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Matthew Windsor

  • School Director of Postgraduate Research
  • Co-convenor of the Ghandhi Research Seminar Series in Global Law at Reading

Areas of interest

Matthew's research interests are in the areas of public international law, international trade and investment law, law and political economy, and law and the humanities.

His current research includes a forthcoming monograph on the professional ethics of government lawyers - Advising States: Government Lawyering in International Law - and projects on the politics of legal expertise, and knowledge production in international law.

Postgraduate supervision

Matthew welcomes expressions of interest for supervision from prospective PhD students in his areas of interest. He currently supervises:

  • Teddy Soobramanien (2020-) WTO Law and Security Interests in the New Geoeconomic Order


Matthew currently teaches the following courses:

  • International Investment Law and Arbitration (LLM) (module convenor)
  • International Trade and WTO Law (LLM) (module convenor)
  • Foundations of International Law (LLB)
  • International Human Rights Law (LLB)
  • Public Law II (LLB)

Research centres and groups


Prior to joining Reading, Matthew was a Junior Research Fellow in International Law at the University of Oxford.

Matthew undertook a PhD at the University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Professor David Feldman QC and Judge James Crawford AC, as the recipient of the WM Tapp Studentship in Law at Gonville & Caius College. His thesis - Advising States: The Government Lawyer in International Law - was examined by Professor Martti Koskenniemi and Professor Eyal Benvenisti.

At Cambridge, Matthew taught Administrative Law, Civil Liberties and Human Rights, and Ethics and World Politics for the Faculty of Law and the Department of Politics and International Studies. He also served as managing editor of the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law.

He received a B.A./LL.B. (hons) from the University of Auckland, and a LL.M. from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar (summa cum laude). As the recipient of Columbia's David W. Leebron Human Rights Fellowship, he worked as an associate at Open Society Justice Initiative in New York City, undertaking human rights litigation and advocacy before the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nation Human Rights Committee. He was also appointed as a Fellow at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics, interned for the Vice Chair of the United Nations Committee Against Torture, worked as a barrister at Shortland Chambers, and as a Judge's Clerk to Justice Grant Hammond at the Court of Appeal of New Zealand.

Academic qualifications

Ph.D. (University of Cambridge); LL.M. (Columbia Law School); B.A./LL.B. (Hons) (University of Auckland).

Awards and honours

  • University of Reading Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Fund (February 2020) (grant to fund a workshop on decolonising the legal curriculum at the School of Law)
  • University of Reading School of Law Strategic Project Fund (December 2019) (grant to fund participation at a conference on sociological approaches to international economic law at the European University Institute in Florence)
  • Philomathia Social Sciences Research Programme, University of Cambridge School of the Humanities and Social Sciences (April 2014) (grant to attend and conduct interviews at Meeting of Legal Advisers of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, United Nations Headquarters, New York, October 2014)
  • Researcher Development Fund, University of Cambridge Faculty of Law (August 2013) (grant to convene major conference on Interpretation in International Law at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. 200 abstracts received following issue of call for papers, and 30 papers delivered at conference)

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (2009-)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2020-)

Selected publications

Forthcoming publications

  • 'On Expertise and Enframing' in Paivi Leino-Sandberg and Emilia Korkea-aho (eds), Law, Legal Expertise and EU Policy-Making (CUP 2020)

Other Publications

  • A Fine Balance? Delegation, Standards of Review, and Subsidiarity in WTO Dispute Settlement, (2008) 14 Auckland University Law Review 41

Edited Symposia

  • Interpretation in International Adjudication, (2014) 3(2) Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law 444-595 (with Daniel Peat)

Book Reviews

  • Review of David Dyzenhaus, Murray Hunt and Grant Huscroft (eds), A Simple Common Lawyer: Essays in Honour of Michael Taggart, (2009) 72(4) Modern Law Review 669

Op-eds / Blogs

  • Interpretation in International Law: What's in a Game?, Opinio Juris (6 April 2015) (with Daniel Peat)
  • Access to Justice Thwarted in the Hague, Open Society Foundations - Case Watch (13 February 2012)
  • Pretrial Detention, Pilot Judgments and the European Court of Human Rights, Open Society Foundations - Case Watch (31 January 2012)


  • Staging International Economic Law From Below: On Lynn Nottage's Sweat
    International Economic Law Collective Inaugural Conference, University of Warwick (November 2019)
  • Risky Business: The Special Responsibility of Government Legal Advisers in International Law
    UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Legal Directorate, London (October 2019)
  • Justifying Change in International Law
    'The Paths of Change in International Law' Workshop, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (June 2019)
  • Provincialising the Adviser in International Legal Thought
    'Third World Approaches to International Law' Conference, National University of Singapore (July 2018)
  • Legal Advice and the Politics of Framing in International Law
    'The Politics of Legal Expertise' Workshop, University of Helsinki (June 2018)
  • Advisers and International Legal Epistemology
    'Ways of Knowing: Epistemology & Law' Conference, University of Westminster (May 2018)
  • Article 32 VCLT and Problems of Treaty Interpretation
    The Quill Project, Pembroke College, University of Oxford (February 2018)
  • The Game of Interpretation in International Law
    Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (March 2016)
  • Rethinking Interpretation in International Law
    Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Bern (September 2015)
  • Consigliere or Conscience? The Role and Responsibilities of International Legal Advisers to Government
    'Critical Studies of International Law' Masterclass with Professor Martti Koskenniemi, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg (April 2014)
  • Government Legal Advisers and the Impact of Institutional Structure on Independence
    International Legal Ethics Conference VI, City University London (July 2014)
  • Using History to Teach Legal Ethics
    International Legal Ethics Conference VI, City University London (July 2014)
  • Government Legal Advisers Through the Ethics Looking Glass
    Workshop for Young Public Law Scholars, London School of Economics (June 2014)
  • A Plague on Neither House? Contaminating Theory, Contaminating Practice
    Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory, University of Melbourne (December 2013)
  • (Narrative) Kill or Capture: Targeted Killing's Narrators and the Legal International
    'Turf and Texture: Narrating the Legal International' Workshop, Harvard Institute for Global Law and Policy, King's College, University of Cambridge (June 2013)
  • International Legal Advisers to Government and the Limits of the Legal Ethics Tradition
    Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law Conference, University of Cambridge (May 2013)
  • International Legal Advisers to Government and Competing Loyalties
    'International Law as a Profession', European Society of International Law Research Forum, University of Amsterdam (May 2013)
  • Towards a Theory of International Professional Responsibility
    Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, University of York (March 2013)
  • Stooping to Conquer? Reforming the Standard of Review in WTO Dispute Settlement
    New Zealand Centre of International Economic Law, Victoria University of Wellington (October 2009)
  • World Trade: 'Gladiatorial Amphitheatre' or 'Collaborative Beehive'?
    'The Future of Multilateralism in a Plural World' Conference, Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law, Victoria University of Wellington (July 2009)