Making peace work through law

Research Team



Professor Weller holds the Chair of International Law and International Constitutional Studies in the University of Cambridge. He is a former Director and Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. He has served as United Nations Senior Mediation Expert and is a highly experienced international dispute settlement professional. He is certified and accredited as a professional mediator and was elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is a barrister (Middle Temple) and Associate Tenant at Doughty Street Chambers, London.

Professor Weller holds Doctorates in International Law and International Relations, in Law, and in Economic and Social Sciences from the Universities of Cambridge, Frankfurt and Hamburg respectively, and Masters’ degrees from the Fletcher School and the University of Cambridge. Professor Weller also trained in advanced negotiation and dispute settlement at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government.

Professor Weller is the winner of the 2014 Halsbury award for his  ‘unrivalled—truly stellar’ contribution to law.


Senior Project Manager & Research Fellow

Dr Retter is the Senior Project Manager and Research Associate for the Cambridge Initiative on Peace Settlements. He also has a postdoctoral grant to pursue inter-disciplinary research on the theoretical foundations of human rights and international legal order.

Dr Retter was a Gates Cambridge Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he completed his Doctorate in International Law and Legal Theory. He worked as a Research Associate on the Legal Tools for Peace-Making Project at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law; and he continues to collaborate with the UN Mediation Support Unit in developing the Language of Peace research tool:


Senior Research Fellow

Simona Ross is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge, specializing in post-conflict and transitional constitution-building in MENA. Previously, Ross served as a political officer for the UN Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) and for the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Ross also worked with the World Bank’s Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group and with the World Development Report Team preparing the 2017 WDR on Governance and the Law. Ross completed a research fellowship with the Edmond J. Safra Center at Harvard Law School, focusing on the influence of institutional corruption on U.S. legislation as it relates to foreign policy. Ross holds master’s degrees in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford and in International Policy and Management from the SIT Graduate Institute.


Senior Research Fellow

Dr Varga is a Lecturer in International Law at the Glasgow Centre for International Law and Security at the University of Glasgow. She specialises in issues relating to the conduct of secessionist entities and non-state armed groups – such as state responsibility in connection with them, and the duty of non-recognition – focusing on how human rights courts approach these questions.

Dr Varga worked as a Research Associate on the ESRC-funded Legal Tools for Peace-Making project at the University of Cambridge. As part of the project, she conducted research analysing the drafting practice of peace agreements concluded since WWII through the preparation of case studies and oversaw the development of the Language of Peace online research tool, including liaising with the UN Mediation Support Unit and delivering trainings to MSU to hand over long-term management of the tool. 


Research Assistant

Jeffrey Liu is a recent graduate of the MPhil in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge where he specialised in International Law and Political Theory. He is commencing a DPhil in Politics at the University of Oxford with a focus on the normative limits of liberal political theory.

Previously, he completed a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford. His undergraduate thesis examined the political and legal developments leading to the adoption of the National Security Law by the Communist Party of China in response to the 2020 protests in Hong Kong. His MPhil research explored the political and legal thought of Carl Schmitt and how it related to contemporary political debates about the anthropocene.

Our scholars’ expertise can have an impact that extends far beyond the academic realm