University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

James Green

Teaching the following modules:

  • LLB: Foundations of International Law, International Law
  • LLM: The Use of Military Force, Introduction to International Law

Research Division Leader for Law

Areas of interest

Public international law: the use of force (particularly self-defence), customary international law, the law relating to cyber warfare, nuclear non-proliferation law and space law.


James joined the School of Law in 2006, and was promoted to Professor of Public International Law in 2015. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford (2017–2018) and the University of Michigan (2005).

James' primary research interests are the international law on the use of force (particularly self-defence) and the formation of customary international law.

He is the author of The Persistent Objector Rule in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2016), which was the winner of the European Society of International Law Book Prize 2017, and The International Court of Justice and Self-Defence in International Law (Hart Publishing, 2009), which was the winner of the Francis Lieber Prize 2010 awarded by the American Society of International Law. He has also edited three book collections, and has authored numerous book chapters and articles published in leading journals around the world.

James is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal on the Use of Force and International Law (Routledge). He is the co-rapporteur of the International Law Association's 'Use of Force: Military Assistance on Request' Committee, and sits on the Advisory Council for the Institute for International Peace and Security Law (Cologne, Germany). His research has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada and the UN's International Law Commission.

James is an alumnus of the University of Reading, having attained both his LLM (by thesis) and his LLB degrees here prior to his doctoral studies at the University of Nottingham.

Academic qualifications

LLB (Hons) (Reading), LLM by thesis (Reading); PhD (Nottingham)

Conference papers and presentations

  • "Hope and International Law", opening keynote address at the 3rd Postgraduate Conference in International Law and Human Rights, hosted by the International Law and Human Rights Unit at the University of Liverpool, Liverpool, 17 June 2019.
  • "Understanding the Persistent Objector Rule" presented at UCL Faculty of Laws (under the auspices of the British Branch of the International Law Association), London, Oxford, 23 January 2019.
  • "Planetary Defence: Asteroids, Nuclear Weapons and International Law" presented as part of the University of Oxford's Public International Law Discussion Group (convened under the auspices of the British Branch of the International Law Association, University of Oxford Faculty of Law and Oxford University Press), All Souls College, Oxford, 23 November 2017.
  • "The Persistent Objector Rule in the Work of the International Law Commission" presented at the at the biennial conference of the Italian Branch of the International Law Association, Università Carlo Cattaneo-LIUC, Castellanza, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017.
  • "The Chilcot Report: Some Thoughts on International Law and Legal Advice" presented at the After Chilcot: Evaluating the Legal Implications of the Iraq Inquiry symposium, at the University of Liverpool's London Campus, 8 December 2016 (co-presentation with Stephen Samuel).
  • "The Persistent Objector Rule in International Law" presented at the University of Lincoln, 16 November 2016.
  • "Russia/Ukraine: Passportisation and the Protection of Nationals Revisited" presented at the Moscow's Hybrid War in Ukraine symposium, co-organised by the University of Bournemouth and the Swedish National Defence College, Bournemouth, 25 February 2015.
  • "International Law within the Public Consciousness of the United Kingdom, with a Focus on the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry" presented at the ESCR-funded Commissions of Inquiry: Problems and Prospects workshop at the University of Liverpool, 16 January 2015 (co-presentation with Stephen Samuel).
  • "The Self-Defence Reporting Requirement" presented at a staff work-in-progress seminar, University of Reading, 4 December 2013.
  • "The Requirement that Self-Defence Actions are Reported to the United Nations Security Council" presented at the University of Liverpool, 27 November 2013.
  • "Report on Self-Defence" presented to the Open Working Session of the Committee on the Use of Force at the International Law Association Biannual Conference, Sofia, Bulgaria, 28 August 2012.
  • "Cyber-Attacks Under International Law" presented at the International Society for Military Sciences Annual Conference, Tartu, Estonia (hosted by the Baltic Defence College), 9 November 2011.
  • "India as a Persistent Objector to a Customary Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban: The Implications of Possible Peremptory Status and the Indo-US 123 Agreement" presented at the Third "123 Agreement Project" Workshop, Delhi, India (hosted by the Indian Society of International Law, in partnership with the University of Reading and The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai), 2 April 2011.
  • "International Law - An Academic Overview" presented at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Defence Academy, as part of the Advanced Command and Staff Course for international military personnel, Shrivenham, 16 November 2010.
  • "The Persistent Objector Rule in International Law" presented at a staff seminar, University of Reading, 16 June 2010.
  • "Objections to the Persistent Objector Rule" presented at the International Law Association British Branch Annual Conference, Oxford Brookes University, 15 April 2010.
  • "The Caroline Incident of 1837 and the Modern International Law Governing Self-Defence" presented at the Second Biennial General Conference of the Asian Society of International Law, Tokyo, Japan, 2 August 2009.
  • "The Russian Claim of Self-Defence" presented at the Conflict in the Caucasus: Implications for International Legal Order Conference, at the University of Reading (co-sponsored by the Centre for Transnational Law and Justice at the University of Windsor), 15 April 2009.
  • "International Law and the Use of Force in Self-Defence" presented at the University of Cambridge, Madingley Hall, to delegates from HM armed forces, 4 February 2009.
  • "The Objective Nature of Self-Defence in International Law" presented at the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, Canada, 7 February 2008.
  • "Understanding the Relevance of the Caroline Formula Today" presented at the Law Research Unit of the Athens Institute for Education and Research, 4th International Conference on Law, 16 July 2007.
  • "The Clarification of Self-Defence: Proposals Old and New" presented at the Julius Stone Centenary Conference, University of Sydney, Australia, 7 July 2007.
  • "DRC v. Uganda: Fluctuating Evidentiary Standards for Self-Defence?" presented at the Public International Law Research Symposium at the University of Edinburgh, 24 May 2006.