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Dr Charlotte Peevers


Charlie joined the faculty as a lecturer in February 2012 from the UK, where she practised as a barrister and taught public international law at the London School of Economics and King's College London.

Charlie holds a PhD in public international law from the London School of Economics. She also holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh (MA(Hons) History) and Glasgow University (MSc in Human Rights and International Politics)(Distinction), as well as the CPE (Northumbria University), BVC (BPP Law), PGCHE (LSE) and PGC in Counselling (Strathclyde University).

Image of Charlotte Peevers
Lecturer, Faculty of Law
Core Member, Law Research Centre Research Strength
Law, PhD Law
+61 2 9514 3165

Research Interests

The politics of debating the use of force; the role of media in international law; and histories and theory of international law, with a particular interest in the legal history of the Suez Canal.

Can supervise: Yes
Available for supervision

  • Public International Law
  • International Criminal Law
  • International Human Rights


Peevers, C.E. 2013, The Politics of Justifying Force: The Suez Crisis, The Iraq War, and International Law, 1, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom.
What are the politics involved in a government justifying its use of military force abroad? What is the role of international law in that discourse? How and why is international law crucial to this process? And what role does the media have in mediating the interaction of international law and politics? This book provides a fresh and engaging answer to these questions. It introduces different actors to the study of international law in this context, in particular highlighting the importance of institutional actors and the role of the media. It takes a theoretical approach, informed by detailed empirical analysis of key case studies, which challenges the traditional distinction between the spheres of 'the international' and 'the domestic' in global affairs, and the role of international law in the making of public policy. The book specifically critiques the idea of the 'politics of justification', which argues that deploying international legal norms to justify governmental decisions resulting in the use of force necessarily constrains government actions, and leads to fewer instances of military intervention. The politics of justification, on this account, can be seen as a progressive practice, through which international law can become embedded in domestic societies. The book investigates the actors engaged in this justification, and the institutional contexts within which legal justification is articulated, interpreted, and contested. It provides a rich, detailed account of domestic British discourse in the crucial case studies of the Suez Crisis of 1956 and the Iraq War of 2003, making extensive use of archival material, newspaper and television reporting, Parliamentary debates, polling data, personal memoirs, and the declassified material provided to several Public Inquiries, including the Chilcot Inquiry. In light of these sources, it considers the concept of international law as a language and form of communication rather than a set of abstract norms. It argues that a detailed understanding of how that language is deployed, both in private and in public, is essential to gaining a deeper understanding of the role of international law in domestic politics. This book will be illuminating reading for scholars and students the use of force in international law, historians, and media theorists.

Journal articles

Peevers, C.E. 2013, 'Conducting International Authority: Hammarskjold, the Great Powers and the Suez Crisis', London Review of International Law, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 131-141.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
Anne Orfords International Authority and the Responsibility to Protect traces the lineage of international executive authority from its constitutive articulations, as practice, by reading Dag Hammarskjlds archives of office. Through her self-conscious historical accounting, Orford asks us to reconsider the received narrative of the emergence of the responsibility to protect (R2P) concept. The use of case studiesthe Suez and Congo crisesis not to facilitate a comparison with contemporary practices of protection, but rather to provide a foundation from which the reader can trace the construction of the R2P concept. In these remarks, I discuss how additional archival sources can add to Orfords account of the practices of international executive authority. These additional sources help to situate Hammarskjlds practices in relation to Great Power. I also seek to expand the basis of the case study account Orford providestaking the Suez Crisis as the subject of my commentsby examining the practices of authority not just as justification and rationalisation, but also as conduct.1 The question of conduct requires consideration of who `conducts authority in two senses: as conduct and as orchestration. Through such an account, tensions over conducting, composing, playing and reading become apparent, all of which might be seen as aspects of practice, but not all by the same individual nor indeed in fixed positions. By highlighting the orchestral aspects of `conducting I do not suggest passivity or subservience to Great Power, but imagine instead an interplay which, despite its tensions, seeks overall to produce a coherent form of performance, a harmony.