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Dr Paul Behrens

Reader in Law


Tel: +44 (0)131 651 4290


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Dr Paul Behrens joined the faculty in 2012. His principal research interests lie in the fields of international law, constitutional law and LGBT+ rights.

He is editor and co-author of Contemporary Challenges to Criminal Justice (Hart 2023), Holocaust and Genocide Denial: A Contextual Perspective (with Jensen and Terry, Routledge 2017), Elements of Genocide (with Henham, Routledge 2012) and The Criminal Law of Genocide (with Henham, Ashgate 2007). In 2021, he was invited by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court to submit observations as amicus curiae in the Ongwen case. Paul is an Associate of the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Leicester University, Member of the Edinburgh Centre for International Global Law, of the Surrey International Law Centre and of the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, Durham University. Together with the director of the Stanley Burton Centre, he was the founder of an interdisciplinary research initiative which hosted conferences on genocide studies.

In the field of LGBT+ rights, Paul is co-editor of Justice After Stonewall: LGBT Life Between Challenge and Change (with Becker, Routledge 2023). He was member of the Expert Advisory Group and worked on the Group's report and recommendations which were published in that. In 2023, he wrote the report 'Selected ICESCR Rights and Their Impact on LGBT+ Matters' (commissioned by the Human Rights Consortium Scotland and the Equality Network). In 2019, Paul organised the conference '50 Years After Stonewall' which brought together experts from the field of Law, Medicine, Politics, Education, Anthropology, Sociology, Literature and Religion to analyse the development of LGBT+ matters in the half century after the Stonewall Riots in New York. He has written academic papers and chapters on LGBT+ matters, made written submissions and given evidence to the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament in this field. At Edinburgh, he established the course 'LGBT Rights and the Law: A Legal Analysis' – the first course in Scotland dedicated to this particular topic.

In the field of diplomatic law, Paul has written the monograph Diplomatic Interference and the Law (Hart 2016) and edited Diplomatic Law in a New Millennium (Oxford University Press 2017). He has published numerous articles in the field of diplomatic law and organised several international conferences on diplomatic law which brought together Ambassadors, other members of the diplomatic corps as well as some of the world's leading scholars in this field, and has given presentations to the Group of Latin American Ambassadors in the UK and the German Foreign Office. He has also given evidence to the Committee of European Union Affairs of the German Bundestag.

In the past, Paul has worked inter alia for the European Communities Committee of the House of Lords and for the University of Leicester. He has been an invited speaker at numerous conferences and has given guest lectures and seminars at Columbia Law School, the universities of Stockholm, Gothenburg, Uppsala, the Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Leiden and the Pázmány Péter Catholic University at Budapest. He also contributes regularly to newspapers (including The Guardian, The Scotsman, The Herald, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Rundschau) and gives media interviews on legal topics.