Dr Sarvarian is a public international law generalist of broad interests and expertise. His scholarship has been published in leading journals, including the European Journal of International Law, The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals and Legal Studies. His written evidence has been cited in reports on intervention by the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and on succession to membership of the European Union by the Scottish Parliament European Union and External Relations Committee. He has served as legal adviser to the UN Mission of the Republic of Armenia and delegate of Armenia to the Legal Committee of the General Assembly, Working Group III (Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform) of the UN Commission on International Trade Law as well as the Rules and Regulations Amendment Process of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. He has also served as judge ad hoc at the European Court of Human Rights. Appointed Lecturer in 2012, he was promoted Senior Lecturer in 2016 and Reader in 2020.
His monograph Professional Ethics at the International Bar (Oxford University Press, International Courts and Tribunals Series, 19 September 2013) is the first comprehensive work on the subject and has been widely cited, including in proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, investment arbitrations and the International Court of Justice. He was also lead editor of an edited volume (Procedural Fairness in International Courts and Tribunals) published by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in November 2015. He was a member of the International Bar Association Task Force on Counsel Ethics in International Arbitration throughout the drafting of the IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration 2013, which inspired the London Court of International Arbitration to enact the first binding ethical rules for counsel in international commercial arbitration in 2014.
Areas of specialism
University roles and responsibilities
- External Development (Postgraduate Exchanges)
Affiliations and memberships
Committee on the Procedure of International Courts and Tribunals (2016-2020), Co-Rapporteur
Committee on the Use of Force (2016-2018), Member
Study Group on International Courts and Tribunals (2010-2014)
Dr Sarvarian co-reporteur of the report on Procedure of International Courts and Tribunals
In the media
Dr Sarvarian’s research interests are in general international law, focusing upon the codification of fundamental rules and the progressive development of international dispute settlement machinery. As a generalist of public international law, his research engages with a variety of topics, such as the international responsibility, international personality, the use of force, international criminal law, sources of international law and the law of territory. He has worked extensively on the procedural law of international courts and tribunals and is embarked upon a book project on the law of State succession.
From 2016 to 2020, he served as Co-Rapporteur of the International Law Association Committee on the Procedure of International Courts and Tribunals. The Final Report and Resolution of the Committee were adopted by the International Law Association at its seventy-ninth biennial conference in December 2019. The Committee proposed various reforms to the rules of procedure and working practices of the International Court of Justice, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, inter-State arbitration and the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement System. These reforms were intended to improve the procedural efficiency and integrity of the inter-State adjudication and arbitration.
He previously served as a member of the International Law Association Committee on the Use of Force and the International Bar Association Task Force on Counsel Ethics in International Arbitration.
Ratification of the Rome Statute by the Republic of Armenia (2013-2015)
Dr Sarvarian was principal organiser of a high-level conference in collaboration with the American University of Armenia, Coalition for the International Criminal Court and International Commitee for the Red Cross entitled 'Ratification of the Rome Statute by the Republic of Armenia: Problems and Prospects' held in 2013. The question of ratification and the legal and political issues entailed therein were explored in detail and the event was widely covered by the Armenian media. He was subsequently retained to advise the ad hoc Commission on Constitutional Reform, which recommended amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia to enable ratification of the ICC Statute. In collaboration with the ICC and the Coalition for the ICC and with the support of the UK Embassy to Armenia, he organised a training workshop on the law and procedure of the International Criminal Court for members of the Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Armenia; one of the participants subsequently became the first Armenian national to be admitted to the ICC List of Defence Counsel. In 2015, he was invited to address the ICC Assembly of States Parties on the Armenia-ICC relations. In November 2017, Armenia concluded a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the European Union, which envisages the eventual accession of Armenia to the ICC Statute.
Arts and Humanities Research Council, Principal Investigator, 'Apologies for Historical Wrongs: When, How, Why?', Research Project (October 2014 - September 2015), https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=AH%2FM006239%2F1.
Indicators of esteem
Member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2015-2021)
Peer reviewer for the Leiden Journal of International Law, German Year Book of International Law, International & Comparative Law Quarterly, European Journal of International Law, Journal on the Use of Force and International Law, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Routledge, Hart Publishing and Manchester University Press
Postgraduate research supervision
Miss Maria Louca, 'Preliminary Objections in Inter-State Courts and Tribunals', Principal Supervisor
Mrs Mala Sharma, 'Reforming Investor-State Arbitration', Principal Supervisor
Dr Sarvarian has supervised three theses to completion as principal supervisor and examined five theses as internal examiner. He welcomes expressions of interest from prospective doctoral students pertaining to any area of general international law, especially the law of State succession.
Postgraduate research supervision
1. Principal supervisor: Ryan Abbott, ‘Legal Implications of Advances in Artificial Intelligence’, February 2020 (Ph.D. by publication).
2. Secondary supervisor: Wang Huiru, ‘Improving the Enforcement of Judgments of the International Court of Justice’, Jilin University (China), September 2019.
3. Principal supervisor: Miriam Sheikh, ‘Disarmament in International Law’, April 2018.
4. Principal supervisor: Margaret Cooper, ‘Proportionality and New Weapons in International Law’, November 2017.
Introduction to International Law (LL.B. Level 5)
European Union Law II (LL.B. Level 5)