Sir Daniel Bethlehem KCMG QC, Ben Emmerson QC, and Sir Richard Ottaway MP: A three way conversation on international law, national security and foreign policy, moderated by Prof Malcolm Evans

26 February 2015, 6.00 PM - 9 January 2015, 12.15 PM

Sir Daniel Bethlehem KVMG QC (LLB 1985), Ben Emmerson QC (LLB 1985), Sir Richard Ottaway MP (LLB 1974)

Wills Memorial Building

As part of the Distinguished Alumni Guest Lecture Series, a three way conversation on international law, national security and foreign policy, moderated by Prof Malcolm Evans 


Sir Daniel Bethlehem KCMG QC (LLB 1985) barrister 20 Essex Street, formerly Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law Cambridge Univ and fellow Clare Hall, Cambridge Univ

Daniel Bethlehem arrived in Bristol in the summer of 1982, having recently completed a political science degree at Wits University in Johannesburg, during which he acquired a first taste for public international law.  This interest was nurtured at Bristol by Rose D'Sa and Don Greig, who was visiting Bristol at the time from the Australian National University in Canberra.  Although Daniel's path deviated briefly to the world of investment banking after Bristol, it subsequently recovered its direction, Bristol having cemented his interest in intentional law and given him the rudiments of lawyering.   Others at Bristol who shaped his interests included David Feldman, who broadened Daniel's interests to public law, an aspect that would feature heavily in his work at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Following his call to the Bar in 1988, an LLM in Cambridge in 1990, and pupillage which included a period in Brussels working in the field of European Community law (as it was then known), Daniel returned to London to take up a place in Chambers at 3 Essex Court (now 20 Essex Street) and, in parallel, a lectureship in international law at the London School of Economics with Professor (later Judge) Rosalyn Higgins.  In 1998, Daniel moved to Cambridge to take up the post of Deputy Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, becoming the Centre's Director in 2003.  Throughout this period, he continued to develop his practice at the Bar in the field of international law, appearing in cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, WTO dispute settlement panels, and elsewhere.

In May 2006, following an open competition, Daniel was appointed principal Legal Adviser of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the first external appointee to this post in its 170-year history.  He served as FCO Legal Adviser until May 2011, resuming his practice at the Bar at the end of this period.  He now acts as counsel, arbitrator and consultant on a range of international law matters, as well as advising on high legal content foreign policy issues.  He is a Bencher of Middle Temple and was knighted in June 2010.

Ben Emmerson QC (LLB 1985) barrister at Matrix Chambers, Deputy High Court judge, Honorary Fellow Mansfield College Oxford Univ, UN Special Rapporteur, British Judge international criminal trials Rwanda and  former Yugoslavia

Ben Emmerson QC is an international lawyer, specialising in European human rights law, public international law and international criminal law.  He read law at Bristol from 1982 to 1985.

He was a founder member of Matrix Chambers and has 25 years’ experience litigating before international courts and tribunals including the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Within the UK he is a deputy High Court Judge, a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple and an Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford.

Emmerson is currently the British judge on the Residual Mechanism of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

He has previously acted as Special Adviser to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court and Special Adviser to the international judges of the UN backed Khymer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia.

In June 2011 he was elected by the UN Human Rights Council as UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights. In this capacity he reports annually to the UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council and relevant entities established by the Security Council. He also conducts country visits and reports, and provides technical and other advice to States

Sir Richard Ottaway MP (LLB 1974) Chair of the Foreign Affairs select committeeSir Richard Ottaway read Law at Bristol University from 1971 to 1974.   On qualifying as a solicitor in 1977, he specialised in maritime and commercial law with leading city firms.  He is a former Officer in the Royal Navy and the Royal Naval Reserve.

He was first elected to Parliament as the Member for Nottingham North from 1983-87. After a period in industry he returned to Parliament in 1992 as the Member for Croydon South, and was re-elected in 1997, 2001 and 2005.

Between 1992 and 1995, he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Heseltine MP and from October 1995 was a Government Whip.

In opposition until 2005 he served as a Front Bench spokesman for the Conservative Party as Shadow Minister for London and Local Government, Shadow Defence Minister, Shadow Paymaster General and Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment.

In the 2005–2010 parliament he was a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee and Vice Chairman of the 1922 Committee He was also a member of the Conservative Party Board.

After the 2010 election he became the first Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee to be elected by MPs from all sides of the House.

In 2011 he was declared The Week’s, Back Bencher of the year. In 2012, he won a 2012 Global Media Award for his research into population growth.

He is also former chairman of the All Party Parliamentary London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Group and is currently a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Population, Development and Reproductive Health.

He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2013 and knighted in the 2014 New Years Honours.

He is married to Nicky and enjoys jazz and sailing. He is a successful yachtsman and has won a number of amateur trophies.

Sir Daniel Bethlehem

Sir Daniel Bethlehem KVMG QC

Ben Emmerson QC

Ben Emmerson QC

Sir Richard Ottaway

Sir Richard Ottaway MP

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