Dr Kate Miles is a Cambridge Early Career Fellow and will be at the Centre in Easter Term 2019.

‘Image, Symbol and Metaphor in International Law’

My project explores the transmission of international law through image, symbol, and metaphor. International lawyers analyse cases, treaties, principles, rules of customary international law, resolutions from international organisations, declarations issued by states, and academic treatises. However, it is clear that the visual in international law has also been, and is, a potent, and yet unacknowledged, force shaping not only the law, but its own narratives and fictions. Approaching the subject through a prism of visual representation, this project not only engages with contemporary international law, but also with its history and its intersection with literature, art history, geography, the history of cartography, and the imaginings of international law. I am particularly interested in the use of art as propaganda in the representation of ‘successful’, uncontested international law in eighteenth and nineteenth century paintings of treaty-making and the image of ‘settled’ international law presented in maps.


Dr Kate Miles is a Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. She is also a Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and a Fellow of the Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG) at the University of Cambridge. Sheholds a B.A. in Art History, LL.B., and an LL.M. in Environmental Law (Hons I) from the University of Auckland, an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from NYU School of Law,and a Ph.D. from the University of Sydney. She is the author of The Origins of International Investment Law: Empire, Environment and the Safeguarding of Capital (CUP, 2013) and co-editor of Evolution in Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration (CUP, 2011).


Tel: +44 1223 766886