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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


Professor Weller holds the Chair of International Law and International Constitutional Studies in the University of Cambridge. He is the former Director and a Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. He has served as United Nations Senior Mediation Expert and is a highly experienced international dispute settlement professional. He is certified and accredited as a professional mediator and was elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is a barrister (Middle Temple) and Associate Tenant at Dougthy Street Chambers, London.

Professor Weller holds Doctorates in International Law and International Relations, in Law, and in Economic and Social Sciences from the Universities of Cambridge, Frankfurt and Hamburg respectively, and Masters’ degrees from the Fletcher School and the University of Cambridge. Professor Weller also trained in advanced negotiation and dispute settlement at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government.

Professor Weller is the winner of the 2014 Halsbury award for his outstanding contribution to law. The award is given by a distinguished panel of senior judges, academics and practitioners, including the Chair of the Bar Council. The citation notes his ‘unrivalled—truly stellar’ contribution to the field.

Professor Weller joined the Faculty of Law of the University of Cambridge in 1990 and served as Deputy Director of the Centre of International Studies from 1997-2000. He was made a Reader in international law in 2006 and a full professor with the creation of his ad hominem chair in 2010. He served as the Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law from 2010 to 2016. During his time in office, the Centre significantly expanded its project portfolio and research team, based on external research funding raised by him.

Professor Weller’s teaching focuses on public international law in all its aspects, including the use of force, dispute settlement, self-determination and peace-making, human rights and minority rights, democratization and power-sharing.

In addition to his teaching in Cambridge, Professor Weller has held a number of prestigious teaching appointments abroad. He served Director of Studies at the Hague Academy for International Law, gave the General Course at the Xiamen Academy of International Law and has taught at the Aristotelian University, Thessaloniki and in the European Union-Venice Masters Programme on Democratization and Human Rights. He also served as Visiting Professor in the Universities of Paris, Keio University, Tokyo, and at other institutions. He was elected the Vincent Wright Professor at Sciences Po in Paris for 2015/16.

Professor Weller served as Counsel in the International Court of Justice, as expert in national legal proceedings and he has repeatedly given Parliamentary testimony. Much of his practice is devoted to international dispute settlement, including in particular international peace negotiations.

From 2000-2009 he served as the Director of the European Centre for Minority Issues. In that role he directed headquarters operations and a growing field-staff active in numerous projects addressing governance, peace-building, minority rights and inter-ethnic relations in South Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. He developed the profile and portfolio of activities of the Centre, raising in excess of Euro 15 million for its activities from governments and other institutions. At the Centre, he guided and conducted conflict settlement activities involving Georgia, Moldova (Transdnistria), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo and served as mediator addressing the Moldova-Gagauzia autonomy dispute. He has also repeatedly served as expert and facilitator for the Council of Europe.

Professor Weller served as legal advisor for Kosovo during the 1999 Rambouillet Conference on Kosovo and senior legal advisor in the UN-led Vienna process of Final Status Negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia of 2006/7. Subsequently he contributed to the drafting of the Kosovo Constitution and drafted the Law on the Protection of Minorities in Kosovo and the Statute of the Community Consultative Council.

Following on from his earlier contribution to the work leading up to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Sudan, Professor Weller also served as senior expert for the African Union in relation to the North-South Sudan pre-referendum negotiations of 2009/10.

During 2011/12 he served for 18 months as a full-time Senior Mediation Expert in the Department of Political Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat in New York. In that role, he advised on the transitions in Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Yemen and Libya, and on the stabilization of Somalia, including the adoption of its constitution. He was legal advisor in the final rounds of the Doha peace negotiations on Darfur, leading to the 2011 peace agreement. Moreover, he advised on major territorial and maritime disputes.

As part of the team of Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, Professor Weller participated in the complex negotiations that led to the departure from office of former President Saleh. He drafted the Yemen peace agreement and advised on the ensuing National Dialogue process. He was also engaged as a senior advisor in the Yemen constitutional drafting process.

Professor Weller also served as a senior legal advisor to the UN and League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan. He is a principal drafter of the Geneva I Communique on Syria adopted by the International Action Group on Syria in June 2012. This is the only international engagement on a political transition in Syria agreed thus far. It has been endorsed by the UN Security Council and remains the basis for the present search for a settlement. He also served as senior legal advisor to the successor of Kofi Annan, UN Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, during the Geneva II process. Most recently he served as Senior Mediation Expert and a legal advisor to Stafan de Mistura, the present UN envoy for Syria.

Professor Weller has also supported the negotiations concerning the proposed comprehensive peace agreement for Myanmar/Burma, in particular in relation to the ethnic territories. He also was the team leader for EU efforts to enhance the legal environment for a Transdnistria peace settlement. Moreover, he remains a member of the United Nations Mediation Roster and is served as a member of the UK Stabilization Unit (FCO, DFID and MoD) Cadre of Deployable Civilian Experts.

In 2000, Professor Weller founded the Cambridge-Carnegie project on the Settlement of Self-determination Disputes, raising close to USD 2 million for its implementation. In addition to its academic outputs, the project has resulted in an international network of experts supporting ethnic peace-making around the world.

At present, Professor Weller leads the Legal Tools of Peace-making project. He has raised around USD 1.5 million for this venture which is carried out in close cooperation with the United Nations Secretariat. The project provides a unique legal resource in support of United Nations peace-making efforts around the world.

In addition, he has generated a major project on internationally supported transitions. This project, supported by the FCO, considers the experiences of countries undergoing profound political change. It considers the wave of the post-Cold War transitions in Eastern Europe, Africa and Central America, and the more recent transitions of the Arab Spring.


Key publications: 
  • Haidi Willmot, Ralph Mamya, Scott Sherhan and Marc Weller, eds., The Protection of Civilians in International Law, Oxford University Press, 2016  330 pages.
  • Marc Weller, ed., Oxford University Press Handbook on the Use of Force in International Law, Oxford University Press, 2015, 1280 pages.
  • Marc Weller, ed., (Katherine Nobbs, Assistant Editor), Political Participation of Minorities, Oxford University Press, 2010, 855 pages.
  • Marc Weller, Iraq and the Use of Force in International Law, Oxford University Press, 2010, 285 pages.
  • Marc Weller and Katherine Nobbs, eds., Asymmetrical State Design as a Tool of Ethnopolitical Conflict Settlement, Pennsylvania University Press, 2010, 320 pages.
  • Marc Weller, Contested Statehood: Kosovo's Struggle for Independence, Oxford University Press, 2009, 328 pages, also published in translation as Shtetesia e kuntestuar, Koha Publishing House, 2009.
  • Marc Weller, Escaping the Self-determination Trap, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2008, 224 pages.
  • Marc Weller, Negotiating Statehood: The Vienna Negotiations on Kosovo, Chaillot Paper No. 114, European Union Institute for Security Studies, 2008, 95 pages.
  • Marc Weller, Denika Blacklock and Katherine Nobbs, eds, The Protection of Minorities in the Wider Europe, Palgrave, Macmillan, 2008, 296 pages.
  • Marc Weller and Stefan Wolff, eds., Institutions for the Management of Ethnopolitical Conflict in Eastern and Central Europe, Council of Europe Press, 2008, 274 pages.
  • Marc Weller, Peace Lost: Missed Opportunities for Conflict Prevention in Kosovo, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2008, 230 pages.
  • Marc Weller and Barbara Metzger, eds., Settling Self-determination Conflicts, Nijhoff Publishers, 2008, 768 pages.
  • Marc Weller, ed., Universal Minority Rights, A Commentary on the Jurisprudence of International Court and Treaty Bodies, Oxford University Press, 2007, 524 pages.
  • Marc Weller and Stefan Wolff, eds., Internationalized State-building after Violent Conflict: Dayton after Ten Years, Routledge, 2007, 108 pages.
  • Marc Weller, ed., The Rights of Minorities: Commentary on the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Oxford University Press, 2005, 688 pages, paperback edition 2006.
  • Marc Weller and Alexander H. E. Morawa, eds., Mechanisms for the Implementation of Minority Rights, Council of Europe Press, 2005, 264 pages.
  • Marc Weller and Stefan Wolff, authors and eds., Autonomy, Self-Governance and Conflict Resolution, Routledge, 2005, 320 pages.
  • Marc Weller and Jorn Kuehl, authors and eds., Minority Governance in Action, Danish University Press, 2005, 350 pages.
  • Marc Weller, The Kosovo Conflict: The Conduct and Termination of Hostilities and the Renewed Search for a Settlement, Documents & Analysis Publishing, 2001, 504 pages.
  • Marc Weller, The Crisis in Kosovo 1989-1999, Documents & Analysis Publishing, 1st ed., 1999, 2nd ed., 2001, 504 pages.
  • Daniel Bethlehem and Marc Weller, The Yugoslav Crisis in International Law: General Issues, Cambridge University Press, 1997, 711 pages.
  • Marc Weller, Regional Peace-keeping and International Enforcement: The Liberian Crisis, Cambridge University Press, 1994, 465 pages.
  • Marc Weller, Iraq and Kuwait: The Hostilities and their Aftermath, Cambridge University Press, 1993, 750 pages.
  • Marc Weller, Democracy and Politics in Burma, Craftsman Press, 1993, 453 pages.
  • Daniel Bethlehem, Christopher Greenwood, Elihu Lauterpacht and Marc Weller, The Kuwait Crisis: Basic Documents, Cambridge University Press, 1991, 330 pages.

Books in preparation:

Marc Weller, The Yemen Peace-Process: From Model to Disaster?, 160 pages.

Marc Weller and Jessie Hohmann, eds., The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People: A Commentary, Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017 ), 460 pages.

Professor of International Law and International Constitutional Studies
University Teaching Officer
Prof Marc  Weller

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