SCGA Team: Christian J. Tams

Christian J. Tams

Chair, International Law, University of Glasgow

Christian J. Tams is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow, where he directs the Glasgow Centre for International Law and Security (GCILS). He studied and worked in Germany before coming to Scotland in 2008.

He is an expert on questions of in international law and has e.g. published on the legal rules governing recourse to military force, on the role of international courts, and on investment protection. In addition to his academic work, Christian  regularly advises States, individuals and companies in disputes before international courts. He sits on the Board of the European Society of International Law and of the editorial board of the European Journal of International Law.

He is a long-suffering supporter of a once-mighty football club, the Hamburger Sport-Verein.

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Press, Clips, Interviews

Professor Tams took part in two episodes of our own podcast series, once as interviewee and once as interviewer:

Podcast: Never again? The Genocide Convention at 75

In this episode, the SCGA’s John Edward speaks with Professor Christian Tams, University of Glasgow International Law Chair and Director of the Glasgow Centre for International Law and Security (GCILS).

Podcast: 75 years of the Human Rights Convention – in conflict and in practice.

Professors Helen Duffy & Christian Tams discuss the Declaration’s origins and progress, its universality and efficacy, and its application as the bedrock for binding human rights – not solely in situations of armed conflict.

“To mark the 75th anniversary of the Convention against Genocide, Christian Tams, together with Lars Berster and Björn Schiffbauer, has published ‚The Genocide Convention‘. On just under 500 pages, the work offers authoritative guidance on the definition of genocide, on the duties of States to prevent and punish it, and on the Convention’s implementation regime.”

Tams/Berster/Schiffbauer, The Genocide Convention (2023)

“On 29 December 2023, South Africa instituted proceedings against Israel, alleging that Israel’s conduct in and against the Gaza strip violated the 1948 Convention against Genocide. This accusation – and the proceedings on provisional measures held before the International Court of Justice in The Hague on 11/12 January 2024 – prompted an enormous international reaction. Professor Tams, who regularly advises States in international litigation, has been interview by the German magazine Der Spiegel.”
Professor Tams was also interviewed by the Austrian broadcasting service ORF here and here. For background information on the crime of genocide see ‘Never again? The Genocide Convention at 75 – John Edward’s discussion with Christian Tams‘ as well as ‘Tams/Berster/Schiffbauer, The Genocide Convention (2023)‘.

“The major football associations exclude Russia. But do they even have the right to punish teams and players for the actions of the state and its political leadership in violation of international law?”. 

GCILS Director, Professor Christian J Tams signed a declaration, sponsored by former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, and his wife, Sarah Brown, calling for the creation of a special tribunal for the punishment of the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

Statement by Members of the International Law Association Committee on the Use of Force.

Statement by the President and the Board of the European Society of International Law on the Russian Aggression against Ukraine.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the most widely used document in international law, we are publishing a special new Working Paper, ’The ILC Articles at 20′, bringing together contributions to an @ejiltalk symposium published in August:


Schill, S. W., Tams, C. J. and Hofmann, R. (2018) Oceans and space: new frontiers in investment protection? Journal of World Investment and Trade, 19(5-6), pp. 765-774. (doi: 10.1163/22119000-12340119)

Tams, C. (2018) Legacy of the League of Nations. Soochow Law Journal, 15(2), pp. 217-223.

Tams, C. J. (2018) Three questions about “informal regulation”. AJIL Unbound, 112, pp. 108-112. (doi: 10.1017/aju.2018.40)

Tams, C. (2017) Embracing the uncertainty of old: armed attacks by non-state actors prior to 9/11. Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, 77,

Tams, C. J. (2016) State succession to investment treaties: mapping the issues. ICSID Review: Foreign Investment Law Journal, 31(2), pp. 314-343. (doi: 10.1093/icsidreview/siw006)

Tams, C. J. (2015) EJIL editor’s choice of books 2015. European Journal of International Law, 26(4), pp. 1033-1035. (doi: 10.1093/ejil/chv069)

Tams, C. J. (2015) Meta-custom and the court: a study in judicial law-making. Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals, 14(1), pp. 51-79. (doi: 10.1163/15718034-12341285)

Tams, C. J. (2014) Editor’s book choices 2014. European Journal of International Law: Talk! [blog],

Kress, C. and Tams, C. J. (2014) Wider die normative Kraft des Faktischen: Die Krim-Krise aus völkerrechtlicher Sicht. Internationale Politik(3), pp. 16-19.

Tams, C. J. (2014) Procedural aspects of investor-state dispute settlement: the emergence of a European approach? Journal of World Investment and Trade, 15(3-4), pp. 585-611. (doi: 10.1163/22119000-01504012)


O’Connell, M. E., Tams, C. J. and Tladi, D. (2019) Self-Defence against Non-State Actors. Series: Max Planck trialogues. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. (doi:10.1017/9781108120173)

Tams, C. J. , Berster, L. and Schiffbauer, B. (2014) Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Beck: München. ISBN 978406603174

Tams, C.J. (2010) Enforcing Obligations Erga Omnes in International Law. Revised edition. Series: Cambridge studies in international and comparative law (44). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. ISBN 9780521128896

Behring, J., Braun, T.R., Lorz, R.A., Tams, C. , Schill, S. and Tietje, C. (2009) General Public International Law and International Investment Law: A Research Sketch on Selected Issues. Beiträge zum Transnationalen Wirtschaftsrecht. International Law Association German Branch – Sub-Committee on Investment Law, Halle, 2009: Halle.

Tams, C.J. (2006) An Appealing Option?: The Debate about an ICSID Appellate Structure. Series: Beiträge zum transnationalen Wirtschaftsrecht (57). Inst. für Wirtschaftsrecht: Halle, Germany. ISBN 9783860108437

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