Dr Patrick Butchard


Patrick joined Edge Hill University as a Lecturer in Law in 2018, after completing his PhD in international law at the University of Liverpool.

Patrick’s research interests generally are in conflict and security law, the law of armed conflict, and the use of force in international law. His current research projects are examining the international community’s ‘Responsibility to Protect’ populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. Specifically, this research focussed on the use of force and coercive measures by states when the United Nations Security Council fails to uphold this responsibility.

Previously, he has published research findings on the interpretation of the prohibition of force in international law based upon what he describes as the ‘original intentions’ of the drafters of the United Nations Charter at the drafting conference in San Francisco in 1945. These findings seek to explain the unhappy and awkward phrasing of the prohibition in article 2(4) of the UN Charter, exploring how the mechanics of the provision operate in light the contradictory relationship between its well-recognised ‘exceptions’ and the corresponding status of the prohibition as a non-derogable norm of jus cogens.

Patrick is also the General Editor of the Journal on the Use of Force and International Law’s Digest of State Practice, which collects and collates instances of state practice and legal opinions on the use of force and publishes them in the Digest every 6 months.


  • PhD, University of Liverpool, 2018, “The Responsibility to Protect when the UN Security Council Fails to Act: Is there Room for a Tertiary Responsibility?”
  • LLM, University of Liverpool, 2013, International Law and Human Rights
  • LLB, University of Liverpool, 2012


  • LAW1002      Public Law 1
  • LAW1003      Law of Contract
  • LAW2007      Public Law 1
  • LAW3038      Human Rights
  • LAW3040      International Business Law

Research Interests

  • Public International Law
  • Conflict and Security Law
  • International Law and the Use of Force
  • Law of Armed Conflict



P M Butchard, Responsibility to Protect and the Failures of the United Nations Security Council (Forthcoming, Hart, 2020).

Journal Articles

P M Butchard, “Back to San Francisco: Explaining the Inherent Contradictions of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter”, (2018) 23(2) Journal of Conflict and Security Law 229

Book Chapters

P Butchard and C Henderson, “A Functional Typology of Commissions of Inquiry”, in C Henderson (ed) Commissions of Inquiry: Problems and Prospects (Hart, 2017)

Book Reviews

Patrick Butchard, “Dan Kuwali and Frans Viljoen (Eds), Africa and the Responsibility to Protect: Article 4(h) of the African Union Constitutive Act”, (2015) 20(2) Journal of Conflict and Security Law 323-328

Other Outputs

General Editor: Journal on the Use of Force and International Law, Digest of State Practice (2018 – current)

Regional Coordinator: Journal on the Use of Force and International Law, Digest of State Practice (9 Issues, 2014-2018)

Patrick Butchard, “Donald Trump’s Syria Strike is Illegal”, (The Liverpool View, 10th April 2017),

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