Sir Daniel Bethlehem, KCMG QC

Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law (Fall 2014)

Office: JGH 838
435 West 116th Street
New York NY 10027
Tel: (212) 854-2795

Assistant Info

Name: Sara Kuperminc
Phone: (212) 854-0722

  • Wits University, B.A., 1981
  • University of Bristol, LL.B. (Hons), 1985
  • University of Cambridge, LL.M., 1990


Following a five year tenure as principal Legal Adviser of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FC), from May 2006 to May 2011, Daniel Bethlehem returned to private practice at the London Bar in September 2011 specializing in public international law. In this role, he acts as counsel and adviser, as well as sitting as arbitrator and on inquiry panels. Having practiced at the Bar from 1990 until his appointment to the FCO in 2006, Daniel has extensive advisory, litigation and arbitration experience representing States, international and non-governmental organizations, corporations and individuals on issues across the full breadth of public international law as well as aspects of European Union law and international and European human rights law. He has appeared frequently before a wide range of international courts and tribunals, from the International Court of Justice to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, WTO and regional trade panels, ad hoc international arbitration panels, and other international dispute settlement mechanisms. He has similarly appeared before all levels of English courts and tribunals, from Employment Tribunals (addressing issues of State immunity) through to the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords / Supreme Court. He has also appeared before the EU courts in Luxembourg and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. In these roles, he has acted both as counsel and as agent overseeing and guiding the strategic formulation of litigation and dispute settlement policy.

Complementing this experience, Daniel has also advised and represented States, international and non-governmental organizations, corporations and individuals in respect of high legal content policy and political matters, ranging from international peace negotiations to arms limitation talks and political representation in such fora as the United Nations, European Union and Council of Europe.

Daniel is a panelist on the WTO indicative list of panelists, has participated in NAFTA and ad hoc trade panel proceedings and has sat as arbitrator in proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In parallel with his pre-FCO Bar practice, Daniel was the Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge from 2003 to 2006 and before that, from 1998 to 2003, its Deputy Director. He was, throughout this period, a Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Prior to his move to Cambridge in 1998, he was a lecturer in international law at the London School of Economics from 1992 to 1998. From 1990 to 1992, Daniel practiced European Community law in Brussels as counsel associated with the law firm Forrester Norall & Sutton. Before commencing practice at the Bar in 1990, Daniel worked for a number of years in investment banking at Barclays de Zoete Wedd and Nikko Securities in the fields of European equity strategy and corporate finance, observing first hand both the “Big Bang” deregulation of the London financial markets of 1986 and the stock market crash of 1987.

Having returned to the private sector, following the end of his FCO tenure, Daniel is, in parallel with his Bar practice, also actively engaged in the foreign policy advisory field, as Director of Legal Policy International Limited (LPI) and as a Consulting Senior Fellow for Law and Strategy at The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). He is a member of the Advisory Council of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, the Advisory Committee of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, and a Counsellor of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. He has previously been a member of the Council of the British Branch of the International Law Association and of the Advisory Council the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Daniel has published, taught and lectured widely on topics across the range of public international law from the use of force and economic sanctions to trade, human rights and refugee law, and the place and role of law in international dispute settlement.

Daniel is a Bencher of Middle Temple, one of the London Barristers Inns of Court. He was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2010.


  • “International Law and the Use of Force: the Law As It Is and As It Should Be,” Written evidence submitted to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (Seventh Report, 2004).
  • “Domestic Implementation of Security Council Decisions on Sanctions: A Comparative Approach - The European Union”, in Gowlland-Debbas (ed.), Domestic Implementation of Security Council Decisions on Sanctions: A Comparative Approach (2004).
  • “The scope and content of the principle of non-refoulement: Opinion”, with Sir Elihu Lauterpacht QC, in Feller, Türk and Nicholson (eds.), Refugee Protection in International Law (2003).