School of Law

Dr Michelle Staggs Kelsall

Key information

Roles
School of Law Senior Lecturer in International Law School of Law Deputy Head of Undergraduate Admissions
Department
School of Law
Qualifications
BA (Media and Communications), LLB (Macquarie), LLM (LSE), PhD (Nottingham)
Building
Paul Webley Wing (Senate House)
Office
S224
Email address
mk128@soas.ac.uk
Telephone number
+44 (0) 207 898 5113
Support hours
Wednesdays, 1:45pm - 2:45pm (online) and Thursdays, 1:45pm - 2:45pm (in person)

Biography

Dr Michelle Staggs Kelsall joined SOAS as a Lecturer in International Law in July 2018. She holds a combined Bachelors in Media & Communications and Law (with Honours) from Macquarie University (Australia), a Masters in Public International Law (with Distinction) from the LSE and a PhD from the University of Nottingham. Prior to joining SOAS, Michelle worked for several years as a Human Rights Officer for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as in leadership positions for not-for-profit centres undertaking applied research in Southeast Asia and West Africa (Sierra Leone). This included leading trial monitoring programmes and conducting training for judges and lawyers working at UN-assisted international criminal tribunals in Sierra Leone and Cambodia. Most recently, she was the Deputy Director of the Human Rights Resource Centre (for ASEAN) where she oversaw all of the Centre’s research, training and outreach initiatives, including leading multi-country human rights studies with teams of researchers across all ten countries in ASEAN.

In keeping with her background, Michelle’s research has a strong empirical focus. She is particularly interested in how international law is understood, interpreted and reconstituted in the Global South, particularly in Asia (Southeast Asia). Her work adopts an interdisciplinary approach and draws on the social sciences and humanities to consider the intersections between public/private, global/local and domestic/international (amongst others).

Michelle’s current thematic focus is on the emergence of Business & Human Rights at the turn of the millennium. This includes considering the intersection between human rights, international corporate governance and corporate social responsibility and the creation of a new market for virtue in human rights legal services. Her doctoral dissertation looks at the emergence of Business & Human Rights at the United Nations, examining and critiquing the historical trajectories which led to its development from the 1970s – present day. 

Michelle is the Co-Founder of ATLAS (Acting Together: Law, Advice, Support) - a women’s legal network with over 6,000 members on all 5 continents, whose vision is to secure equal representation of women lawyers at all stages of their careers in the field of international law and policy across the globe.

Research interests

  • International Human Rights Law (Business and Human Rights)
  • International Law
  • International Legal Theory
     

Publications

Contact Michelle