Professor Yutaka Arai

Professor of Law
Professor Yutaka Arai


Yutaka did his undergraduate study in Law for three years at Keio University and after skipping the mandatory fourth year of the undergraduate (‘tobikyu) obtained his LLM at University of Keio in 1993 within one year. During that time, he studied international relations at Brown University as an exchange student. He then moved to England and studied for his LLM and PhD at University of Cambridge. When employed at University of Kent at Canterbury and  Brussels, his PhD thesis was published as "The Margin of Appreciation Doctrine and the Principle of Proportionality in the Jurisprudence of the ECHR" in 2002 (Antwerp/Oxford: Intersentia/Hart). This was followed by another monograph "The Law of Occupation - Interplay between International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law" in 2009 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff).  

Yutaka has contributed chapters on legal theory to C. Andersen and M. Andenas (eds), Theory and Practice of Harmonisation and to Ulfstein et al. (eds), European Court of Human Rights in a National, European and Global Context (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011). He has also published a number of papers on international humanitarian law (IHL), including two chapters in: Clapham, A., Gaeta, P. and Sassòli, M. eds. The 1949 Geneva Conventions: A Commentary (OUP), and 'A Battle over Elasticity – Interpreting the Concept of 'Concrete and Direct Military Advantage Anticipated' under International Humanitarian Law' in: Haeck, Y. et al. eds. The Realization of Human Rights: When Theory Meets Practice (Intersentia); and 'Excessive Collateral Civilian Casualties and Military Necessity: Awkward Crossroads in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) between State Responsibility and Individual Criminal Liability'. in: Chinkin, C. and Baetens, F. eds. Sovereignty, Statehood and State Responsibility: Essays in Honour of James Crawford. CUP, pp. 325-339.  

He also contributed chapters to two of the most leading textbooks of the European Convention on Human Rights, P. Van Dijk and F. Van Hoof, The Theory and Practice of the European Convention on Human Rights, 4th ed., (Intersentia/Hart, 2006); and D.J. Harris, M. O'Boyle, C. Warbrick, E. Bate, C.M. Buckley (eds), Law of the European Convention on Human Rights, 2nd ed., (Oxford Univ. Press, 2009).  

Yutaka has been publishing a number of articles in journals on international law, international humanitarian law (IHL), human rights law, European law, and comparative public law, including the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law; Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Yearbook of European Law, Israel Law Review. He has been a visiting research fellow at the Max-Planck Institute of International Law, Heidelberg, and at the University of Geneva. He is now undertaking research for the purpose of writing a book on the drafting records of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.      

Research interests

  • International Humanitarian Law (IHL) (primary research interest)
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Criminal Law
  • European Human Rights Law (especially European Convention on Human Rights)
  • Theories of Public International Law


International humanitarian law (IHL). Still, I may supervise PhD candidates dealing with international human rights law and international criminal law.
Yutaka's working languages are English, French and Japanese, and he enjoys reading knowledge of German, Spanish, and Chinese.
Yutaka has successfully supervised a number of PhD candidates under his primary supervision, including: 

Dr Antonios Stylianou, ‘Humanitarian Intervention in International Law: A New World Order?’) and currently a lecturer at Univ. of Nicosia, Cyprus

Dr Omer Direk, assistant professor at Kocaeli University Law School, Istanbul, Turkey with his PhD thesis as a book: Security Detention in International Territorial Administrations: Kosovo, East Timor, and Iraq (Brill, 2016)

Dr Martin Hamilton (‘Cultural Genocide’), currently based at Centre for International Law and Operational Law, Swedish Defence University

Dr John Heieck, ‘The emerging concept of the duty to protect under international law’ with his PhD thesis published as a book, A Duty to Prevent Genocide, (Edward Elgar, 2018)

Dr Maite van Regenmorter, ‘Provisional Release in International Criminal Law’, a viva on 6 July 2016, with her PhD thesis published as a book The international Criminal Court and the Right to Interim Release, (Bruylant, 2018)

Dr Isabel Borges (as an external supervisor at University of Oslo); publication of her doctoral thesis as a monograph: Environmental Change, Forced Displacement and International Law, Routledge, 2018 (selected as among the 19 best international law books in 2019)

Dr Carina Lamont, ‘In Search of a Normative Framework, Jus post bellum for Effective, Purposive, and Sustainable Protection of Civilians in United Nations Peace Operations’; currently employed as a lecturer at the Swedish Defense Academy. Her PhD thesis will be published soon:  International Law in the Transition to Peace Protecting Civilians under jus post bellum

Dr Matthew Alan Wetherill, ‘"Judicial Interpretation and Nullum Crimen Sine Lege at the International Criminal Court: An Exercise in Utilizing 'Other Inhumane Acts' under Crimes Against Humanity’).  


Yutaka has taught as a visiting professor at universities in China, France, Italy, Japan and Korea. He has also been a visiting research fellow at the Max-Planck Institute of International Law, Heidelberg, and at the University of Geneva.

Yutaka has been invited to a number of expert meetings. These include:

  • The expert meetings and training of Bulgarian judges in ensuring compatibility of Bulgarian laws and judicial procedures with the requirements of the ECHR, organized by the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice and the Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Rights (NGO) (Ms Zdravka Kalaydjieva, who later became the judge of the European Court of Human Rights), 2003
  • The expert meeting on issues of international law concerning situations of prolonged occupation, commissioned by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Institute of Foreign Affairs, Manchester University, 2018, and at Université Libre de Bruxelles (Free University of Brussels), 2019
  • The ICRC and the College of Europe, 22nd Bruges Colloquium, to present a paper ‘Indirect Occupation and the Tale of Two Different Types of Control and Varying Degree(s) of Control – crossroads between the degree of territorial control and the degree of control by a third State over an armed group’ on October 2021

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