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tkk24@cam.ac.uk

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University Assistant Professor in International Law

Interests

International law, history and theory of international law, imperialism, anti-imperial movements, piracy, political economy, international criminal law, law and development, critical and Marxist legal theory

Research centres and interest groups

CV / Biography

Tor's work is focused on the history and theory of international law, as well as critical and Marxist approaches to international law and left-legal theory more generally. He is currently completing a book manuscript that develops a materialist history of the pirate in international legal thought. The book reconstructs the conceptual history of the pirate in international law, analysing the theorisations of legitimate and illegitimate maritime commerce offered by international legal thinkers in their political-economic contexts. Against common assumptions that the pirate is a timeless legal category stretching backwards for millennia, he suggests that the modern juridical image of the pirate, as the enemy of trade, took shape and crystallised only in the long-16th century, the product of this particular juncture reflecting inter-imperial rivalries and emerging merchant capitalist interests.

He is also developing a new research project on the relationship between anti-imperialism and international law, with a particular focus on the anti-imperial movements of the 20th century. A recent book chapter considers the use of international law and legal argument as a mode of anti-imperial political resistance in the form of peoples’ tribunals, while a further paper under work interrogates the treatment of the Third World movement in recent international legal histories, drawing attention to the erasure of political and ideological contestation and fractures within that movement.

Tor’s writing has appeared in a range of publications including New Left Review, the London Review of Books, the Harvard Journal of International Law, Third World Quarterly, the Leiden Journal of International Law, and Law, Culture and the Humanities. He is currently the co-General Editor of the London Review of International Law (Oxford University Press), which publishes critical, historical, socio-legal and other non-doctrinal international law scholarship.

Tor joined the University of Cambridge in 2023. He was previously Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick, Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra in Portugal and Visiting Fellow at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He was educated in Australia, the US and UK, completing his PhD in Law at the London School of Economics. He also holds an LLM from the University of Cambridge, a JD from Harvard Law School, an MPhil (Development Studies) from the University of Cambridge, and an AB (Social Studies) from Harvard University. He has worked on world trade, humanitarian, and development issues at the United Nations in New York, human rights in Palestine, and international criminal law at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague where he assisted with Charles Taylor's defence. In 2011, he was law research clerk to then-Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke of the South African Constitutional Court.

Publications

 

Articles

"On international law and Gaza: critical reflections" (2024) 12 London Review of International Law

Co-Author/s:
Marina Veličković, Frédéric Mégret, Vasuki Nesiah, Karen Engle, Mark Drumbl, Michael Fakhri, Robert Knox, Jessica Whyte, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Lori Allen, Ilan Pappé, Ntina Tzouvala, Sara Kendall, John Quigley, Teresa Almeida Cravo, Alaa Hajyahia, et al
Citation:
(2024) 12 London Review of International Law
DOI:
10.1093/lril/lrae012
Published: Forthcoming

"Heretical enemy or vanguard of commerce? The pirate in the 16th-century legal and literary imagination" (2024) Law, Culture and the Humanities

Citation:
(2024) Law, Culture and the Humanities
DOI:
10.1177/17438721241227625
Published: Jan 2024

"Liberalism’s warring souls" (2021) 132 New Left Review 149-157

Citation:
(2021) 132 New Left Review 149-157
Published: Dec 2021

"A life in human rights: a conversation with Dennis Davis" (2021) 9 London Review of International Law 137-160

Co-Author/s:
Dennis Davis
Citation:
(2021) 9 London Review of International Law 137-160
DOI:
10.1093/lril/lrab008
Published: Jun 2021

"Into the bramble patch" (2020) 126 New Left Review 79-96

Citation:
(2020) 126 New Left Review 79-96
Published: Dec 2020

"What Europeans Talk about when They Talk about Brexit: Portugal" London Review of Books, 3 January 2019, 5-10

Citation:
London Review of Books, 3 January 2019, 5-10
Published: Jan 2019

"Remembering the Russell Tribunal" (2017) 5 London Review of International Law 483-492

Citation:
(2017) 5 London Review of International Law 483-492
DOI:
10.1093/lril/lry006
Published: May 2018

"50 Years after Russell: an interview with Tariq Ali" (2017) 5(3) London Review of International Law 493-500

Co-Author/s:
Tariq Ali
Citation:
(2017) 5(3) London Review of International Law 493-500
DOI:
10.1093/lril/lry008
Published: May 2018

"Spectral expertise" (2017) 106 New Left Review 148-160

Citation:
(2017) 106 New Left Review 148-160
Published: Aug 2017

"Curbing corruption? The efficacy of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act" (2007) 33(1) North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation 83-103

Citation:
(2007) 33(1) North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation 83-103
Published: Apr 2017

"Global justice? Politics, power and the International Criminal Court" (2016) 6 Revista Portuguesa de Ciência Política [Portuguese Journal of Political Science] 135-154

Citation:
(2016) 6 Revista Portuguesa de Ciência Política [Portuguese Journal of Political Science] 135-154
Published: Dec 2016

"A journal of the legal left?" (2015) 9 Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left 1-12

Citation:
(2015) 9 Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left 1-12
Published: Dec 2015

"Law on the left: a conversation with Duncan Kennedy" (2015) 10 Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left 1-35

Co-Author/s:
Duncan Kennedy, Carl Lisberger and Max Utzschneider
Citation:
(2015) 10 Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left 1-35
Published: Jul 2015

"Dispensing global justice" (2014) 85 New Left Review 67-97

Citation:
(2014) 85 New Left Review 67-97
Published: Feb 2014

"International criminal law: an ideology critique" (2013) 26(3) Leiden Journal of International Law 701-723

Citation:
(2013) 26(3) Leiden Journal of International Law 701-723
DOI:
10.1017/S0922156513000307
Published: Jul 2013

"Quantifying law: legal indicator projects and the reproduction of neoliberal common sense" (2013) 34(1) Third World Quarterly 131-150

Citation:
(2013) 34(1) Third World Quarterly 131-150
DOI:
10.1080/01436597.2012.755014
Published: Feb 2013

"The legal turn in late development theory: the “rule of law” and the World Bank’s development model" (2011) 52(1) Harvard International Law Journal 287-319

Citation:
(2011) 52(1) Harvard International Law Journal 287-319
Published: Dec 2011

"‘Mopping-up’: UNHCR, neutrality and non-refoulement since the Cold War" (2011) 10(3) Chinese Journal of International Law 587-608

Citation:
(2011) 10(3) Chinese Journal of International Law 587-608
DOI:
10.1093/chinesejil/jmr019
Published: Jul 2011

"Calling power to reason?" (2010) 65 New Left Review 141-150

Citation:
(2010) 65 New Left Review 141-150
Published: Oct 2010

"The relationship between tax reform and political reform in Hong Kong" (2006) 24(2) Law in Context: a Socio-Legal Journal 10-35

Co-Author/s:
Richard Cullen
Citation:
(2006) 24(2) Law in Context: a Socio-Legal Journal 10-35
Published: Dec 2006

"The U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement: the interface between partisan politics and national objectives" (2006) 41(1) Australian Journal of Political Science 51-69

Citation:
(2006) 41(1) Australian Journal of Political Science 51-69
DOI:
10.1080/10361140500507286
Published: Aug 2006

"Will tax reform drive political reform in Hong Kong?" (2006) 41(2) Tax Notes International 197-202

Co-Author/s:
Richard Cullen
Citation:
(2006) 41(2) Tax Notes International 197-202
Published: Jan 2006

Book Chapters

"From Vietnam to Palestine: peoples’ tribunals and the juridification of resistance" in Brian Cuddy and Victor Kattan (ed(s)), Making Endless War: The Vietnam and Arab-Israeli Conflicts in the History of International Law (University of Michigan Press, 2023), pp. 233-260

Pages:
233-260
ISBN 13:
978-0-472-07587-4
Published Aug 2023

"Ideology" in Illan rua Wall, Freya Middleton, Sahar Shah and CLAW (ed(s)), The Critical Legal Pocketbook (Counterpress, 2021), pp. 196-197

Publisher:
Pages:
196-197
ISBN 13:
978-1-910761-11-3
Published Oct 2021

"Procurador vs. Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Julgamento referente ao Artigo 74 do Estatuto (18 de dezembro de 2012)" in João Henrique Ribeiro Roriz and Alberto Amaral Júnior (ed(s)), O Direito Internacional em Movimento: Jurisprudência Internacional Comentada - Tribunal Penal Internacional para a ex- Iugoslávia, Tribunal Penal Internacional, Corte Interamericana de Direitos Humanos e Corte Europeia de Direitos Humanos (Instituto Brasiliense de Direito Civil e Grupo de Pesquisa Crítica e Direito Internacional, 2020)

"The rule of law and the rise of capitalism" in Christopher May and Adam Winchester (ed(s)), The Edward Elgar Handbook on the Rule of Law (Edward Elgar, 2018), pp. 184-200

Pages:
184-200
ISBN 13:
9781786432438
Published Aug 2018

"Law, development and political closure under neoliberalism" in Honor Brabazon (ed(s)), Neoliberal Legality: Understanding the Role of Law in the Neoliberal Project (Routledge, 2017), pp. 22-42

"Ending impunity? Eliding political economy in international criminal law" in Ugo Mattei and John D Haskell (ed(s)), Political Economy and Law: A Handbook of Contemporary Practice, Research and Theory (Edward Elgar, 2015), pp. 298-314

Pages:
298-314
ISBN 13:
9781781005347
Published Nov 2015

"Unveiling (and veiling) politics in international criminal trials" in Christine Schwöbel (ed(s)), Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law: An Introduction (Routledge, 2014), pp. 117-137

"The relationship between tax reform and political reform in Hong Kong" (with Richard Cullen) in Miranda Stewart (ed(s)), Tax Law and Political Institutions (Federation Press, 2006)

Publisher:
ISBN 13:
9781862876385
Published Dec 2006

Book Reviews

Hostis humani (The Pirate Myth: Genealogies of an Imperial Concept by Amedeo Policante) (2016) 195 Radical Philosophy 61-63

Blog Posts

Reports

The Prioritisation of Rule of Law Support from a Peacebuilding Perspective

Co-Author/s:
Teresa Almeida Cravo
Body / Institution:
Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF)
Published: Sep 2012

Taxation and Democracy in Hong Kong

Co-Author/s:
Richard Cullen
Body / Institution:
Civic Exchange
Published: Nov 2005