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Steven Haines

Professor Steven Haines MA, PhD, LLM, FRSA, FNI

Professor Steven Haines


Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities


I joined the Law School in 2012 after spending for four years as an academic international lawyer within the international academic, diplomatic and NGO community in Geneva.  I was on the Management Board of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (an international Foundation funded principally by the Swiss Government) and taught in the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (a joint institution of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies). In all, I have held full-time or visiting appointments in nine university institutions in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, with my work encompassing both Public International Law and International Relations/Security Studies.  Prior to moving to Geneva in 2008, I had been the founding Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway College, University of London, where I was also Professor of Strategy and the Law of Military Operations. I had joined Royal Holloway in 2003 from the Ministry of Defence, within which I had been serving as a Royal Navy Commander, latterly on the Management Board of the MoD 'think-tank', the Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre, within the Central Policy Staff.

During earlier service in the MoD (on the Naval Staff), I had been responsible for relations between the Royal Navy and the Russian Federation Navy and for writing/editing the Royal Navy's strategic doctrine (British Maritime Doctrine, 1999).  I subsequently wrote the over-arching strategic doctrine for the British Armed Forces (British Defence Doctrine, 2001), and chaired the Editorial Board of the British Armed Forces' Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2004). 

I bring to my academic work, over thirty years practical experience within the Armed Forces as a seagoing operator, a staff officer in operational and MoD appointments, and as an in-service academic.  Operationally, I served in a variety of surface warships and deployed to most of the world's oceans, served on the first ever UN maritime embargo operation off Mozambique (in 1973), on maritime security and counter-terrorism operations in Northern Ireland (1977-82) including for two years as the Head of Operations in the Belfast Naval HQ, and for three years (1988-91) was the Royal Navy's principal legal adviser on European Fisheries Law, which included spending time at sea enforcing that law as a British Sea Fisheries Officer. My final operational deployments were ashore, to NATO's KFOR Multi-National Brigade in Pristina, Kosovo and to the British Joint Task Force HQ in Freetown towards the end of the civil war in Sierra Leone (2001). 

Since 2012 I have been involved with the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) in devising International Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict. This work stream culminated in diplomatic conferences hosted by Norway in Oslo in May 2015 and by Argentina in Buenos Aires in March 2017.  The International Guidelines have been incorporated in The Safe Schools Declaration which has to date been endorsed by over seventy states, with strong support within the United Nations from the UN Secretary General's former Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict (Ms Leila Zerrougui). The Safe Schools Declaration and the Guidelines contained therein feature regularly during annual open debates within the UN Security Council focused on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflict.

Here in Greenwich I now concentrate the bulk of my research and scholarly effort on a wide range of issues to do with Ocean Governance, about which I am both writing a monograph and editing a substantial handbook.  I have worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross on issues to do with the Law of Armed Conflict Applicable at Sea, including acting as a peer reviewer of its new Commentaries on the 1949 Geneva Conventions.  Since 2014 I have been a pro bono Trustee of the NGO Human Rights at Sea and in 2017 became a member of Save the Children International's Civil-Military Advisory Board.

Professor of Public International Law

I am currently:

  • An academic member of the First Sea Lord's Fellowship (a board of policy, strategy and doctrine advisers to the Naval Staff in the Ministry of Defence);
  • A Trustee of the NGO Human Rights at Sea;
  • Member, Save the Children International Civil-Military Advisory Board;
  • Treasurer and Trustee of the Greenwich Forum;
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the journal Marine Policy;
  • Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies;
  • Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Rising Powers in the University of Cambridge;
  • External Examiner for Masters degrees in International Security, Cranfield University.

I was formerly:

  • Visiting Professor in Security and Law, Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich (2009-2015);
  • The Peter Nailor Memorial Lecturer on Defence, Gresham College, the City of London (2013);
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford Changing Character of War Programme (2012-2013);
  • Visiting/Adjunct Faculty of the Geneva Institute for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights – the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies (2010-2012);
  • Elected Member of the International Institute for Humanitarian Law, San Remo, Italy (2010-2015);
  • External Examiner for Masters degrees in International Politics and Security Studies, University of Reading (2004-2008);
  • Hudson Senior Visiting Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford (2001);
  • Visiting Fellow in Law, Strategy and Military Operations, Security Studies Institute, Cranfield University (1999-2010).
  • External Examiner for research degrees for the universities of Cambridge, London (LSE and King's College), Manchester, Cranfield, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Cardiff and Sussex.

I have an inter-disciplinary approach to my research which principally utilises law, politics, international relations, security studies and history, my main aim being to examine legal aspects of international security within broader historical and policy contexts.  I have held university appointments, including at professorial level, in both Public International Law and International Relations/Security Studies.  In the past I have had a deep specialist interest in the law governing the conduct of military and international security operations, including International Humanitarian Law/the Law of Armed Conflict. When I moved to Greenwich in 2012, while retaining these specialist legal interests, I decided to re-focus my research under the general heading of Ocean Governance, including the Law of the Sea and issues to do with maritime security and the Rule of Law at Sea. The bulk of my research is currently focused on the preparation of a substantial monograph and on the compiling of an extensive and comprehensive academic research handbook.

My monograph is provisionally entitled The End of the Grotian Era: Ocean Governance and the Rule of Law at Sea in the 21st Century.  It traces the development of ocean governance from the 17th Century to the 21st, arguing that the previous devotion to the 'Freedom of the Seas' (or Mare Liberum), while a sensible and workable arrangement in the past, has now become profoundly inappropriate as a means of ensuring good governance at sea. The middle of the 20th Century was a major turning point that seems to have signalled the end of one era and the beginnings of another. I am arguing that the previous reliance on Mare Liberum as the underpinning principal should give way to a new focus on Mare Legitimum (or 'lawful seas'). This monograph is in preparation for planned publication by a major university press during 2019.

The research handbook is fully scoped and currently being peer reviewed by a major university press. It will be a comprehensive and authoritative assessment of the current state of ocean governance, bringing together a total of around fifty authors contributing just under sixty chapters in all.  I initiated this project but am now a member of an Editorial Team consisting of four 'equal' co-Editors and two Associate Editors. Publication is being planned for around 2020/21.

I am always interested in hearing from potential post-graduate research students who wish to conduct research in relation to ocean governance, especially with a maritime security dimension. I currently have four research students working with me, three focused on issues relating to maritime security and one researching the international legal framework for counter-terrorism. I would be especially interested in any scholar who would like to conduct his/her research on the Law of Armed Conflict Applicable at Sea and on the military and constabulary roles of navies within the international system generally.


S Haines and G Drewry (Eds) The Politics of Conflict: Domestic and International Implications of the Iraq War, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, 2006.

Ministry of Defence (S Haines, Chairman Editorial Board), Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Oxford University Press, 2004, + 611 pages, ISBN 0-19-924454-5 (Paperback edition: 2005, ISBN 0-19-928728-7).  Joint Forewords by the Chief of Defence Staff and the Permanent Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence.  Formally launched by the Attorney General (Lord Goldsmith QC) at a conference in St Antony's College, Oxford on 1 July 2004.

Review:"….very good news for all those interested in international humanitarian law.  The reader will find a wealth of useful materials and statements on the law applicable in time of armed conflict.  The UN Commission of Inquiry on Darfur relied heavily upon an advanced copy of the Manual in its findings about the law applicable in internal armed conflicts."  (The late Professor Antonio Cassese, Chairman of the Darfur Commission.)

Handbook on the Law of Maritime Operations (BR3012), UK Ministry of Defence (Naval Staff), London, 2003.  Electronic publication promulgated in early 2003 for the use of UK maritime force commanders, in particular those deployed for the war against Iraq. 

British Defence Doctrine (JWP 0-01) 2nd Edition, UK Ministry of Defence, London 2001.

British Maritime Doctrine (BR1806), 2nd Edition, The Stationery Office, London, 1999 (Principal Author and Editor), 245 pages (ISBN 0-11-772910-8). 

Book Chapters and Journal Articles

S Haines, 'War at Sea: 19th Century Laws for 21st Century Wars?'  International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 98(2), (No.902), September 2017, pp.419-447.

S Haines, 'New Navies and Maritime Powers', in N A M Rodger (Ed), The Sea in History Vol.IV: The Modern World (Martlesham: Boydell Press, 2017) (ISBN: 978 1783271603) pp.81-91 (Anglo-French 'Oceanides' maritime history project).

S Haines, 'Seapower', in H Smith, J Suarez de Vivero and T Agardy (Eds), The  Earthscan Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management (Abingdon: Taylor and Francis/Routledge, 2015) (ISBN: 978-0-415-53175-7), pp.366-378

S Haines, 'Who is Shipwrecked?' in A Clapham, P Gaeta and M Sassoli (Eds), The Oxford Commentary on the Geneva Conventions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015) (ISBN: 978-0-19-967544-9), pp.767-780. (American Society of International Law prize-winning publication, 2016)

S Haines, 'The Influence of Law on Maritime Strategy', in D Moran and J Russell (Eds), Maritime Strategy and Global Order: Markets, Resources, Security (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2016) (ISBN: 978-1-62616-300-3 Hbk; ISBN: 978-1-62616-072-9 Pbk; ISBN: 978-1-62616-301-1 e-book), pp.239-260

S Haines, 'The Developing Law of Weapons: Humanity, Distinction and Precautions in Attack', in A Clapham and P Gaeta (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) (ISBN: 978-0-19-955969-5), pp.273-295.

S Haines, 'Military Use of Schools and Universities: Changing Behaviour', in M Richmond, Education Under Attack 2014 (New York: Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, 2014) (ISBN: 978-0-9910164-5-7), pp.103-112.

S Haines, '1907 Hague Convention VIII Relative to the Laying of Automatic Submarine Contact Mines', in International Law Studies (Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, US Naval War College), Vol.90, 2014, pp.412-445.

S Haines, 'Does Law Influence Maritime Strategy?, in Naval Review, Vol.102, No.1 (Feb, 2014), pp.21-32.

S Haines, 'The International Court of Justice Judgement in Nicaragua v Columbia and its relevance to International Crime and Criminal Law', in Naval Review, Vol.101, No.3 (Aug 2013), pp.240-246.

S Haines, 'Droning on about UAVs: Targeted Killings and Law in the Campaign Against Terror', in Naval Review, Vol.101, No.2 (May 2013), pp.104-109.

S Haines, 'Draft Lucens Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict', (New York: Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, 2013)

S Haines, 'A Note on the International Court of Justice Judgement in Nacaragua v Colombia and its Relevance to International Crime and Criminal Law', posted on A Contrario International Criminal Law Blog ( ), 2 Jan 2013.

S Haines, 'Law, War and the Conduct of Naval Operations', in P Hore (Ed), From Dreadnaught to Daring: 100 Years of Comment, Controversy and Debate in the Naval Review, (London: Seaforth, 2012), (ISBN: 978-1-84-832148-9), pp.299-315

S Haines, 'The Nature of War and the Character of Contemporary Armed Conflict', in E Wilmshurst (Ed), International Law and the Classification of Conflicts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp.9-31 (ISBN 978-0-19-965775-9).  Contribution to the Chatham House/British Red Cross/UK Ministry of Defence supported Research Project on the Categorisation/Classification of Conflict.

S Haines, 'Northern Ireland 1968-1998', in E Wilmshurst (Ed), International Law and the Classification of Conflicts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp.117-145 (ISBN 978-0-19-965775-9).  Contribution to the Chatham House/British Red Cross/UK Ministry of Defence supported Research Project on the Categorisation/Classification of Conflict.  

S Haines, 'Law, Power and the International System', in S Hoque and S Clark (Eds), Debating a Post-American World: What Lies Ahead? (London: Routledge, 2011), pp254-259 (ISBN 13: Hardback: 978-0-415-69049-2; Paperback: 978-0-415 69055-3; e-book: 978-0-203-15397-0).

S Haines, 'Economic Warfare at Sea: Blockade and Guerre de Course in Maritime Doctrine and Contemporary International Law', in Naval Review, Vol.99, No.4 (Nov 2011), pp.315-322.

S Haines, 'Military Action against Libya: Striking the Balance between Decisive Action and 'Mission-Creep'? 'Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Web-Editorial, posted on 18 March 2011 at

S Haines and P Dunay, 'The Kosovo Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice and its Political Consequences', GCSP Policy Paper Number 7, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, October 2010

S Haines, 'A Bright Future for International Law?' GCSP Policy Paper Number 3, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, June 2010

S Haines, 'Israel, Gaza and the Blockade: What About the Law?' in Naval Review, Vol.98, No.4 (Nov 2010), pp.313-319.

S Haines, 'Somali Piracy: The Legal Context', Survival: Global Politics and Strategy (International Institute for Strategic Studies), Vol.52, No.3 (February/March 2010), pp.50-54.

S Haines, '"A Word full of Terror to the British Mind": The Blair Doctrine and British Defence Policy', in D Brown (Editor), The Development of British Defence Policy: Blair, Brown and Beyond (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), pp.63-80 (ISBN: Hardback 9780754678894; e-book 9781409408499)

S Haines, 'Humanitarian Intervention: Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and the Use of Force', in G Kassimeris and J Buckley (Eds), Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Warfare (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), pp.307-328. (ISBN: Hardback 9780754674108; e-book 9780754691778)

S Haines, 'What Future for International Humanitarian Law', in A H Ebnother and E M Felberbauer (Editors), Coping with Global Change: Proceedings of the 8th International Security Forum (Vienna: National Defence Academy and Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports, in association with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, 2009), pp.124-128.

S Haines, 'The Influence of Operation Allied Force on the Development of the Jus ad Bellum', International Affairs (Chatham House), Vol.85, No.3 (May 2009), pp.477-490.  

S Haines (co-author), 'Report on an Expert Meeting which Assessed Procedural Criticisms made of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (The Goldstone Report)', Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs), London, 27 November 2009 (with Dr Mathew Craven, Dr Catriona Drew, Colonel Charles Garraway, Professor Francoise Hampson, Professor Sir Nigel Rodley and Miss Elizabeth Wilmshurst)

S Haines, 'International Law and the Use of Force', in M Imber and T Salmon (Eds), Issues in International Relations, 2nd Edition (Abingdon: Routledge, 2008), pp.89-106. (ISBN13: Hardback 978-0-415-43126-3; Paperback 978-0-415-43127-1; e-book 978-0-203-92659-8)

S. Haines, 'Oral Evidence to the Joint (Parliamentary) Committee on the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill, First Report', see Chapter 7 on 'War Powers' which summarises the evidence taken and draws conclusions; and see also 'Minutes of Evidence on Questions 19-30', 13 May 2008.

S Haines, 'War Powers and Treaties: Limiting Executive Powers'(A response to UK Ministry of Justice Consultative Paper CP26/07), January 2008.

S Haines, Written and Oral Evidence to House of Commons Select Committee on Defence: House of Commons Defence Committee, The Future of the UK's Strategic Nuclear Deterrent: the White Paper (Ninth Report of Session 2006-07), HC 225-I and HC225-II, 7 March 2007.  Written Evidence: 'Memorandum from Professor Steven Haines', HC225-II, pp.Ev 118 to Ev 122; and Record of Oral Evidence, pp. Ev 41 to Ev 56.

S Haines, 'Weapons, Means and Methods of Warfare', in E Wilmshurst and S Breau, Perspectives on the ICRC Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press (for the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law), 2007 (ISBN: 978-0-521-88290-3).

S Haines, 'The Real Strategic Environment: A Call for Long-Term Thinking on UK Defence Investment', in RUSI Journal (Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies), Vol.152, No.5, October 2007, pp.14-17.  Subsequently re-printed in Naval Review, Vol.95, No.4.  Subsequently translated into Russian and published in the Russian Armed Forces' journal 'Defence and Security' published in St Petersburg, 2008.

S Haines, 'Trident and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty', Naval Review, Vol.95, No.2 (May 2007)

S Haines, 'The United Kingdom's Manual on the Law of Armed Conflict and the San Remo Manual: Maritime Rules Compared', in Yoram Dinstein (Ed), Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Vol 36, Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden and Boston, 2006.

S Haines, 'War, Law and Lord Goldsmith', in G Drewry and S W Haines, The Politics of Conflict: Domestic and International Implications of the Iraq War, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, 2006.

S Haines, 'Nuclear Deterrence and Trident: Britain's Lawful Strategic Options', in Frank Barnaby and Ken Booth (Eds), The Future of Britain's Nuclear Weapons: Experts reframe the debate, Oxford Research Group (Current Decisions Report No.28), 2006, (ISBN: 0-9511361-9-4), pp.49-57.

S Haines, 'The United Kingdom and Legitimate Military Objectives: Current Practice…..and Future Trends?' in Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg and Volker Epping (Eds), International Humanitarian Law Facing New Challenges (a collection of papers in honour of Professor Dr Knut Ipsen, President of the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz/German Red Cross), Springer Publishers, Berlin, 2007 (ISBN: 978-3-540-49089-0), pp.127-144.

S Haines, 'Replacing Trident: A New Nuclear Debate?'  Naval Review, Vol.93, No.2 (May 2005)

S Haines (co-author), 'Maritime Warfare', in UK Ministry of Defence (General Editor A P V Rogers), The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp.347-374 (Co-author with Professor Vaughan Lowe QC, HH Judge Jeffrey Blackett and Miss Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG)

S Haines, 'Genocide, Humanitarian Intervention and International Law', in Hudson Papers Vol.II, Oxford University (Hudson Trust) and UK Ministry of Defence (Naval Staff), 2004, pp.53-90.

S Haines, 'The Legal Dimension', in the UK Ministry of Defence publication Strategic Trends (Results of the MoD Strategic Analysis Programme), launched at Chatham House, London by Rt Hon Geoff Hoon, Secretary of State for Defence, 21 March 2003

S Haines, 'Globalisation and Maritime Power', Naval Review, Vol.91, No.4 (November 2003).

S Haines, 'International Law and the War in Iraq', Naval Review, Vol.91, No3 (August 2003). Published under pseudonym 'Kelly'.

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