M.A., LL.D., F.B.A.

Professor Emeritus of International Public Law, University of Cambridge

Address:Trinity College, Cambridge CB2 1TQ, United Kingdom
Telephone:01223 338521
(from outside the UK: 0044 1223 338521)



Professor Allott has been a Fellow of Trinity College since 1973, and a member of the Cambridge University Law Faculty since 1976.

From 1960 to 1973, he was a Legal Adviser in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a member of HM Diplomatic Service. From 1965 to 1968, he was the Legal Adviser, British Military Government, Berlin. From 1972 to 1973, he was the first Legal Counsellor in the UK Permanent Representation to the European Communities, Brussels, at the time when the UK became a member of the European Communities. He had been a member of the London group of the British negotiating team in the UK's accession negotiations.

He was Assistant Agent for the United Kingdom in the Northern Cameroons Case (Cameroon v, United Kingdom) in the International Court of Justice (1963-65). He was an Alternate Representative in the UK Delegation to the UN Law of the Sea Conference (1976-80). He was for some years a member of a group of five professors from different countries advising the then Head of the Legal Service of the European Commission on matters of International Law.

He is a barrister (Gray's Inn).

Professor Allott has been a visiting professor at various university Law Schools, especially in the United States. He was the first holder of the Bertha Wilson Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Human Rights, Dalhousie University, Canada (1992) and the first holder of the Ganshof van der Meersch Chair at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (1996). He is a member of the Hauser Global Law Faculty, New York University School of Law. He is a Fellow of the British Academy. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. He was awarded the International Environmental Law Award 2014 of The Center for International Environmental Law, Washington DC


Professor Allott specialises in UK Constitutional Law, European Union Law, and International Public Law.

The main focus of his academic work has been the philosophical re-conceiving of the international system as the society of all human societies and of all human beings, and of International Law as the law of that society.

This work has involved an investigation of society and constitutionalism at three levels - national, regional, and global - in the context of social and legal and general philosophy.

The new philosophy expressed in his writings - known as Social Idealism - is designed to organise humanity's collective response to the future of the human species on the basis of two systematic concepts - ideas, as the mind-made substance of human reality; ideals as the energising force of human self-perfecting.


International Law and International Revolution - Re-conceiving the World (Josephine Onoh Memorial Lecture; University of Hull Press; 1989; republished in The Health of Nations, see below)

Eunomia. New Order for a New World. (Oxford University Press; 1990 / 2001; Japanese trans.: Bokutakusha, 2007; Chinese trans.: China Law Press, 2013).

Allott, Carty et al., Theory and International Law - An Introduction (Institute of International and Comparative Law; 1991)

The Health of Nations. Society and Law beyond the State (Cambridge University Press, 2002; Creative Scholarship Award, American Society of International Law, 2003)

Towards the International Rule of Law. Essays in Integrated Constitutional Theory (Cameron May, 2005)

Invisible Power. A Philosophical Adventure Story (Xlibris, 2005)

Invisible Power 2. A Metaphysical Adventure Story (Xlibris, 2008)

Trinity Minds 1317-1945. An Intellectual Account of Trinity College Cambridge (2015)

Eutopia. New Philosophy and New Law for a Troubled World (2016)

'Language, method and the nature of international law,' British Yearbook of International Law (1971), 79-135 - republished in M. Koskenniemi, ed., The International Library of Essays in Law and Legal Theory - International Law (1992)

'The International Court of Justice,' in International Disputes - the Legal Aspects (David Davies Memorial Institute; 1972)

'Le Royaume-uni et le droit des communautés européennes,' XIX Annuaire français de droit international (1973), 35-101

'The democratic basis of the European Communities,' 11 Common Market Law Review (1974), 298 - 326

'The Common Market and the regulation of air transport,' 79 Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society (1975), 310

'Britain and Europe - a political analysis,' Journal of Common Market Studies (1975), 203-223

'The courts and the executive - four House of Lords decisions,' 36 Cambridge Law Journal (1977), 255 - 283

'Law of the sea - a systematic framework,' 1978 Iranian Review of International Law, 5

'The EEC - A Pleasure Denied,' 100 Cambridge Review (1978), 34

'Cambridge Autumn,' 101 Cambridge Review (1979)

'The courts and Parliament - who whom?' 38 Cambridge Law Journal (1979), 79 - 117 - republished in M. Arnheim, ed., The International Library of Essays in Law and Legal Theory - Common Law (1992).

'Cape Carthage,' Cambridge Review (1980)

'Power-sharing in the law of the sea,' 77 American Journal of International Law (1983), 1 - 30 - republished in Falk, Kratochwil, Mendlovitz, eds., International Law - A Contemporary Perspective (1985)

'Adherence to and withdrawal from mixed (EC) agreements,' in O'Keefe and Schermers, eds., Mixed Agreements, 96 (1983)

'Making the new international law - law of the sea as law of the future,' XL International Journal (of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs), 442 - 460 (1985)

'Ayer on Wittgenstein,' 107 The Cambridge Review (1986), 17

'Making sense of the law: lawyers and legal philosophy,' 108 The Cambridge Review (1987), 16, 65

'State responsibility and the unmaking of international law,' 29 Harvard International Law Journal (1988), 1 - 26

'Parliamentary sovereignty - from Austin to Hart,' (supremacy of EC law), 49 Cambridge Law Journal (1990), 377

'New international law,' in Allott, Carty et al., Theory and International Law - an Introduction (1991)

'A Friend in Greed,' Evening News Collection (1991)

'The European Community is not the true European Community,' in 100 Yale Law Journal (1991), 2485-2500

'The theory of the British constitution,' in Harrison and Gross, eds., Jurisprudence. Cambridge Essays (1992), 173 - 205

'Reconstituting humanity - new international law,' 2 European Journal of International Law (1992), 219 - 256

'The EC at the pain-barrier: the significance of the Maastricht Treaty' : evidence submitted at the request of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, published in their report of 4 March 1992

'Accession of the European Communities to the European Human Rights Convention' evidence submitted at the request of the House of Lords Committee on the European Communities; published in their report of 23 June 1992

'Britain and the European Community - an historic error and a historic challenge' (evidence submitted at the request of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee; published in their report of 4 November 1992)

'The European Community and fundamental rights'' (evidence submitted at the request of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament; May 1993)

'The inter-governmental pillars of the European Union,'(evidence submitted at the request of the House of Lords Committee on the European Communities; published in their report of 2 November 1993)

'Mare nostrum - a new international law of the sea,' 86 American Journal of International Law (1992), 764 - 787 - republished in: Van Dyke, ed., Freedom for the Seas in the 21st Century. Ocean Governance and Environmental Harmony (1993)

'The nation as mind politic,' 24 Journal of International Law and Politics (New York University)(1992), 1361-1398

'Self-determination - absolute right or social poetry?' in C. Tomuschat, ed., Modern Law of Self-Determination, 177 - 210

'Philosophy and global social development.' Paper presented to the UNDP Roundtable on Global Change, Stockholm, July 1994 - republished in eds. U. Kirdar & L. Silk, People: From Impoverishment to Empowerment (New York University Press, New York; 1995)

'Who is to blame?' Remembrance Day address, Chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge (November, 1994)

'The International Court and the voice of justice,' in A. V. Lowe and M. Fitzmaurice, eds., The International Court of Justice - the First Fifty Years (1995), 17-39

'The future of the human past,' in K. Booth, ed., Statecraft and Security. The Cold War and Beyond (1998), 323-37

'Kant or Won't: Theory and Moral Responsibility.' Plenary Lecture at 20th Annual Meeting of the British International Studies Association (December, 1995) - revised version in 23 Review of International Studies (1997), 339-357

'Greater Europe and human society.' Discussion paper, Conference on the Transatlantic Partnership; (College of Europe, Bruges; March 1996)

'The crisis of European constitutionalism: reflections on the revolution in Europe,' 34 Common Market Law Review (1997), 439-490

'Urbanization and alienation.' Discussion paper for UNDP Roundtable on Cities for People in a Globalizing World (Habitat II) (Marmaris, Turkey, April 1996) - republished as: 'The price of civilization and the dilemma of urbanization,' in ed. U. Kirdar, Cities Fit for People (New York, United Nations; 1997), 189-197

'The Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU: the After-Life of an Illusion,' in M. Koskenniemi, ed., International Law Aspects of the European Union (M.Nijhoff, 1998), 215-30

'Out of the looking-glass,' 24 Review of International Studies (1998), pp. 573-6, in reply to C. Prager, "Allott in Wonderland", same journal, 563-72

'The true function of law in the international community,' 98 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies (1998), 391-413

'Europe: un avenir à écrire,' Ouest-France, 23 March 1999

'The concept of international law,' 2 European Journal of International Law (1999), 31-50

'International law and the idea of history,' 1 Journal of the History of International Law (1999), 1 - 21

'International law and the international Hofmafia: towards a sociology of diplomacy,' in W. Benedek et al., Development and Developing International and European Law (1999), 3 - 19

Review of Richard Falk, Law in an Emerging Global Village, in 93 American Journal of International Law (1999), 733-35

'Libranos del mal social,' in 1999 Revista de Occidente (special Pinochet section), 19-28

'Kosovo and the responsibility of power,' in 13 Leiden Journal of International Law (2000), 83-89

'The concept of European Union,' in 2 Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies (2000), 31-59

'Preliminary rulings - another infant disease,' 25 European Law Review (2000), 538-547

'Governmental corruption is a philosophical problem,' House of Commons, International Development Committee, Fourth Report (Corruption), March 2001, Vol. II, 293

'Globalization from above. Actualising the ideal through law,' in 26 Review of International Studies (2000), 61-79

'The emerging universal legal system,' 3 International Law Forum (Journal of the International Law Association) (2001), 12-17

'EC directives and misfeasance in public office,' [2001] Cambridge Law Journal, 4-10

'Integration von Verfassungen, nicht von Staaten,' Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9 May 2001, 13

'Behind voter apathy, a silent revolution,' International Herald Tribune, 6 June 2001, 9

'Intergovernmental societies and the idea of constitutionalism,' in V. Heiskanen & J-M Coicaud, The Legitimacy of International Organisations (Tokyo, UN University Press; 2001)

'Law and the re-making of humanity,' in P. Gifford & N. Dorsen, eds., Democracy and the Rule of Law (CQ Publications, 2001) 19-31 (Library of Congress Bicentenary Celebration)

'The conversation that we are. The seven lamps of European unity,' in H.Cavanna, ed., Governance, Globalization and the European Union (Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2002), 213-232

'European governance and the re-branding of democracy,' 27 European Law Review (2002), 60-71

'[EXT Link] The giant and the pygmies - a fable for our times,' International Herald Tribune, 2-3 March 2002

'The emerging international aristocracy,' in 35 Journal of International Law and Politics (2003), 309-338

'Europe and the dream of reason,' in J. Weiler & M. Wind, eds., European Constitutionalism Beyond the State (Cambridge University Press; 2003), 202-225

'International law and the American mind', Plenary address, 97th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (2003); text in Proceedings of the 97th Meeting

'War, law and the psychopathology of human societies,' in C. Warbrick & D. Kritsiotis, eds., Beyond the Kosovo Crisis: Fundamental Questions and Enquiries in International Law (Oxford University Press; 2004)

'The globalisation of philosophy and the philosophy of globalisation,' in R. Macdonald and D Johnston, Towards World Constitutionalism (2005)

'The globalization of philosophy and the philosophy of globalization: seven theses' [PDF], in Review Essay Symposium: Thinking another world - an event to mark the retirement of Philip Allott', 16 European Journal of International law (2005)

'The international lawyer in government service: ontology and deontology,' 23 Wisconsin International Law Journal; (2005), 13-23

'Law and war: A sinister partnership' Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law) Vol. 99 (2005), 203-207.

'The opening of the human mind. [PDF] Ouvrir l'esprit humain', in European Journal of Legal Studies 2007 (bilingual online journal; European University Institute)

'International society and the idea of justice' [PDF], address to Plenary Session XIII of the Pontifical Academy of Social Science, Vatican, May 2007 (published in Proceedings of the Plenary Session)

'The emerging universal legal system', in J. Nijman and A Nollkaemper, New Perspectives on the Divide between National and International Law (2007)

'Five steps to a new world order' [PDF], 42 Valparaiso University Law Review (2007), 99-118

'The revolutionary potentiality of Catholic Christianity,' address to Cambridge University Catholic Graduate Society, November 2009

'Vattel and the Enlightenment', in Y. Sandoz, ed., Emer de Vattel's "Law of Nations", Bruylant, 2010

[Review essay on three books on the philosophy of international law[EXT Link], in 80 British Yearbook of International Law (2010)

'The Human Condition and the Role of Law', Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong (10th Anniversary of the Faculty's Human Rights Programme, March 2010)

'European Union Bill', submission at the request of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee (16 November 2010) (published in their Report)

'The constitutional implications of the European Union Bill'[EXT link], address to All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Constitution (1 March 2011), text on website of The Constitution Society.

'On first understanding Plato's Republic' [PDF], in 2011 European Journal of International Law (No. 4).

'Trinity Minds',[PDF] in Trinity - A Portrait (Third Millennium Publishing; 2011)

Invisible Power 3 - A Human Adventure Story (forthcoming)

'The Socialising of the Human Species' [PDF], Graduate Students Association of the University of Ottawa, 15th Interdisciplinary Conference (March 2012)

'Le pouvoir invisible. Histoire d'un autre avenir' (forthcoming)

A Future for Human Rights? [PDF] (Venice Academy of Human Rights, July 2012)

'Law and Social Evolution. Post-evolutionary Human Involution.' [PDF] (ASIL-ESIL Workshop: Transatlantic Debates in Legal Theory: Cambridge, 20-21 September 2012)

'Law and the Challenge of the Transcendental. Re-thinking the Order of all Order.' (corrected version) [PDF] Harvard Law School, Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop, Doha, Qatar, 4-14 January 2013.

Conversations with Professor PJ Allott [Audio] Squire Law Library, Cambridge. Eminent Scholars Archive: interviews (2011; on-line from Feb. 2013). [Accessed 26 February 2013]

'The True Nature of International Law': Lauterpacht Centre, Cambridge, 8 March 2013.

‘The Light that Failed: The Future of Human History’, in The Roots of International Law / Les fondements du droit international (eds., P-M Dupuy & V. Chetail; 2013), 405–436.

Conference on Turf and Texture: Narrating the Legal International[PDF], 27-28 June 2013: 'The hidden danger in talking about narrative'.

Conference on Interpretation in International Law[PDF], 27 August 2013: 'Interpretation. An Exact Art'.

'Deliver us from social evil.'[PDF], English version of an article published in a special Pinochet number of Revista de Occidente, Oct. 1999 (No. 221), pp. 19-28.

Review of Theology for International Law by Esther D. Reed, The Tablet, 14 November 2013.

'International Law - the Law of all Laws', lecture, University of Bristol Law School, 26 November 2013.

‘Interpretation – an exact art’, in Interpretation in International Law (eds., A. Bianchi, D. Pear & M. Windsor) (2015), 373-392.

‘Britain and Europe. Managing revolution’, in British Contributions to International Law 1915-2015 (British Institute of International and Comparative Law) (2016), 56-75.

‘The Rule of Law’, in Fundamental Concepts for International Law. The Construction of a Discipline (eds., Jean d’Aspremont & Sahib Singh; forthcoming).

‘Europe and the idea of the transcendental. Human rights and other imagined entities.’ Paper for a conference on The Crisis of Eurocentrism and the Future of European Humanism (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano; April 2016).

'Forget the politics – Brexit may be unlawful', The Guardian, 30 June 2016.

'Fundamental Legal Aspects of UK Withdrawal from the EU: Eight Stages on the Way to a New Relationship', UK Constitutional Law Association, 9 November 2016.

'How to make a better world. Human power and human weakness.' FICHL Policy Brief Series (October 2016).

‘The light that failed. The future of human history’, inThe Roots of International Law (eds., P.-M. Dupuy & V. Chetail) (2013), 405-436.

‘Britain and Europe. Managing Revolution.’ in British Contributions to International Law 1915-2015 (British Institute of International and Comparative Law) (2016), 56-75.

‘Europe and the idea of the transcendental. Human rights and other imagined entities.’ 10 Annali di scienze religiose (2017), 51-71.

'Beyond War and Diplomacy. A Giant Step for Mankind', 60 German Yearbook of International Law (2018), 269-312.

‘The Rule of Law’, in Fundamental Concepts for International Law. Contributions to Disciplinary Thought (eds., J. d’Aspremont & S. Singh) (2019), 804-14.

‘An ideal world like our world, but completely different’, in ILO100 – Law for Social Justice (Centenary of the ILO) (2019), 29-33.

‘Law and the European Mind’, Revue Droit et Littérature (No. 4) (2020).


Trinity College, Cambridge 2016