Dr Eliana Cusato

Essex Law School
Dr Eliana Cusato



Eliana joined the School of Law at Essex University in January 2020. She holds academic qualifications from the National University of Singapore (Ph.D.), Catholic University of Milan (LLB and LLM), and University of Technology of Sydney. Her current research explores the link between nature and violent conflict in the theory and practice of international law. She is also interested in legal questions raised by unequal distribution of natural resources, environmental justice, human rights and global political economy, and the relationship between Global North and South. Her work has been published in the Leiden Journal of International Law, Journal of International Criminal Justice, Asian Journal of International Law, and Melbourne Journal of International Law. In 2019 she was awarded the third prize for the best article by a young scholar published in the Asian Journal of International Law. She is currently working on a monograph, which builds upon her doctoral dissertation, under contract with Cambridge University Press. Eliana held visiting positions at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, and the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University. She is a member of the editorial board of the Asian Journal of International Law. Prior to entering academia, Eliana practiced as a lawyer in Italy specialising in white collar and transnational crimes; interned at the International Criminal Court in The Hague; and worked as a Legal and Policy Officer at the Siracusa International Institute for Human Rights and Criminal Justice. Starting from 1 February 2021, Eliana will be on academic leave (career break) to take up a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), School of Law.


  • Ph.D. Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore,

  • Bachelor of Laws Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan,

  • Master of Laws Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan,


University of Essex

  • Lecturer, School of Law, University of Essex (8/1/2020 - present)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

environment, peace and security

critical approaches to international law

business and human rights in conflict situations

environmental/climate justice

human rights and international political economy

laws of war

Conferences and presentations

The Imbroglio of Ecocide: A Political Economic Critique

– Law and Society Association annual conference, ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon (Portugal), 13/7/2022

The Imbroglio of Ecocide: A Political Economic Critique

New Directions in the Theory and History of International Law Workshop, Geneva Graduate Institute (Switzerland), 3/6/2022

Conflict resources and the political economy of international law

Workshop on Law and Political Economy in Europe, Oxford, United Kingdom, 7/10/2019

Conflict-related resource extraction and Women, Peace and Security: Sierra Leone and Liberia

Workshop Gender, Peace and Nature, Centre for Women, Peace and Security, London, United Kingdom, 17/6/2019

Truth commissions and the resource curse theory

Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory, Melbourne Law School, Melbourne, Australia, 3/12/2018

Commentator for the panel ‘Modes of responsibility and case selection’

Invited presentation, Challenges for Global Justice in the Asian Context, Singapore, Singapore, 3/10/2018

A critique of the United Nations Security Council’s response to environmental damage from the 1990-1991 Gulf War

Invited presentation, Grotius Dialogue, Leiden Law School, 15/5/2018

Addressing the environmental legacy of warfare through ‘voluntary remediation initiatives’: some lessons from the Vietnam War

15th Annual Colloquium, Cebu, Philippines, 30/5/2017

Environment and armed conflict: the case of Iraq’s liability for environmental damage in the 1990-1991 Gulf War

5th Asian Society of International Law Biennial Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, 27/11/2015


Journal articles (6)

Cusato, E., Jones, E., Ohdedar, B. and Bueno De Mesquita, J., (2022). Symposium Introduction: Critical Perspectives on Global Law and the Environment. Asian Journal of International Law. 12 (1), 1-8

Cusato, E., (2020). International law, the paradox of plenty and the making of resource-driven conflict. Leiden Journal of International Law. 33 (3), 649-666

Cusato, E., (2019). Overcoming the “Logic of Exception”: A Critique of the UN Security Council’s Response to Environmental Damage from the 1990–91 Gulf War. Asian Journal of International Law. 9 (1), 75-97

Cusato, E., (2018). From Ecocide to Voluntary Remediation Projects: Legal Responses to “Environmental Warfare” in Vietnam and the Spectre of Colonialism. Melbourne Journal of International Law. 19 (2), 494-520

Book chapters (1)

Cusato, E., Casla, K., Fagan, A., Jones, E. and Kamiloglu, O., (2020). Some Conceptual Framings: A Discussion. In: Covid-19, Law and Human Rights : Essex Dialogues. A Project of the School of Law and Human Rights Centre. Editors: Ferstman, C. and Fagan, A., . University of Essex. 3- 4. 978-1-5272-6632-2

Other (6)

Cusato, E., (2020).Beyond War Talk: Laying Bare the Structural Violence of the Pandemic,

Cusato, E., (2019).The paradox of plenty and its impact on gendered policy:,LSE Women, Peace and Security Blog

Cusato, E., (2017).ISIL’s scorched earth policy in Iraq: options for its victims to be recognised under international law,Conflict and Environment Observatory Blog

CUSATO, E., (2016).Book review: Daniëlla Dam-de Jong, International Law and Governance of Natural Resources in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations. Asian Journal of International Law. 6(2),Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Cusato, ET., (2015).Book review: Steven Freeland, Addressing the Intentional Destruction of the Environment during Warfare under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Journal of International Criminal Justice. 13(5),Oxford University Press (OUP)

Cusato, ET., (2015).Book review: Ruti G. Teitel: Globalizing transitional justice. Contemporary essays. Indian Journal of International Law. 55(1),Springer Science and Business Media LLC

+44 (0) 1206 873865


4SB.6.09, Colchester Campus