Paul Dale

Paul Dale

Birmingham Law School
Doctoral researcher
Visiting lecturer

Contact details


  • LLM (Dist) (Bham)
  • LLB (Hons) (Lond)


I have won one of two highly competitive Birmingham Law School scholarships to conduct PhD research in international legal theory. My main areas of interest are public international law and jurisprudence.

I recently gained the LLM with Distinction at Birmingham in ‘International Law: Crime, Justice and Human Rights’, my dissertation focused upon the rules of proportionality in the law of war, supervised by Alexander Orakhelashvili. I gained my LLB with the University of London’s external program, where I represented students within the committee structure.

I am passionate about teaching, having previously taught law in further education locally. In addition to being a visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham, I currently hold lectureships on the LLB with Aston University and The Open University.


  • Criminal law

Doctoral research

PhD title
Can John Austin’s theory of law, as properly understood, explain international law?
Professor Sean Coyle and Dr Alexander Orakhelashvili
Law PhD / PhD by Distance Learning / MPhil / MJur


Without a ruling sovereign, international law is accused by some of not being able to properly call itself law, charged with suffering from an ‘Austinian handicap’.  Alternative models of international law have been adopted. Many argue that international law cannot truly be called be law under John Austin’s model. My research challenges this perception. I argue that the power structures laid down by the allied nations of WWII, manifested by the veto on the UN Security Council acting with sovereign like power, are suitably adapted to the Austinian theory of law.

Source of Funding: Birmingham Law School Scholarship

Other activities

Pro bono work has included international human rights lobbying with the Law Society, offender rehabilitation at HMP Oakwood, Wolverhampton, youth mentoring with King Edward School, Aston and University of London academic governance roles.