Ryan Liss

Ryan Liss

Academic Degrees:

Hons. B.A. (Toronto), J.D. (Toronto), LL.M. (Yale),
J.S.D. (Yale)

Email: rliss@uwo.ca
Phone: 519-661-2111, ext. 88434 
Office: LB 13

Ryan Liss is an Assistant Professor and the Co-Director of the Public and Private International Law Research Group at Western Law. His research focuses on public international law (including international human rights law, international criminal law, and international humanitarian law) and criminal law, examining the ways in which human rights construct and constrain state power in both areas.

Ryan’s work has appeared in the American Journal of International Law, the Canadian Yearbook of International Law, Michigan Journal of International Law, and NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, among other journals. His first monograph, which is currently in progress, is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Ryan holds an undergraduate degree and a J.D. from the University of Toronto, and an LL.M. from Yale Law School. He received his J.S.D from Yale, where he studied as a Trudeau Scholar and a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. Prior to joining Western, he served as an Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School, and as a visiting fellow at the Schell Centre for International Human Rights at Yale Law School and the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto. He clerked for Chief Justice Warren Winkler and the justices of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, and has worked with the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the Coalition for the ICC. Ryan was the 2022-2023 Dean's Research Fellow and the recipient of Western Law's 2023 Award for Teaching Excellence.

Research Highlights


“International Criminal Law as Cosmopolitan Right in Reverse” Jurisprudence (forthcoming).

“Criminal Law in a World of States” (2022) 43:2 Michigan Journal of International Law 263.

"Whose Right is It Anyway? Adjudicating Charter Rights in the Context of Multiple Rights Holders" (2020) 94 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 271.

“Crimes Against the Sovereign Order: Rethinking International Criminal Justice” (2019) 113:4 American Journal of International Law 727.

“A Right to Belong: Legal Protection of Sociological Membership in the Application of Article 12(4) of the ICCPR” (2014) 46 NYU Journal of International Law & Politics 1097.

“Consent-Based Humanitarian Intervention: Giving Sovereign Responsibility Back to the Sovereign” (with Oona Hathaway et al.) (2013) 46 Cornell International Law Journal 499.

“The Abuse of Ambiguity: The Uncertain Status of Omar Khadr under International Law” (2012) 50 Canadian Yearbook of International Law 95.

“Responsibility Determined: Assessing the Relationship between the Doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect and the Right of Self-Determination” (2011) 4 University College London Human Rights Review 52.

Book Chapters:

“The Evolution of Persecution as a Crime Against Humanity” (with Helen Brady) in Morten Bergsmo et al. (eds.), Historical Origins of International Criminal Law, vol. 3, 429 (Brussels: TOAEP, 2015).