William Boothby

BA (Economics), University of Kent; Doktor Der Rechte, Europa Universit√Ęt Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
Honorary Professor
ANU College of Law
T: +447436 118677

Areas of expertise

  • Law 1801

Research interests

International law relating to weapons

Targeting law

Cyber warfare and the law

Law relating to conflict in general

New weapons technologies and the law

The development of international law


Air Commodore Bill Boothby (Retd) served for 30 years in the Royal Air Force Legal Branch, retiring as Deputy Director of Legal Services in July 2011. In 2009 he took a Doctorate at the Europa Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder) in Germany and published ‘Weapons and the Law of Armed Conflict’ through OUP (now in its 2nd Edition) in the same year.  His second book, ‘The Law of Targeting’, appeared with the same publisher in 2012. He has been a member of Groups of Experts that addressed Direct Participation in Hostilities and that produced the HPCR Manual of the Law of Air and Missile Warfare, the 2013 Tallinn Manual on the Law of Cyber Warfare and the Leuven Manual on Peace Operations Law.  His third book, addressing Conflict Law, was published in 2014. In March 2018, with Prof Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, he published with CUP a Detailed Commentary on the US Department of Defense Law of War Manual and his edited volume on New Technologies and the Law in War and Peace was published by CUP in December 2018.  He teaches at the Australian National University, at the University of Southern Denmark and at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.


Researcher's projects

Current research projects include participation in the revision of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, the preparation of a text to set forth the international law that applies to nuclear command, control and communications and on-going research into the law as it applies to new technologies, in particular automated and autonomous weapons.

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Updated:  19 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers