Ke Song

Thesis title: Evolution of UNCLOS through Courts and Tribunals: a Study on the Consistency and Coherence of Judicial Development of International Law


Ke Song's research interests cover theory and practice of international courts and tribunals, international law of the sea, international criminal law, international institutional law, and general international law. He is particularly interested in the role of international courts and tribunals in the making and shaping of international law.

Ke Song is the co-founder and convenor of International Dispute Settlement Study Group at Edinburgh Law School. He is also a headnote rapporteur for Oxford International Organizations (Oxford University Press). 


  • Member of Chinese Society of Law of the Sea
  • Member of Asian Society of International Law

Undergraduate teaching

International Law Ordinary  

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

Judicial Settlement of Disputes; International Courts and Tribunals; International Law of the Sea; International Institutional Law; International Criminal Law.


Conference details

Utrecht University-The University of Edinburgh Law of the Sea PhD Workshop

Speaker, 18-19 April 2018, Utrecht Law School, Netherlands.

  • Presented a paper entitled “Evolution of UNCLOS through International Courts and Tribunals-- a Study on the Consistency and Coherence of Judicial Development of International Law”


Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference

Speaker, 18-19 January 2018, Edinburgh Law School, Playfair Library, Scotland, UK.

  • Gave a presentation entitled “Future Dispute Settlement Mechanism for Deep Seabed Regime.”


Symposium on International Law at Sea

Speaker, 15-16 March 2018, Xueyuanlu Campus, China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), Beijing, China.

  • Gave a presentation entitled “Judicial Settlement of Law Enforcement at Sea --Interpretative method, Jurisdiction and Applicable Law.”


Symposium on the Principle of Effective Control in International Law

Speaker, 11-12 November 2017, Xueyuanlu Campus, China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), Beijing, China.

  • Gave a presentation entitled “Attribution of Responsibility to UN Military Peacekeepers: Rethinking the ‘Effective Control’ Criteria and the Future Development.”


Seminar on Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes and the Functions of International Judicial Bodies

Speaker, 13-14 Mar 2017

Science and Research Building, Xueyuanlu Campus, China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), Beijing, China.

  • Gave a presentation entitled “Identifying and Characterizing Mixed Disputes: Jurisdiction, Admissibility and Applicable Law in UNCLOS Litigation”, in the Session namely “ICJ, ITLOS and International Arbitration.”


Seminar on Navigating the South China Sea: Challenges and Opportunities

Speaker, 10 Mar 2017, Senate Room (Academy Building), University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands


Workshop on Maritime Disputes in the South China Sea, University of Cologne, Cologne, The Germany

Speaker, Nov 5, 2016

  • Gave a presentation entitled “On the jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals under Annex VII of the UNCLOS over ‘mixed dispute’ - Legal analysis and its implications for South China Sea disputes”
  • Detailed information on Seminar, See


China Annual Conference of International Law, Jilin University and Chinese Society of International Law, Jilin, the PRC

Participant, May 2016

  • Submitted a paper on the compulsory procedures of UNCLOS
  • Participated in discussions on the South China Sea Arbitration with several colleagues in the realm of public international law and international politics


Annual Conference of Beijing International Law Society, Beijing, the PRC

Speaker, Dec 2015

  • Conducted extensive research on Article 82 of UNCLOS and submitted a paper on the interpretation and application of Article 82 of UNCLOS
  • Gave a presentation entitled “Implementing Article 82 of UNCLOS, An Analysis of Legal Issues and Future Dispute Settlement Relating to it”

Case note on the Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening) , Oxford International Organizations, Oxford University Press, 2022 (forthcoming)


Co-authored with Dr. Xuechan Ma, “Individual Opinions as an Agent of International Legal Development?”, Journal of International Dispute Settlement 2022, vol.xx (Forthcoming)


“Assembly of State Parties to the Law of the Sea”, Oxford International Organizations, Oxford University Press, 2021.


“Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia”, Oxford International Organizations, Oxford University Press, 2020.


“Liberal or Constrained? Judicial Incorporations of Other Rules of International Law in the UNCLOS and the Application of the ‘Genuine Link Test’”, Journal of East Asia and International Law Vol. 13(1), 2020.


"The Chamber for Marine Environmental Disputes", Oxford International Organizations, Oxford University Press, 2019.


“Reflections on the Judicial Development of Effective Control Test in the Context of UN Peace Operations”, Effective Control in International Law, CUPL Press, 2019.


“The Annual Report on Practices of International Criminal Courts and Tribunals”, (In Chinese),  Chinese Yearbook of International Law, Law Press China, 2017.


“Implementing Article 82 of UNCLOS, An Analysis on Legal Issues and the Future Dispute Settlement Relating to it”, in Chengyuan MA, edi,. “Collections of Collaborative Innovation on Territorial Sovereignty and Maritime Rights,” CUPL Press, 2016, Vol.2, p.105-135.


“Jurisdictional Dilemmas for the PCA under Annex VII of UNCLOS: Territorial Sovereignty Issues in Mixed Disputes—An Analysis on Legal Issues and its Implications for the South China Sea Disputes” (in Chinese),  Chinese Journal of Maritime Law, Dalian Maritime University Press, 2016, vol.27, p. 2-15


“On the Hierarchy of Erga Omnes Obligations in International Law” (in Chinese),  Graduate Law Review,  CUPL Press, Feb 2016, vol.31, p.108-120.


“An Analysis on the Environmental Cooperation Mechanism of the Regime of Transit Passage” (in Chinese),  CUPL Graduate, CUPL Press, Dec 2015, vol.2, p.4-23.

The Oxford International Organizations, Oxford University Press

Headnote Rapporteur, June 2018- Current


The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Hamburg, Germany

Full-Time, Internship Legal Assistant July 2021-October 2021

  • Assisting senior legal officers of ITLOS in preparing Digest of Jurisprudence of ITLOS (1996-2021).
  • Conducting legal research underpinning the prompt release procedure of ITLOS.
  • Under the supervision of Dr. Louis Savadogo, I submit an academic research paper entitled “Annex VII Arbitral Tribunals as the Engine of Cross-fertilisation”.


The International Criminal Tribunal for the Formal Yugoslavia, Hague, Netherlands

Full-time, Internship Legal Assistant May 2017 – September 2017

  • Drafting memorandums in preparation for Judge’s discussion on certain legal issues, concerning both procedural and substantial matters.
  • Taking part into the panel for discussions in relation to the last case of ICTY, Prlic case.
  • Organizing academic seminars among ICTY legal interns, discussing the recent legal issues.


The United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA

Full-time, Legal Reviser/Translator, July 2016 – Sep 2016

  • Responsible for revising and updating legal terminology on Public International Law for the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly’s legal documents, and providing contributions to the “UN-Terms database”, the official UN terminology database
  • Translated a voluminous number of legal documents for the General Assembly, International Law Commission and other UN organs from English to Chinese
  • Created an English speech on “Legal Translation and Legal Interpretation,” which was well-received among senior UN translators


State Oceanic Administration of PRC, China Institute for Marine Affairs (CIMA), Beijing, China

Causal hours, Legal Researcher, March 2016 – January 2018

  • Responsible for analyzing contemporaneous law of sea issues relating to China, assisting in the drafting of governmental documents and collecting primary resources relating to the recent South China Sea disputes
  • Collected legal materials on the regime governing the use of force on the high seas, the EEZ, and freedom of navigation inter alia