Dr Sarvarian joined the School of Law as Lecturer in 2012 and was promoted Senior Lecturer in 2015. A general international lawyer, his scholarship has been published in leading journals, including the European Journal of International Law, International Organizations Law Review 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 advised governments, provided expert evidence and commented on BBC television and radio on public international law matters.
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.
In May 2016, he was appointed Co-Rapporteur of the International Law Association Committee on the Procedure of International Courts and Tribunals for a four-year project to investigate reform of the rules and working practices of the International Court of Justice, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Permanent Court of Arbitration and World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Mechanism. In August 2018, the Committee presented to the 78th ILA Biennial Conference in Sydney its Interim Report containing proposals for procedural reform for the ICJ and the ITLOS. The Committee is due to submit its Final Report to the 79th Conference in August 2020 in Kyoto.
Areas of specialism
Public International Law
University roles and responsibilities
- Director of Postgraduate Research
Affiliations and memberships
Member, Committee on the Use of Force.
Co-Rapporteur, Committee on the Procedure of International Courts and Tribunals.
Dr Sarvarian Presents Interim Report of International Law Association Committee on International Court Procedures
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 such, he is a generalist of public international law and his research has touched upon 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 is an expert on the procedural laws of international courts and tribunals and has begun a major research project on the law of State succession.
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.
Indicators of esteem
Member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2015-2018)
Peer reviewer for the Leiden Journal 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
Introduction to International Law (LL.B. Level 5)
European Union Law II (LL.B. Level 5)
Courses I teach on
Postgraduate research supervision
Miss Maria Louca, 'Preliminary Objections in Inter-State Courts and Tribunals', Principal Supervisor
Mrs Mala Sharma, 'Conflicts of Interest and Investment Arbitrators', Co-Supervisor
Miss Wang Huiru, 'Enforcement of Judgments of the International Court of Justice', Co-Supervisor
I have supervised two theses to completion as principal supervisor.
Postgraduate research supervision
Despite its increasing importance, the subject has yet to be comprehensively debated in international law scholarship. This paper, deriving from the author?s forthcoming monograph entitled ?Professional Ethics at the International Bar? to be published in late 2013 by Oxford University Press in its ?International Courts and Tribunals Series?. It identifies the core issues in the ?professionalisation? of advocacy before international courts as the regulatory competence of international courts and the articulation of common standards in light of national differences of legal culture. The paper argues that professionalisation is both feasible and desirable to protect procedural integrity and thereby promote the external legitimacy of international adjudication amongst the public. This can be accomplished through a drafting process sensitive to national differences and prioritising standards that pragmatically solve recurrent practical problems.
The paper ties into the overall theme of ?International Law as a Profession?. In particular, it directly links to the sub-theme of ?individual accountability of judges, counsel and legal advisers?. The central argument of the paper that the articulation of common ethical standards for counsel appearing before international courts and tribunals is desirable and feasible in order to protect and promote the integrity and fairness of the international judicial process woul
The first part of the volume sets out an analysis of the new judgment of the Court, favouring a "contextual" reading of what is the latest link in a judicial chain. The following three parts offer interdisciplinary accounts of the decision of the European Court of Justice, including legal theory, constitutional law, and international law. The book closes with an epilogue by Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, who studies the role of the Kadi case in the methodology of international law and its contribution to the concept of global justice.
The book brings together legal scholars from a range of fields, and discusses pressing topics such as the European Union?s objective of ?the strict observance and the development of international law?, the EU as a site of global governance, constitutional pluralism and the protections of fundamental rights.
In this new era, some old problems will be solved and new ones will appear. Questions of autonomy and independence, of attribution and allocation of responsibility, of co-operation, and legal pluralism will all arise, with consequences for the protection of human rights in Europe.
This book seeks to understand how relations between the two organisations are likely to evolve after accession, and whether this new model will bring more coherence in European human rights protection. The book analyses from several different, yet interconnected, points of view and relevant practice the draft Accession Agreement, shedding light on future developments in the ECHR and beyond. Contributions in the book span classic public international law, EU law and the law of the ECHR, and are written by a mix of legal and non-legal experts from academia and practice.
The putative accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 potentially amplifies the importance of these issues. For the first time, EU organs will join the jurisdiction of an external court empowered to hold them accountable to external human rights standards. In EU operations under the Common Foreign and Security Policy, particularly peacekeeping operations, this accountability is likely to test the tension in the law of international responsibility concerning the attribution of responsibility to an international organisation or to Member States. There is also the possibility of divergence between competing human rights norms under EU law, the ECHR and UN law.
In a doctrinal analysis of the ILC Articles on State Responsibility and the ILC Draft Articles on the Responsibility of International Organisations with special reference to the aforementioned jurisprudence, the paper aims to identify the analytical problems likely to arise in a CFSP case before the Strasbourg Court. In so doing, it particularly focuses upon the attribution of concurrent or exclusive responsibility in CFSP operations, judicial review by the Strasbourg Court of the lawfulness of UN Security Council resolutions and a special regime of EU law displacing the general law of international responsibility. It considers the likelihood that the Strasbourg Court will be prompted to adopt a more activist policy concerning the responsibility of Member States for operations taken pursuant to UN Security Council mandates as a consequence of EU accession to the ECHR.
anniversary of its establishment. One of the principal themes of this event was the potential
adoption of improvements to the procedures and working practices of the Court. For this
purpose, a Counsel Survey was commissioned to canvass for ideas amongst the informal bar of
practitioners who regularly appear before the Court as counsel. The response to the Survey
revealed a general interest in procedural reform at the Court, particularly with respect to the
areas of evidence and procedural efficiency in contentious cases.
Professional Ethics at the International Bar (Oxford University Press, International Courts and Tribunals Series, 19 September 2013). Reviewed in: D'Silva, 77(6) Modern Law Review (2014), 1042-1047; Fontanelli, 13(4) Chinese Journal of International Law (2014), 891-895; Gibson, 14(1) The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals (2015), 229-232; Tzevelekos, 64(4) International and Comparative Law Quarterly (2015), 977-978.
Sarvarian, Fontanelli, Baker and Tzevelekos, Procedural Fairness in International Courts and Tribunals (British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 20 November 2015).
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:
'Codifying the Law of State Succession: A Futile Endeavour?', 27(3) European Journal of International Law (2016), 789-812.
'Humanitarian Intervention after Syria', 36(1) Legal Studies (2016), 20-47.
'Uti Possidetis Iuris in the Twenty-first Century: Consensual or Customary?', 22(3) International Journal on Minority and Group Rights (2015), 511-532.
'Splitting the Baby: Judicial Review of United Nations Security Council Resolutions by the European Court of Human Rights', 12(1) International Organizations Law Review (2015), 169-203.
'The Lawfulness of a Use of Force upon Nuclear Facilities in Self-Defence', 1(2) Journal on the Use of Force and International Law (2014), 1-26.
'The Attribution of Conduct in the Law of International Responsibility, the European Union and the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights', 1(4) European Journal of Human Rights (2013), 656-679.
'Common Ethical Standards for Counsel before the European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights', 23(4) European Journal of International Law (2012), 991-1014.
'Ethical Standards for Counsel before International Criminal Tribunals: The Legacy of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal', 10(1) Journal of International Criminal Justice (2012), 423-446.
'Problems of Ethical Standards for Representatives before ICSID Tribunals' 10(1) The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals (2011), 67-134.
'The Artsakh Question: An Analysis of Territorial Dispute Resolution in International Law', 9(1) Melbourne Journal of International Law (2008), 190-216.
(with Professor Philippe Sands QC), 'The British Bar and International Law' in McCorquodale et al. (eds), Contemporary Perspectives on British Influences on International Law (BRILL, in preparation, 2016).
'The EU Accession to the ECHR and the Law of International Responsibility'. in Tzevelakos et al. (Eds), The EU Accession to the ECHR (Hart, 21 July 2014).
'The Kadi II Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union: Implications for Judicial Review of UN Security Council Resolutions' in Avbelj et al. (Eds), Kadi on Trial: a multifaceted analysis (Routledge, 13 May 2014).
'The (In-)Dependent Lawyer Before the Court (Case E-7/12 Schenker North AB and others v EFTA Surveillance Authority, Order of the President (21 December 2012))',4(4) European Law Reporter (2013), 127-132.
'Rogers, Ethics in International Arbitration', 16(1) Journal of World Investment and Trade (2015), 751-757.
'Codifying the Law of State Succession and Recent Practice: A Futile Endeavour?', European Society of International Law Junior Faculty Forum, 22-24 June 2015.
'The Act of Apology in Law and History: Constructing an “Official Narrative”', 1st Franco-British Research Workshop, AHRC Care for the Future & Labex les passés dans le present programmes), 16-17 January 2015.
'Humanitarian Intervention after Syria', Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, International Law Subject Section (9 September 2014).
'The Doctrine of Uti possidetis iuris and Territorial Disputes', Conference on 21st Century Borders, University of Lancaster (13 June 2014).
'The Struggle for the Soul of Europe: Manifestation of Christianity in the Public Sphere', 'Exchanging Ideas on Europe' University Association for Contemporary European Studies Conference, Leeds University (2-4 September 2013).
'Common Ethical Standards for Counsel before International Courts and Tribunals', 5th European Society of International Law Research Forum, University of Amsterdam (24 May 2013).
'The Accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights', EU Accession to the ECHR Workshop, University of Maastricht (17 Nov. 2012).