Accepting PhD Students


    Research activity per year

    Personal profile


    Patrick is a Senior Lecturer in Law in the School of Law, Criminology, and Policing. He is also an International Law Researcher for the House of Commons Library in the UK Parliament.

    He is Author of The Responsibility to Protect and the Failures of the United Nations Security Council (avaliable in paperback from December 2022).

    He has also acted as Expert Advisor for the APCR2P's Guidance Document "The Powers of the UN General Assembly to Prevent and Respond to Atrocity Crimes", written by Rebeca Barber.


    Patrick’s research interests generally are in conflict and security law, the law of armed conflict, and the use of force in international law. His research projects have examined the international community’s ‘Responsibility to Protect’ populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. Specifically, this research focussed on the use of force and coercive measures by states when the United Nations Security Council fails to uphold this responsibility.

    Previously, he has published research findings on the interpretation of the prohibition of force in international law based upon what he describes as the ‘original intentions’ of the drafters of the United Nations Charter at the drafting conference in San Francisco in 1945. These findings seek to explain the prohibition in article 2(4) of the UN Charter, exploring how the mechanics of the provision operate in light the contradictory relationship between its well-recognised ‘exceptions’ and the corresponding status of the prohibition as a non-derogable norm of jus cogens.

    Between 2018 and 2022, Patrick was General Editor of the Journal on the Use of Force and International Law’s Digest of State Practice, which collects and collates instances of state practice and legal opinions on the use of force and publishes them in the Digest every 6 months. Previously, he also acted as Regional Coordinator for the Digest since the Journal's inception. He is now a member of the Journal's Editorial Board.

    Research interests

    • Public International Law
    • Conflict and Security Law
    • Responsibility to Protect
    • The Law of the United Nations
    • International Law and the Use of Force
    • Law of Armed Conflict

    External engagement

    Form September 2020 - August 2022, Patrick was a Parliamentary Fellow in international law, and joined the International Affairs and Defence Section of the House of Commons Library in the UK Parliament. 

    From September 2022, Patrick was successful in being recruited by the House of Commons on a permanent basis, and became the Library's International Law Researcher in the International Affairs and Defence Section. 

    He is a Member of the International Law Association.

    Public/media engagement

    Patrick has undertaken several media engagements, including on BBC Radio, where he provided updates and expert insight on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the international reaction to the situation in Ukraine. He has also offered expert comment for outputs such as the Business Insider / Insider, BBC Merseyside, and other media outlets.


    • LAW1002      Public Law 1
    • LAW1003      Law of Contract
    • LAW2007      Public Law 1
    • LAW3038      Human Rights
    • LAW3040      International Business Law
    • LAW3221      International Peace and Security

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    Law, PhD, he Responsibility to Protect when the UN Security Council Fails to Act: Is there Room for a Tertiary Responsibility?, University of Liverpool

    1 Oct 201319 Dec 2017

    Award Date: 16 Jul 2018


    • KZ Law of Nations
    • International Law
    • Conflict and Security Law
    • Use of Force
    • Responsibility to Protect
    • United Nations

    Research Centres

    • International Justice and Human Rights Research Centre

    Research Groups

    • International Justice and Human Rights Research Group


    Dive into the research topics where PATRICK BUTCHARD is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
    • 1 Similar Profiles

    Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

    Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or