Prof. Christian J. Tams - Matrix Chambers
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Prof. Christian Tams
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Prof. Christian J. Tams

Christian is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow.

Christian is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow and a qualified German lawyer (qualified 2005). He specialises in international dispute settlement, notably inter-State litigation, investment disputes and questions of international sports law.

Over the course of the past 20 years, Christian has represented States in cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and the Iran-US Claims Tribunal. He has been involved, as counsel or expert, in arbitral proceedings under the main frameworks of investment arbitration (ICSID, PCA, ICC, UNCITRAL) and in proceedings before domestic courts (e.g. concerning the recognition and enforcement of awards). Christian is a member of the appointment committee of the German Court of Arbitration for Sport and of the programme committee of 2021 ICCA Congress.

For notable cases please see Christian’s case list

In addition to contentious matters, Christian regularly advises governments and investors on a wide range of legal questions, including access to international courts, the impact of investment treaties on domestic law, and maritime claims.

As a generalist international lawyer, Christian is able to situate disputes in specialised fields (investment, sports, state succession, boundary disputes, immunities, etc.) within the broader context of international law. He is able to work across practice areas to find solutions to cross-cutting disputes.

Christian has published widely on questions of international law and is recognised as an authority on international courts, State immunity, investment protection, as well as the law of treaties and State responsibility. The Commentary on the Statute of the International Court of Justice (3rd edn., Oxford 2019), which he co-edits, is the leading guide to the law and practice of the World Court and has been described as a “monumental work“.  Christian sits on the Board of the European Society of International Law and the Council of the German Society of International Law.

Christian is fluent in German and has a strong working knowledge of French. He has regularly been involved in bilingual (English-French) litigation before international courts.

Christian has been a Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow since 2008. He studied law at the universities of Kiel and Lyon before moving on to Cambridge where he completed an LLM in international law (2000, first class honours, Whewell Prize, Clive Parry Prize) and a PhD supervised by Professor James Crawford (Yorke Prize). In 1999 and 2000, he worked as a legal assistant at the UN International Law Commission. Between 2005 and 2009, he held an assistant professorship at the Walther Schücking Institute of International Law in Kiel (Germany).

Christian has published widely on questions of international law, notably on the law of state responsibility, dispute settlement and investment protection. The Oxford Commentary on the Statute of the International Court of Justice (3rd edn., Oxford 2019), which he co-edits, is one of the leading works on the World Court. Christian has held, or holds, visiting appointments at universities in Europe and overseas, incl. at Sciences Po Law School (Paris), the China-EU School of Law (Beijing), the University of Vienna (Austria) and the German Sport University (Cologne). He is a member of the councils of the German Society of International Law and of the International Law Association (British Branch), is one of the Editors of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law and the Review Editor of the European Journal of International Law. In 2018, he directed the English-speaking section of the Hague Academy of International Law (Centre for Studies and Research).

Books (as author and editor):

The Statute of the International Court of Justice. A Commentary (3rd edn, with Zimmermann), OUP 2019 (1980 pp.);Self-Defence against Non-State Actors (with O’Connell and Tladi), CUP 2019 (272pp.); International Investment Law and History (with Schill and Hofmann), Elgar 2018 (384 pp.); International Investment Law and the Global Financial Architecture (with Schill and Hofmann), Elgar 2017 (347 pp.); Research Handbook on the Law of Treaties (with Tzanakopoulos and Zimmermann), Elgar 2014 (680 pp.); The Genocide Convention (with Berster and Schiffbauer), Hart/Beck 2014 (468 pp); The Development of International Law by the International Court of Justice (with Sloan), OUP 2013 (415 pp.); The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property (with O’Keefe), OUP 2013 (550 pp.); Preferential Trade Agreements and International Investment Law (with Hofmann and Schill), Nomos 2013 (345 pp.); Legacies of the Permanent Court of International Justice (with Fitzmaurice), Brill/Nijhoff 2013 (440 pp.); Enforcing Obligations Erga Omnes in International Law. Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law (CUP) (359 pp.), first published in 2005, revised paperback edn. 2010.

Contributions to journals and books:

International Courts and Violent Conflict, in Geiss/Melzer, Oxford Handbook on Global Security (OUP 2021); The World Court’s Influence on Contemporary Investment Law (with Methymaki, in Ruiz Fabri/Stoppioni, International Investment Law: An Analysis of the Major Decisions (Elgar 2021); Regulating Treaty Breaches, in Bowman/Kritsiotis (eds.), Conceptual and Contextual Perspectives on the Modern Law of Treaties (CUP 2018), 440-467; State Succession to Investment Treaties, in ICSID Review: Foreign Investment Law Journal 2016, 314-343; Die Identifikation des Völkergewohnheitsrechts, in Proceedings of the German Society of International Law 37 (2016), 323-371; Procedural Aspects of Investor-state Dispute Settlement: the Emergence of a European Approach?, in Journal of World Investment and Trade 2014, 585-611; Prospects for Humanitarian Uses of Force, in Cassese (ed.), Realizing Utopia. The Future of International Law (Oxford 2012), 359-374; Individual States as Guardians of Community Interests, in Festschrift Bruno Simma (Oxford 2011), 379-405; Transparency and Public Interest Representation in Investment Arbitration (with A. Asteriti), in Schill (ed.), International Investment Law and Comparative Public Law (Oxford 2010), 787-816; The Use of Force against Terrorists, European Journal of International Law 20 (2009), 359-397 and 1057-1062; as well as contributions to leading commentaries on the UN Charter (Simma), to the German Grundgesetz (Berliner Kommentar) and reference works (Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law)

Please see here for Christian’s privacy notice.

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Prof. Christian Tams

Christian is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow.

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • International arbitration
  • Public International Law
  • Sports Law

Prof. Christian J. Tams

Contact Prof. Tams: christiantams@matrixlaw.co.uk | +44 (0)20 7404 3447

Contact Prof. Tams's Practice Team (Team T): TeamT@matrixlaw.co.uk


Christian is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow and a qualified German lawyer (qualified 2005). He specialises in international dispute settlement, notably inter-State litigation, investment disputes and questions of international sports law.

Over the course of the past 20 years, Christian has represented States in cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and the Iran-US Claims Tribunal. He has been involved, as counsel or expert, in arbitral proceedings under the main frameworks of investment arbitration (ICSID, PCA, ICC, UNCITRAL) and in proceedings before domestic courts (e.g. concerning the recognition and enforcement of awards). Christian is a member of the appointment committee of the German Court of Arbitration for Sport and of the programme committee of 2021 ICCA Congress.

For notable cases please see Christian’s case list

In addition to contentious matters, Christian regularly advises governments and investors on a wide range of legal questions, including access to international courts, the impact of investment treaties on domestic law, and maritime claims.

As a generalist international lawyer, Christian is able to situate disputes in specialised fields (investment, sports, state succession, boundary disputes, immunities, etc.) within the broader context of international law. He is able to work across practice areas to find solutions to cross-cutting disputes.

Christian has published widely on questions of international law and is recognised as an authority on international courts, State immunity, investment protection, as well as the law of treaties and State responsibility. The Commentary on the Statute of the International Court of Justice (3rd edn., Oxford 2019), which he co-edits, is the leading guide to the law and practice of the World Court and has been described as a “monumental work“.  Christian sits on the Board of the European Society of International Law and the Council of the German Society of International Law.

Christian is fluent in German and has a strong working knowledge of French. He has regularly been involved in bilingual (English-French) litigation before international courts.

Academic Career and Education

Christian has been a Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow since 2008. He studied law at the universities of Kiel and Lyon before moving on to Cambridge where he completed an LLM in international law (2000, first class honours, Whewell Prize, Clive Parry Prize) and a PhD supervised by Professor James Crawford (Yorke Prize). In 1999 and 2000, he worked as a legal assistant at the UN International Law Commission. Between 2005 and 2009, he held an assistant professorship at the Walther Schücking Institute of International Law in Kiel (Germany). Christian has published widely on questions of international law, notably on the law of state responsibility, dispute settlement and investment protection. The Oxford Commentary on the Statute of the International Court of Justice (3rd edn., Oxford 2019), which he co-edits, is one of the leading works on the World Court. Christian has held, or holds, visiting appointments at universities in Europe and overseas, incl. at Sciences Po Law School (Paris), the China-EU School of Law (Beijing), the University of Vienna (Austria) and the German Sport University (Cologne). He is a member of the councils of the German Society of International Law and of the International Law Association (British Branch), is one of the Editors of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law and the Review Editor of the European Journal of International Law. In 2018, he directed the English-speaking section of the Hague Academy of International Law (Centre for Studies and Research).

Key Publications

Books (as author and editor): The Statute of the International Court of Justice. A Commentary (3rd edn, with Zimmermann), OUP 2019 (1980 pp.);Self-Defence against Non-State Actors (with O’Connell and Tladi), CUP 2019 (272pp.); International Investment Law and History (with Schill and Hofmann), Elgar 2018 (384 pp.); International Investment Law and the Global Financial Architecture (with Schill and Hofmann), Elgar 2017 (347 pp.); Research Handbook on the Law of Treaties (with Tzanakopoulos and Zimmermann), Elgar 2014 (680 pp.); The Genocide Convention (with Berster and Schiffbauer), Hart/Beck 2014 (468 pp); The Development of International Law by the International Court of Justice (with Sloan), OUP 2013 (415 pp.); The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property (with O’Keefe), OUP 2013 (550 pp.); Preferential Trade Agreements and International Investment Law (with Hofmann and Schill), Nomos 2013 (345 pp.); Legacies of the Permanent Court of International Justice (with Fitzmaurice), Brill/Nijhoff 2013 (440 pp.); Enforcing Obligations Erga Omnes in International Law. Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law (CUP) (359 pp.), first published in 2005, revised paperback edn. 2010. Contributions to journals and books: International Courts and Violent Conflict, in Geiss/Melzer, Oxford Handbook on Global Security (OUP 2021); The World Court’s Influence on Contemporary Investment Law (with Methymaki, in Ruiz Fabri/Stoppioni, International Investment Law: An Analysis of the Major Decisions (Elgar 2021); Regulating Treaty Breaches, in Bowman/Kritsiotis (eds.), Conceptual and Contextual Perspectives on the Modern Law of Treaties (CUP 2018), 440-467; State Succession to Investment Treaties, in ICSID Review: Foreign Investment Law Journal 2016, 314-343; Die Identifikation des Völkergewohnheitsrechts, in Proceedings of the German Society of International Law 37 (2016), 323-371; Procedural Aspects of Investor-state Dispute Settlement: the Emergence of a European Approach?, in Journal of World Investment and Trade 2014, 585-611; Prospects for Humanitarian Uses of Force, in Cassese (ed.), Realizing Utopia. The Future of International Law (Oxford 2012), 359-374; Individual States as Guardians of Community Interests, in Festschrift Bruno Simma (Oxford 2011), 379-405; Transparency and Public Interest Representation in Investment Arbitration (with A. Asteriti), in Schill (ed.), International Investment Law and Comparative Public Law (Oxford 2010), 787-816; The Use of Force against Terrorists, European Journal of International Law 20 (2009), 359-397 and 1057-1062; as well as contributions to leading commentaries on the UN Charter (Simma), to the German Grundgesetz (Berliner Kommentar) and reference works (Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law)

Articles and Downloads

The Use of Force against Terrorists (European Journal of International Law 2009) Commentary to Article 94 UN Charter, in Zimmermann/Tams, The Statute of the International Court of Justice. A Commentary (3rd edn., Oxford 2019) General Introduction (in O’Keefe and Tams, The UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property. A Commentary, Oxford 2013) International Courts and tribunals and violent conflict (in Oxford Handbook on the International Law of Global Security (Oxford 2021)
Prof. Tams's Privacy Notice

Please see here for Christian’s privacy notice.