Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict

The Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) is an interdisciplinary research programme that aims to strengthen law, norms and institutions to restrain, regulate and prevent armed conflict. Drawing on the disciplines of philosophy, law and international relations, ELAC seeks to develop a more sophisticated framework of rules and stronger forms of international authority relating to armed conflict. Research activity addresses all aspects of armed conflict, including the recourse to war, the conduct of war, and post-conflict governance, transition and reconstruction. As well as producing research of the highest quality through traditional academic channels, ELAC seeks to inform the wider public and policy debate through its various outreach activities.

The aims of ELAC include:

  • building a community of scholars engaged in collaborative research on issues relating to the norms, ethics and politics of armed conflict;
  • acting as a focal point for research and teaching across the disciplines of law, philosophy, and international relations both within the Oxford community and with other related institutions worldwide;
  • attracting, developing and retaining retain academic staff and fellows of the highest calibre who will champion the Institute’s mission;
  • delivering an impact beyond the confines of traditional academic research by engaging in public and policy debates;
  • playing a significant role in reshaping the legal and policy instruments for the management and regulation of armed conflict;
  • establishing relevant partnerships and networks with governments, NGO's, international institutions, the media, and the public more widely.


View a webcast presented by Prof. Jennifer Welsh, showcasing the objectives, research goals, and challenges facing ELAC.


To find out more about ELAC's core staff, visiting fellows and research associates, please follow this link. Details of ELAC events can be found here.


The Institute is housed within the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford but has links with the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Philosophy.