Surya P. Subedi

  • Practice Groups
  • International Dispute Resolution
  • Career
  • 1981 Called to the Bar of Nepal by the Supreme Court.

    2007 Called to the Bar of England by the Middle Temple.

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Professor Surya P. Subedi, O.B.E.
DPhil (Oxford); Barrister (Middle Temple)

Surya P. Subedi is Professor of International Law at the University of Leeds and Barrister at Tanfield Chambers in London. His law practice, teaching and research have covered a wide range of areas within international law, including public international law, international law of trade and investment, international human rights law, international environmental and watercourses law, and the law of the sea. He has advised a number of countries and public utility companies on international legal matters and taught at a number of other universities in Britain, the Netherlands, the U.S., and Sweden. He has served as a Crown representative on the Governing Body of SOAS, Univeristy of London, for five years and as a founder-Director of the Centre for International Governance at Leeds. He has been the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia since 2009. He currently also serves as a member of a high-level Advisory Group on Human Rights to the British Foreign Secretary. He was elected to the Institut de Droit International in 2011 and made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his services to international law in 2004.

Professor Subedi has published widely in international law with 10 books authored or edited, more than 50 scholarly articles in most major international law journals and a good number of chapters in other edited books. He also has served as an editor of two prestigious international law journals - the Asian Yearbook of International Law (published by Martinus Nijhoff in The Hague) between 1999 and 2006 and the Asian Journal of International Law (published by Cambridge University Press) since 2010. He has been designated to serve on the Panels of Arbitrators and of Conciliators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and on the Panels of the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

He holds a DPhil in Law from the University of Oxford, an LLM with Distinction from the University of Hull, and an LLB from Tribhuvan University. He was awarded the Dasturzada Pavry Memorial Prize for an outstanding thesis by the University of Oxford for his doctoral thesis, a prize for one of his books for Outstanding Legal Scholarship by the British Society of Legal Scholars, and the Josephine Onoh Memorial Prize for best LLM student of the year by the University of Hull. He also was awarded a British Council Scholarship to Hull for LLM studies and a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Scholarship to Oxford for his doctoral studies.

He was called to the Bar of Nepal in 1980 and has served as a District Public Prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney-General, as an Under-Secretary in the International Law Division of the Ministry of Law and Justice, and as a legal advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and represented the country in the UN General Assembly. He was decorated by His late Majesty King Birendra of Nepal with a high Nepalese State honour – the Order of Suprabal Gorkhadaxinbahu for services to international law and to the nation.

Professor Subedi currently also serves as a co-chair of a major British medical charity – the Britain-Nepal Medical Trust – with operations in 23 districts in Nepal.

Contact details:
The School of Law, Liberty Building, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, England. Tel: + (44) 113 3434 616; E-mail:


  • Formerly Consultant on international legal matters to Mishcon de Reya Solicitors in London.
  • Advisory work for various governments, including Britain, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Vietnam, Nepal, and Laos, on international legal matters.
  • Advisory work for three major public utility companies in two developing countries in their disputes with foreign multinational companies.
  • Legal adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce, Government of Nepal.
  • Advisory and advocacy work from the Office of the Attorney-General of Nepal.


Author, International Investment Law: Reconciling Policy and Principle (Hart Publishing, Oxford, in Press, 2008) 

Author, International Watercourses Law for the 21st Century: The Case of the River Ganges Basin (Ashgate Publishing, UK, 2005)

General Editor, Asian Yearbook of International Law (Martinus Nijhoff/Brill, The Hague1999-2006)

In the Media

2006 - The Netherlands International Law Review (Vol. 53 [2]) published an article entitled The Notion of Free Trade and the First Ten Years of the World Trade Organization: How Level is the “Level Playing Field”?

2006 - The International Lawyer (Vol. 40 [1]) published an article entitled The Challenge of Reconciling the Competing Principles within the Law of Foreign Investment with Special Reference to the Recent Trend in the Interpretation of the Term “Expropriation”

April 2003 - International and Comparative Law Quarterly (Vol. 52 [2]) published an article entitled The Road from Doha: The Issues for the Development Round of the WTO and the Future of International Trade

2003 - Resolution of International Water Disputes (Volume 6 in the PCA Peace Palace Papers series, The Hague, Kluwer Law International) published an article entitled Resolution of International Water Disputes: Challenges for the 21st Century in International Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

1999 - Brooklyn Journal of International Law (Vol. 25 [2]) published an article on Balancing International Trade with Environmental Protection: International Legal Aspects of Eco-labels


  • Executive Member, Asian Society of International Law, Singapore.
  • Member, South Asia Programme Advisory Group, INTERIGHTS (Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights), London.
  • Fellow, the Royal Society of Arts, London.
  • Member, Nepal Bar Association, Kathmandu.
  • Member, Middle Temple, London.


  • DPhil in Law, University of Oxford
  • LLM with Distinction, University of Hull
  • LLB and MA, Tribhuvan University


UN Human Rights Council has appointed Professor Subedi as the next UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia

Member, Roster of Panellists of the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation.

Crown Representative, Governing Board, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.