Dr Rebecca Sutton

  • Senior Lecturer in International Law (School of Law)

email: Rebecca.Sutton@glasgow.ac.uk

Room 5118, Advanced Research Centre (ARC), 11 Chapel Lane, Glasgow, G11 6EW

Import to contacts

Biography

Rebecca Sutton is an international lawyer and academic with a practitioner background in youth peacebuilding, human rights and humanitarian aid. Her interdisciplinary research agenda focuses on the role of emotions in International Humanitarian Law (IHL), innovations in legal education pedagogy, and participatory methods in youth peacebuilding. Her research has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the European Research Council, the Australian Research Council, the UK Global Challenges Research Fund and the Arthur C. Helton Foundation. 

Rebecca's first book, The Humanitarian Civilian, was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. Her scholarship appears in peer-reviewed journals such as Leiden Journal of International Law, African Affairs, Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, International Review of the Red Cross, Journal of International Humanitarian Action, and in edited collections such as Research Handbook on Law and Emotion (Edward Elgar 2021), Research Handbook on Children and Armed Conflict (Edward Elgar forthcoming) and Who Do the Laws of War Protect? Civility, Barbarity and IHL (CUP forthcoming). 

Prior to joining the University of Glasgow Rebecca was a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at Edinburgh Law School, where she led the project Frontline Land: The Everyday Life of IHL. She has also held academic positions or fellowships at the European University Institute, the University of Oxford, Melbourne Law School and McGill University. She holds a PhD in Law from the London School of Economics, a JD from the University of Toronto, and an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS, University of London. Rebecca qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor in Ontario in 2014, after summering at a boutique litigation firm and clerking at the Ontario Court of Appeal. Her formative training in interdisciplinarity comes from McMaster University’s Arts and Science Programme, where she received a B.A./BSc with a combined honours in Peace Studies.

Rebecca previously worked as a practitioner in the humanitarian field. She has lived or worked in Sudan; South Sudan; the Central African Republic; Thailand; Indonesia; South Africa; Ghana; and northern India. She spent five years with the NGO War Child Canada, and from 2009-2011 she was based in Darfur as War Child’s Sudan Country Director. Rebecca routinely advises policymakers and in 2021-2022 she led the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) study Beyond Compliance: IHL, Humanitarian Need and Civilian Harm in Armed Conflict.

Research interests

  • International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law in war
  • The everyday life of international law
  • The role of emotions in international law
  • Critical humanitarianism/security/military studies
  • Negotiations; mediation; peacebuilding; conflict transformation
  • Children, youth and war
  • Socio-legal methods: ethnography, law in action, law and emotion
  • Innovative pedagogy: experiential learning, games, simulations and role-play
  • Participatory Action Research (PAR)

As a researcher, Rebecca is also interested in challenging traditional methods of ‘field’ research by flipping the typical north-south transmission of knowledge. Since 2019 she have been engaging in knowledge exchange and PAR projects with displaced youth, focusing on Rohingya youth living in camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She am keen to engage further on youth PAR with community partners in Scotland and beyond.

Glasgow Centre for International Law and Security: https://gcils.org/author/rebecca

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0009-5240-7682

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-sutton-bbb601b4

Academia.edu: https://glasgow.academia.edu/RebeccaSutton

SSRN: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=2588225

Personal website: https://www.rebeccasutton.net

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2018 | 2016 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2008
Number of items: 18.

2023

Sutton, R. and Stupart, R. (2023) The identity work of journalists and humanitarians in South Sudan’s Protection of Civilians sites. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, (doi: 10.1080/17502977.2023.2241753) (Early Online Publication)

Sutton, R. (2023) Read the room: legal and emotional literacy in frontline humanitarian negotiations. In: Krieger, H., Kalmanovitz, P., Lieblich, E. and Mignot-Mahdavi, R. (eds.) Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, Volume 24 (2021). T.M.C. Asser Press: The Hague, pp. 103-139. ISBN 9789462655584 (doi: 10.1007/978-94-6265-559-1_4)

2022

Sutton, R. and Paddon Rhoads, E. (2022) Empathy in frontline humanitarian negotiations: a relational approach to engagement. Journal of International Humanitarian Action, 7, 23. (doi: 10.1186/s41018-022-00131-0)

2021

Sutton, R. (2021) How the emotions and perceptual judgments of frontline actors shape the practice of international humanitarian law. In: Bandes, S. A., Madeira, J. L., Temple, K. D. and White, E. K. (eds.) Research Handbook on Law and Emotion. Series: Research handbooks in legal theory. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited: Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, pp. 477-491. ISBN 9781788119078 (doi: 10.4337/9781788119085.00048)

Sutton, R. (2021) The Humanitarian Civilian: How the Idea of Distinction Circulates Within and Beyond International Humanitarian Law. Series: Oxford monographs in international humanitarian and criminal law. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780198863816 (doi: 10.1093/oso/9780198863816.001.0001)

2020

Rhoads, E. P. and Sutton, R. (2020) The (self) protection of civilians in South Sudan: popular and community justice practices. African Affairs, 119(476), pp. 370-394. (doi: 10.1093/afraf/adaa017)

Sutton, R. (2020) Enacting the ‘civilian plus’: international humanitarian actors and the conceptualization of distinction. Leiden Journal of International Law, 33(2), pp. 429-449. (doi: 10.1017/S092215651900075X)

2018

Sutton, R. (2018) A hidden fault line: how international actors engage with IHL’s principle of distinction. In: Deland, M., Klamberg, M. and Wrange, P. (eds.) International Humanitarian Law and Justice: Historical and Sociological Perspectives. Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY, pp. 85-99. ISBN 9781138477551 (doi: 10.4324/9781351104449-9)

Sutton, R. (2018) The “phantom local” and the everyday distinction practices of humanitarian actors in war: a socio-legal perspective. New Political Science, 40(4), pp. 640-657. (doi: 10.1080/07393148.2018.1528061)

Sutton, R. and Stern, O. (2018) International humanitarian law. In: Allen, T., Macdonald, A. and Radice, H. (eds.) Humanitarianism: A Dictionary of Concepts. Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY, pp. 168-180. ISBN 9781857432817 (doi: 10.4324/9780203486863-12)

2016

Sutton, R. (2016) Immigration detention in South Africa: the view from inside Lindela. In: Furman, R., Epps, D. and Lamphear, G. (eds.) Detaining the Immigrant Other: Global and Transnational Issues. Oxford University Press: New York, pp. 183-194. ISBN 9780190222574

2014

Sutton, R. A. (2014) A class action on behalf of federally-sentenced women with mental health issues. Canadian Graduate Journal of Sociology and Criminology, 3(1), pp. 54-71. (doi: 10.15353/cgjsc.v3i1.3761)

Sutton, R. (2014) Dirty puddles and safety valves: the path from fact to remedy in Canada (A.G.) v. PHS community services society (the insite case). National Journal of Constitutional Law, 33, pp. 39-60.

2013

Sutton, R. (2013) Canada's Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act: mental disorder and the danger of public safety. Criminal Law Quarterly, 60(1), pp. 41-70.

2012

Stevenson, A. and Sutton, R. (2012) There’s no place like a refugee camp? Urban planning and participation in the camp context. Refuge, 28(1), pp. 137-148. (doi: 10.25071/1920-7336.36097)

2011

Sutton, R. and Vigneswaran, D. (2011) A Kafkaesque state: deportation and detention in South Africa. Citizenship Studies, 15(5), pp. 627-642. (doi: 10.1080/13621025.2011.583794)

Sutton, R., Vigneswaran, D. and Wels, H. (2011) Waiting in liminal space: migrants' queuing for Home Affairs in South Africa. Anthropology Southern Africa, 34(1-2), pp. 30-37. (doi: 10.1080/23323256.2011.11500006)

2008

Sutton, R. (2008) Negotiating the city: the role of urban planning and international law in the problem of Jerusalem. Journal for the Study of Peace and Conflict, 2008-9, pp. 24-39.

This list was generated on Thu May 23 12:45:07 2024 BST.
Number of items: 18.

Articles

Sutton, R. and Stupart, R. (2023) The identity work of journalists and humanitarians in South Sudan’s Protection of Civilians sites. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, (doi: 10.1080/17502977.2023.2241753) (Early Online Publication)

Sutton, R. and Paddon Rhoads, E. (2022) Empathy in frontline humanitarian negotiations: a relational approach to engagement. Journal of International Humanitarian Action, 7, 23. (doi: 10.1186/s41018-022-00131-0)

Rhoads, E. P. and Sutton, R. (2020) The (self) protection of civilians in South Sudan: popular and community justice practices. African Affairs, 119(476), pp. 370-394. (doi: 10.1093/afraf/adaa017)

Sutton, R. (2020) Enacting the ‘civilian plus’: international humanitarian actors and the conceptualization of distinction. Leiden Journal of International Law, 33(2), pp. 429-449. (doi: 10.1017/S092215651900075X)

Sutton, R. (2018) The “phantom local” and the everyday distinction practices of humanitarian actors in war: a socio-legal perspective. New Political Science, 40(4), pp. 640-657. (doi: 10.1080/07393148.2018.1528061)

Sutton, R. A. (2014) A class action on behalf of federally-sentenced women with mental health issues. Canadian Graduate Journal of Sociology and Criminology, 3(1), pp. 54-71. (doi: 10.15353/cgjsc.v3i1.3761)

Sutton, R. (2014) Dirty puddles and safety valves: the path from fact to remedy in Canada (A.G.) v. PHS community services society (the insite case). National Journal of Constitutional Law, 33, pp. 39-60.

Sutton, R. (2013) Canada's Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act: mental disorder and the danger of public safety. Criminal Law Quarterly, 60(1), pp. 41-70.

Stevenson, A. and Sutton, R. (2012) There’s no place like a refugee camp? Urban planning and participation in the camp context. Refuge, 28(1), pp. 137-148. (doi: 10.25071/1920-7336.36097)

Sutton, R. and Vigneswaran, D. (2011) A Kafkaesque state: deportation and detention in South Africa. Citizenship Studies, 15(5), pp. 627-642. (doi: 10.1080/13621025.2011.583794)

Sutton, R., Vigneswaran, D. and Wels, H. (2011) Waiting in liminal space: migrants' queuing for Home Affairs in South Africa. Anthropology Southern Africa, 34(1-2), pp. 30-37. (doi: 10.1080/23323256.2011.11500006)

Sutton, R. (2008) Negotiating the city: the role of urban planning and international law in the problem of Jerusalem. Journal for the Study of Peace and Conflict, 2008-9, pp. 24-39.

Books

Sutton, R. (2021) The Humanitarian Civilian: How the Idea of Distinction Circulates Within and Beyond International Humanitarian Law. Series: Oxford monographs in international humanitarian and criminal law. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780198863816 (doi: 10.1093/oso/9780198863816.001.0001)

Book Sections

Sutton, R. (2023) Read the room: legal and emotional literacy in frontline humanitarian negotiations. In: Krieger, H., Kalmanovitz, P., Lieblich, E. and Mignot-Mahdavi, R. (eds.) Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, Volume 24 (2021). T.M.C. Asser Press: The Hague, pp. 103-139. ISBN 9789462655584 (doi: 10.1007/978-94-6265-559-1_4)

Sutton, R. (2021) How the emotions and perceptual judgments of frontline actors shape the practice of international humanitarian law. In: Bandes, S. A., Madeira, J. L., Temple, K. D. and White, E. K. (eds.) Research Handbook on Law and Emotion. Series: Research handbooks in legal theory. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited: Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, pp. 477-491. ISBN 9781788119078 (doi: 10.4337/9781788119085.00048)

Sutton, R. (2018) A hidden fault line: how international actors engage with IHL’s principle of distinction. In: Deland, M., Klamberg, M. and Wrange, P. (eds.) International Humanitarian Law and Justice: Historical and Sociological Perspectives. Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY, pp. 85-99. ISBN 9781138477551 (doi: 10.4324/9781351104449-9)

Sutton, R. and Stern, O. (2018) International humanitarian law. In: Allen, T., Macdonald, A. and Radice, H. (eds.) Humanitarianism: A Dictionary of Concepts. Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY, pp. 168-180. ISBN 9781857432817 (doi: 10.4324/9780203486863-12)

Sutton, R. (2016) Immigration detention in South Africa: the view from inside Lindela. In: Furman, R., Epps, D. and Lamphear, G. (eds.) Detaining the Immigrant Other: Global and Transnational Issues. Oxford University Press: New York, pp. 183-194. ISBN 9780190222574

This list was generated on Thu May 23 12:45:07 2024 BST.

Grants

  • Principal Investigator, IHL and Humanitarian Need Research Grant, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, University of Glasgow (2022) (69,000 GBP)
  • Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, University of Edinburgh (2020-2022) (168,000 GBP)
  • Covid-19 pandemic Research Adaptation Fund, University of Edinburgh (2021) (2,000 GBP)
  • Field Research Award, UK Global Challenges Research Fund (2020) (1,810 GBP)
  • Knowledge Exchange Award, Overseas Development Assistance Fund (2019) (4,450 GBP)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2018-2020) (90,000 CAD)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, European Research Council ‘Individualization of War’ project (2018-2019) (25,000 EUR)
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship, Australian Research Council Laureate Research Program in International Law (2018) (3,000 AUD)
  • Doctoral Scholarship, Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation (2014-2018) (240,000 CAD)
  • Doctoral Scholarship, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2015-2018) (80,000 CAD)
  • Arthur C. Helton Fellowship for International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (2009) (1,500 USD)

Supervision

Rebecca would be interested in supervising doctoral students in the following areas: 

  • International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law in war
  • The everyday life of international law
  • The role of emotions in international law
  • Critical humanitarianism/security/military studies
  • Negotiations; mediation; peacebuilding; conflict transformation
  • Children, youth and war
  • Socio-legal methods: ethnography, law in action, law and emotion
  • Innovative pedagogy: experiential learning, games, simulations and role-play
  • Participatory Action Research (PAR)

Teaching

Rebecca is an enthusiastic teacher and she has been nominated for teaching awards at the LSE and the University of Edinburgh. She is particularly interested in experiential learning in the law school setting, and she regularly runs simulations and role-play exercises that draw on her experiences as a trainer and facilitator for frontline practitioners – for example at NATO and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre. Rebecca has also been exploring the relevance of emotions to legal pedagogy. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she developed and piloted a new ‘Emotion Bites’ curriculum for teaching emotions in the Human Rights and Conflict Resolution classroom - a  Top 10 SSRN download.

In the 2023-2024 academic year Rebecca will provisionally be convening the following courses:

  • LLM International Law and Security (Term 1)
  • LLM Laws of Armed Conflict (Term 2)
  • LLM International Human Rights Law (Term 2)

Additional information

Advisory Roles & Mentorship

Advisory Board Member, Scottish Council on Global Affairs (2022-current)

Steering Committee Representative, Covid Collective Research Platform (2020-2022)

Representative for Early Career Researchers, Edinburgh Law School (2021-2022)

Jury Member, Jean Pictet International Humanitarian Law Role-Play Competition, Bali, Indonesia (2020)

Jury Member, Kirimli Dr. Aziz Bey Moot Court Competition in International Humanitarian Law, Turkey/virtual (2020)

Founder and Alumni Advisor, International Humanitarian Law Working Group, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2013-2018)

Mentor, Global Justice Hub, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario (2014-2016)

Mentor, Trudeau Centre Peace and Conflict Studies Program, University of Toronto (2008-2009)

 

Public Speaking and Presentations

Invited Panelist: “The Pedagogical Life of International Humanitarian Law", 2021 Lieber Workshop, United States Military Academy at Westpoint, New York State, October 2022

Invited Panelist: “Fresh Approaches to IHL Scholarship", Panel on New Critical Engagements with Humanitarian Law and Criminal Justice, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, Cambridge/Virtual, March 2022.

Invited Lecture: "The Humanitarian Civilian and the Role of Emotions in IHL", Manchester International Law Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, February 2022.

Invited Roundtable Speaker: “Civilian Engagement with IHL”, Religious Actors and Humanitarian Norms Compliance, Generating Respect Project, York University, York/Virtual, December 2021.

Seminar Presenter: “IHL from the Bottom-Up”, Ghandhi Research Seminar Series, Global Law at Reading, University of Reading, Reading/Virtual, November 2021.

Seminar Presenter: “The Humanitarian Civilian”, Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, Harvard Law School, Cambridge/Virtual, November 2021; International Law Colloquium Series, Geneva Graduate Institute, Geneva/Virtual, October 2021; Hague Initiative for the Law of Armed Conflict, The Hague/Virtual, September 2021.

Invited Panelist: “Student Experiences of the Jean Pictet IHL Role-Play Competition”, Panel on the Role of Emotions in Legal and Social Change, Annual Conference of the Law and Society Association, Chicago, May 2021.

Book Launch: “The Humanitarian Civilian”, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict and Edinburgh Centre for International and Global Law, May 2021.

Invited Speaker: “Emotions, Character, and IHL Pedagogy in Humanitarian Protection Work”, Teaching International Law Series, British Institute for International and Comparative Law (BIICL), March 2021.

Seminar Presenter: “How the Emotions and Perceptual Judgments of International Actors Shape the Implementation of International Law”, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University Bloomington, February 2021.

Guest Lecture: “The Potential of Radical Mooting for Critical Law: Kawaskimhon and the Jean Pictet IHL Competition”, University of Warwick, January 2021.

Invited participant: “Knowledge Frontiers Symposium on Security”, UK and Canada-based Early Career Researcher Symposium, British Academy and CIFAR, Ottawa/Virtual, November-December 2020.

 

Policy Briefs and Other Writing 

 “Beyond Compliance: International Humanitarian Law, Humanitarian Need and Civilian Harm” (with Emanuela-Chiara Gillard), a study for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, September 2022. Available here

 “Five Ways that the Pandemic has Affected Rohingya Communities”, University of Sussex ‘Covid Collective’ Policy Pieces, November 2021. Available here

 (Editor) “Like Birds in Cages: Community Definitions and Concepts of Home, Rights, Justice, and Citizenship in Rohingya Camps”, University of Edinburgh Political Settlements Research Programme Report, June 2021. Available  here

 (Editor) “Community Views on the Impact of Covid-19 in Rohingya Camps”, University of Edinburgh Political Settlements Research Programme Report, September 2020. available here

 (Editor) “Flash Report: Rohingya Experiences of Covid-19 in Cox’s Bazar Camps”, University of Edinburgh Political Settlements Research Programme Report, July 2020. Available here

 “Everyday Criminal Justice and Civilian Protection in the Central African Republic”, Individualization of War Policy Brief, October 2019 (in French & English). Available here

 “Who is Civilian? Perceptions of Civilianness in the Central African Republic”, Individualization of War Policy Brief, July 2019 (in French & English). Available here

 “Safeguarding Distinction ‘Inside the Wire’: Humanitarian-Peacekeeper Interactions in South Sudan’s Protection of Civilian Sites”, Individualization of War Blog, June 2018. Available here

 “Experiential Learning in the International Humanitarian Law Classroom”, Harvard Case Studies Blog, Jan 2018. Available here

 “How Sweden is Using Virtual Reality to Help the Military Work with Civilians”, The Conversation, July 2016. Available here

 “It is a Cold Liaison! Military Perceptions of Humanitarian Distinction”, International Law Grrls Blog, April 2016. Available here

 “A Review of ‘Making Sense of the Central African Republic’ by Lombard, L. and Carayannis, T. (Eds.) Oxford University Press’”, Africa at LSE Blog, March 2016. Available here