Dr Christopher Szabla
|Assistant Professor in the Durham Law School|
|Fellow in the Centre for Sustainable Development Law and Policy|
Christopher Szabla is Assistant Professor in International Law at Durham Law School. His research has focused on international law, legal history, migration, and mobility and border control.
He earned a BA from Columbia University, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MA and PhD from Cornell University. He was senior editor of the Harvard International Law Journal and has also studied in Berlin and Cairo.
Prior to joining Durham, Christopher was a Global Academic Fellow at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, where he co-founded a Junior Scholars Forum, was on the board of the Centre for Comparative and Public Law, and taught criminal law. Earlier, he taught courses on international law, migration, and history at Cornell. He has also been a visiting fellow at the Graduate Institute Geneva.
He is a member of the bar in New York, where he was a practicing attorney. He has also worked in refugee legal assistance in Cairo and for the UN agency assisting the Khmer Rouge trials in Cambodia.
His research has earned the Morris Cohen Prize from the American Association of Law Libraries and grants from the Social Science Research Council, the Council for European Studies, and the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. He also received Cornell’s Messenger Chalmers Prize for his doctoral work in history.
Recent publications have explored how decolonisation impacted the divergence between migration and refugee law, how the International Labour Organisation's influenced migrant rights in colonial and developmental contexts, the reform of global migration governance, the history of the jurisprudence of free movement, and international legal debate over colonial wars. His book project focuses on the history of international migration law and organisations and their consequences for ideas of sovereignty and the roots of recent “migration crises.”
He is currently undertaking new projects concerned with extraterritorial border control and ad hoc extraditions. A larger historical project concerns small jurisdictions' challenges in balancing border control and necessary mobility, with ramifications for how states approach mobility in a fragmenting world today.
Dr Szabla welcomes media enquiries concerning international law, global order, colonial legacies, and migration and border control.
- International Law
- International Legal History
- Global Legal History
- Migration and Refugees
- Law of Armed Conflict
- Szabla, C. (2022). Rushing to Conclusions? - review of "Move: How Mass Migration Will Reshape the World" by Parag Khanna
- Szabla, C. (2021). Are port cities the keys that can unlock the history of globalization? - review of "Unlocking the World: Port Cities and Globalization in the Age of Steam, 1830-1930," by John Darwin
- Szabla, C. (2019). Radical Movements - review of Across Oceans of Law: The Komagata Maru and Jurisdiction in the Time of Empire, by Renisa Mawani
Chapter in book
- Szabla, C. (2021). Contingent Movements? The Differential Decolonisations of International Refugee and Migration Law and Governance. In K. J. Heller, & I. V. eds (Eds.), Contingency in International Law: On the Possibility of Different Legal Histories (199-212). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780192898036.003.0012
- Szabla, C. (2023). Civilising Violence: International Law in the British Empire, 1850-1900. Revue d'histoire du droit international, 25(1), 70-104. https://doi.org/10.1163/15718050-bja10081
- Szabla, C. (2022). A New Foundation for Freedom of Movement in an Age of Sovereign Control: The Liberal Jurisprudence of August Wilhelm Heffter. Law and History Review, 40(1), 63-90. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0738248021000596
- Szabla, C. (2021). Reimagining Global Migration Governance: From Insufficient Ideas to South-South Solutions. Berkeley journal of international law, 39(1), 19-80
- Szabla, C. (2020). Entrenching Hierarchies in the Global Periphery: Migration, Development, and the 'Native' in ILO Legal Reform Efforts. Melbourne journal of international law, 21(2), 334-372
Other (Digital/Visual Media)
- Szabla, C. (2023). Between human rights and border control. [online]
- Szabla, C. (2021). T.F. Johnson, “Self-Respecting” Refugee Relief, and a Petit-Bourgeois Plan for World Peace. [[Media unknown]]
- Szabla, C. (2020). Mobility in Crisis: Can Global Governance Get the World Moving Again?. [[Media unknown]]
- Szabla, C. (2018). Reading Marx on Migration. [[Media unknown]]