ SOAS School of Law PhD Colloquium, 21 May 2015.

‘Is Dissemination Enough? The Evolution of the Obligation to Train the Armed Forces in International Humanitarian Law’, International Society of Military Law and the Laws of War British Branch, invited talk, 15 May 2015.

‘Hegemonic Masculinities and UK State Practice in Interrogation in Iraq, University of Ulster Symposium on Occupation, Transitional Justice and Gender, 8 May 2015. 

‘Silence and Meta-Narrative in the Baha Mousa and Al-Sweady Public Inquiries’, UCL Postgraduate and Early Careers Conference, 3 November 2014.

‘Towards Effective Military Training in International Humanitarian Law’ University of Manchester School of Law Postgraduate Research Masterclass, 15 October 2014.

‘Law of Warcraft: New Approaches to Generating Respect for the Law’ (moderator), American Society of International Law Annual Meeting and International Law Association Biennial Meeting, 11 April 2014. 

‘Interpretive Complexity and the International Humanitarian Law Principle of Proportionality’, (co-organised panel and wrote fact patterns for discussion) American Society of International Law Annual Meeting and International Law Association Biennial Meeting, 10 April 2014.

‘Training Military Personnel in International Humanitarian Law: What Works to Prevent Atrocities in Armed Conflict?’, SOAS School of Law PhD Colloquium, 22 January 2014.

‘Training Troops in International Humanitarian Law: New Thoughts on Compliance Theory’, Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Annual Meeting, University of Edinburgh, UK, 5 September 2013.

‘Is Dissemination Sufficient to Promote Compliance with International Humanitarian Law?’, Opinio Juris Emerging Voices Symposium, 13 August 2013.

‘Testing the Effectiveness of the British Army’s Training in International Humanitarian Law’, American Society of International Law (ASIL) 2nd Research Forum, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 20-21 October 2012.

‘From Assertion to Solid Methodology in Customary International Human Rights Law’ American Society of International Law Annual Meeting, Research Showcase (Poster Session), 27 March 2009.