Dr Priya Urs

Dr Priya Urs

Junior Research Fellow in Law



I am an international lawyer with a PhD from University College London (2021), a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge (2014), and a Bachelor of Arts and Law from the National Law School of India University (2013). Previous positions include a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, Blavatnik School of Government (2021–22) and a Research Fellowship at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law (2014–17).


I teach and supervise research in public international law.

Research Interests

My research interests span across public international law and, in addition to general aspects, include international criminal law, the law on the use of force, and international dispute settlement. My doctoral research in international criminal law sought to arrive at a suitable balance between prosecutorial discretion and judicial oversight in the application of the gravity criterion for admissibility at the International Criminal Court.

My current research project examines the nature of states’ obligations erga omnes (obligations owed to all) and the scope for the enforcement of these obligations using existing mechanisms of international dispute settlement. My work in this area has been cited at the International Court of Justice [Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v Myanmar), Judgment of 22 July 2022, Declaration of Judge ad hoc Kreß, at 8, 15].

I am also curious about the applicability of existing rules of international law to cyber operations. At the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, I co-authored the report The International Law Protections against Cyber Operations Targeting the Healthcare Sector. Through the Oxford Process on International Law Protections in Cyberspace and otherwise, this research has fed into discussions amongst states, civil society, and industry as to application of international law to cyber operations.

I am a contributing editor at CIL Dialogues, the online blog of the Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore.

Selected publications

Gravity in International Criminal Court_Priya Urs

P. Urs, Gravity at the International Criminal Court: Admissibility and Prosecutorial Discretion (OUP 2024)

P. Urs, ‘Obligations Erga Omnes and the Question of Standing before the International Court of Justice’, Leiden Journal of International Law, 34(2), 2021, 505

K. Trapp and P. Urs, ‘Peace Diplomacy and Conflict Prevention’ in R. Geiß and N. Melzer (eds), Oxford Handbook on the International Law of Global Security, 718 (OUP 2021)

P. Urs, ‘Judicial Review of Prosecutorial Discretion in the Initiation of Investigations into Situations of “Sufficient Gravity”’, Journal of International Criminal Justice, 18(4), 2020, 851

P. Urs, ‘Effective Territorial Control by Non-State Armed Groups and the Right of Self-Defence’, Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (Heidelberg Journal of International Law) 31, 2017, 77

P. Urs, ‘The Role of the Security Council in the Use of Force Against the “Islamic State” ’, Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, 19, 2015, 65