SOAS University of London

School of Law

Mr Riccardo Labianco

Master Degree in Law (Trento, Italy) LLM (SOAS)
  • Teaching
  • Research


Riccardo Labianco
School of Law

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Mr Riccardo Labianco
Email address:
Paul Webley Wing (Senate House)
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Thursday 14:00 - 14:30
Thesis title:
International Law and the Responsibility of States Engaged in Arms Transfers beyond Borders
Year of Study:
Year of entry 2016
Internal Supervisors


Riccardo obtained a five-year degree in law at the University of Trento, Italy, in 2015, with a specialisations in public international law and comparative constitutional law. His final dissertation concerned the concept of citizenship in Israel and Lebanon. In 2016, Riccardo graduated from SOAS, with the LLM in ‘Human Rights Conflict and Justice’, writing a dissertation based on a comparative analysis of the disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration processes in El-Salvador and Mozambique. Currently, Riccardo is writing his PhD dissertation at SOAS, researching the role of international law in regulating international arms transfers. Riccardo is a strong believer in the role of the law in maintaining peace and defending human dignity universally. He believes that international law can contribute to create a peaceful and just international community without borders.

At SOAS, Riccardo worked as office assistant and lecturer for the Academic Summer School. He was also a tutor for students on academic skills. He currently tutors and lectures on topics related to its research interests, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

In the Media

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Interview. Arms Trade, Conflict in Yemen and Trump's Veto, ABC Australia The World, 25th July 2019 (link at

‘Why British arms sales to Saudi Arabia ruled unlawful – what this means for the future’,
The Conversation UK, 21 June 2019. (link:

‘Spain tries to limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia – but following international law is expensive’,
The Conversation UK, 14 September 2018. (link:

‘UK-Saudi Arabia Arms Trade before the High Court: Questions Following the Judgment’, Opinio Juris, 13 September 2017 (link

Other articles available at

PhD Research

States engaged in international arms transfers are not free from responsibilities, especially when those armaments are involved in conflicts or atrocities. Despite its limitations, my research aims at analysing how international law imposes duties on states engaged in arms transfers and holds them responsible for the harmful outcomes of their shipments of weapons.

This research is a contribution that emphasises international law’s strengthens with regard to the regulation of arms transfers, without ignoring its weaknesses. Despite states have been transferring armaments for a long time, it seems that international norms on this phenomenon have rarely been subjected to an accurate analysis that takes into account both states’ practice on arms transfers and the values on which post-1945 international law is based, such as the maintenance of peace and the universality of human rights.

No state is an island; through its actions, every country can negatively or positively affect the peace of other regions of the world and the dignity of the people living there. In a time when arms embargoes are rare or scarcely respected, it is crucial that every state controls the transfer of arms sent abroad and responds of its responsibilities for their harmful effects. This research shows how international law can serve this purpose.



‘Relationship Between Municipal and International Law. President Mattarella’s Refusal to Promulgate a Law on the Financing of the Arms Industry.’ (2018) 27 The Italian Yearbook of International Law 495.

‘The Parliamentary Practice of Italy on Arms Export: The Cases of Libya, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Ukraine and Egypt.’ (2017) 26 The Italian Yearbook of International Law 604.


Tutor in Criminal Law of England and Wales and International Protection of Human Rights modules.


International Law of Armed Conflicts, Public International Law, The Relationship between International Relations and International Law, the Middle East.