Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi

Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi


  • Lecturer in International Law, Law
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Personal profile


Dr Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi is Lecturer in International Law and Security at the University of Manchester and the Public International Law / International Law & Security LLMs/MA Programme Director.

Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavis is the Managing Editor of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, an Associate Fellow at the T.M.C. Asser Institute, and a Research Fellow at the International Center for Counter-Terrorism. Since 2020, Rebecca is a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War.

Her work reflects on counterterrorism and, more precisely, on our evolving legal and policy capacity to deal with security threats, where new forms of non-state transnational risk, counter-risk strategy and technology are in play. Her research interests and expertise are in public international law, international humanitarian law, human rights law and (international and European) criminal law, which altogether allow to explore counterterrorism policies in a comprehensive manner.

Rebecca holds a PhD from the European University Institute and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Her dissertation, entitled “Drone Programs: the Interaction Between Technology, War and the Law”, concerned the extraterritorial use of armed drones against transnational terrorist networks, and the profound pressure placed on current legal concepts in the jus ad bellum, jus in bello and human rights law, through this practice and its justifications.

In the context of her dissertation, Rebecca spent one semester at Columbia Law School as Visiting Scholar of the Human Rights Institute. Moreover, Rebecca has been a Project Collaborator with the ERC Advanced Grant-funded project, “The Individualization of War”. Prior to entering the European University Institute, she was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Research (IRSEM), the French Ministry of Defense’s research center, which awarded her a Research Excellence Prize.

Rebecca has taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Comparative Constitutional Law and International Humanitarian Law at SciencesPo Paris (Euro-American Program, Reims Campus), and in International Human Rights Law, Criminal Law and Constitutional Law at the University of Nanterre (Paris 10). She has supervised master theses at the University of Amsterdam in the Public International Law and the Criminal Law LLMs. 

She holds LLM degrees from the European University Institute (in Comparative European and International Laws) and the University of Nanterre (in Human Rights Law). She holds a Master of Laws degree in Criminal Law and a degree in International Criminal Law from the University of Nanterre (Summa Cum Laude).


Selected publications

"Watchlisting the World: Digital Security Infrastructures, Informal Law, and the “Global War on Terror”", co-authored with R. Kassem and G. Sullivan, Just Security, October 28, 2021

"Dangerous Proportions : Means and Ends in Non-Finite War”, co-authored with Nehal Bhuta, forthcoming in N. Bhuta, F. Hoffman, S. Knuckey, F. Megret and M. Satterthwaite (eds.) The Struggle for Human Rights: Essays in Honour of Philip Alston (Oxford University Press, 2021)

“Drone Programs, the Individualization of War and the Ad Bellum Principle of Proportionality”, in Lieber Series Vol. 4, Claus Kreß & Robert Lawless (eds.) Necessity and Proportionality in International Peace and Security Law (Oxford University Press, 2020) 

“Le Silence des Agneaux: France’s War Against Jihadist Groups”, ICCT Journal, Research Paper, May 2020,

“On the illegality of the Turkish offensive in Syria”, Asser Blog Post, 10 October 2019,

“Will the War on Terror Ever End? ”, La Revue des droits de l’homme, Actualités Droits-Libertés, mis en ligne le 10 mars 2019, consulté le 13 mars 2019. URL: ; DOI : 10.4000/revdh.6269

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions