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Dr Patrick Butchard

Senior Lecturer in Law

Law, Criminology & Policing



Patrick is a Senior Lecturer in Law in the School of Law, Criminology, and Policing. He is also an International Law Researcher for the House of Commons Library in the UK Parliament.

He is Author of The Responsibility to Protect and the Failures of the United Nations Security Council (avaliable in paperback from December 2022).

He has also acted as Expert Advisor for the APCR2P’s Guidance Document “The Powers of the UN General Assembly to Prevent and Respond to Atrocity Crimes“, written by Rebeca Barber.


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 research projects have examined 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 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.

Between 2018 and 2022, Patrick was 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. Previously, he also acted as Regional Coordinator for the Digest since the Journal’s inception. He is now a member of the Journal’s Editorial Board.

Research Interests

  • Public International Law
  • Conflict and Security Law
  • Responsibility to Protect
  • The Law of the United Nations
  • International Law and the Use of Force
  • Law of Armed Conflict


  • LAW1002      Public Law 1
  • LAW1003      Law of Contract
  • LAW2007      Public Law 1
  • LAW3038      Human Rights
  • LAW3040      International Business Law
  • LAW3221      International Peace and Security