School of Law

Dr Stephen Allen, BA (Kent); LLM (Bristol), PhD (Bristol); Barrister (Inner Temple); FHEA

Senior Lecturer in Law

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7822 5755
Room Number: Mile End


Dr Stephen Allen is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Queen Mary, University of London. He is also a qualified barrister and maintains a Door Tenancy at 5 Essex Court Chambers, London.

His main scholarly interests lie in the field of Public International Law. His books include: The Chagos Islanders and International Law (Hart, 2014) and Title to Territory in International Law: A Temporal Analysis (Ashgate, 2003, with Joshua Castellino). He has jointly edited several books including: The Oxford Handbook of Jurisdiction in International Law (OUP, in press, 2019); The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Marine Areas (Hart, in press, 2019); Fifty Years of the British Indian Ocean Territory: Legal Perspectives (Springer, 2018); and Reflections on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Hart, 2011).

Undergraduate Teaching

  • LLB Public International Law (LAW6032)
  • LLB Equity & Trusts (LAW5003 and LAW6056)


Dr Allen’s main scholarly interests lie in the field of Public International Law. Specifically, the areas of: (1) statehood; territoriality; and self-determination (especially in relation to Non-Self-Governing Territories); (2) the rights of Indigenous peoples (particularly regarding territorial and maritime claims); (3) the jurisdictional challenges associated with cyberspace (especially the criminal law aspects of data protection); (4) maritime disputes and the Law of the Sea more generally. 

Dr Allen has a special interest in the international law aspects of the various legal disputes relating to the Chagos Islands (British Indian Ocean Territory). He has acted as a consultant to the Chagossian (Bancoult) legal team regarding the international legal issues involved in this litigation. In addition, over the years, he has delivered presentations on this topic at Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, Kent, Nottingham, Stockholm and Vrije University (Amsterdam).

Dr Allen is also interested in the jurisdictional challenges presented by cyberspace. He was invited to lead workshops on the 2014 Munich Advanced Course in International Law (MACIL) at Munich University, which was dedicated to the theme of Cyberspace and International Law. He is currently a member of the Task Force set up in accordance with the JUD-IT Project (Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters and Electronic IT Data in the EU: Ensuring Efficient Cross-Border Cooperation and Mutual Trust). This Project is co-funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).

Dr Allen was a co-Director of the QMUL Research Centre, Centre for European & International Legal Affairs (CEILA) until 2018. He is also a member of the Centre for Small States and the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC).

He was an elected member of the International Law Association’s Committee on Indigenous Rights (2009-12).

He is currently supervising two PhD students working in the field of international law.


Recent and Forthcoming Research Publications


Book Chapters

Journal Articles

Shorter Works & Blog Posts


Dr Allen is currently supervising a number of PhD students in the field of international law.

Public Engagement

Dr Allen is a fully qualified Barrister with experience of legal practice. He maintains a Door Tenant at 5 Essex Court Chambers, Temple, in London.

He was a consultant to the Bancoult legal team on the international legal issues relating to the appeals in R (Bancoult) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2007 Court of Appeal and 2008 House of Lords) and the 2012 ECHR Case (Chagos Islanders v UK).

He was an elected Member of the International Law Association’s Committee on Indigenous Rights (2009-2012).

In his capacity as a CEILA Co-Director, Dr Allen has organised a number of workshops and seminars including:

  • In 2017/18, a seminar dedicated to a discussion of the CJEU’s decision in the Western Sahara Campaign Case; a workshop on Jurisdiction in International Law which acted as a work in progress workshop in connection with the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Jurisdiction in International Law.
  • In 2016/17, a workshop entitled ‘The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination at 50: Achievements and Prospects’; and a book symposium on Orla Lynskey’s, The Foundations of EU Data Protection Law.
  • In 2015/16, he organised a workshop on ‘Fifty Years of the British Indian Ocean Territory’ under the auspices of the Centre for Small States at QMUL  and  he co-convened the CEILA/CLSGC Annual Seminar Series on Jurisdiction and.

Dr Allen has a particular interest in Special Educational Needs Law. He has acted as a volunteer Tribunal Representative for IPSEA in cases instituted at the SENDIST tribunal.

Moreover, he recently secured an Award from the Society of Legal Scholars in support of Special Educational Needs Law Initiative. This project examined various ways in which Law Schools can foster legal education in the area of Special Educational Needs (SEN) Law. The Award covered the costs of a SEN Law workshop held on 30 November 2018. This event brought together a number of legal practitioners, charitable organisations, and academics with expertise in SEN Law to consider key issues. Further, in association with QMUL’s Legal Advice Centre, we started a pilot scheme – involving a small groups of student volunteers – to test the viability of providing (supervised) legal advice to the parents/guardians of children/young persons with SEN as part of a prospective SEN Law module.

Related news