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Professor David Attard on the 'Oxford Monographs in International Law’ Series

I am delighted to be invited to write a brief note in respect of the 30th anniversary of the successful series published by Oxford University Press under the title’ Oxford Monographs in International Law’ established in 1987 by Professor Ian Brownlie. During my studies at Oxford I had the privilege to work under two” grandmasters” of international law: Professor D.P. O’Connell and his successor Professor Brownlie. Under their guidance I wrote my D.Phil. thesis on the exclusive economic zone which was at the time an important developing institution in the law of the sea.

My main work was supervised by Professor Brownlie. He was a rigorous and assiduous supervisor. I shall always recall his wise advice to spend another year of ‘fine-tuning’ after the completion of my text. It was at the time a challenging undertaking as I had already started my career as an international lawyer. Experience has shown that he was right.

After successfully defending my thesis, Professor Brownlie kindly proposed that I should publish my work as part of the new series he was planning. He explained that he would be pleased to start the series with my study as it dealt with a regime which was of growing importance to the law of the sea and not adequately reflected in the literature of the law. Despite receiving other offers for publication, I immediately accepted Professor Brownlie’s invitation which I considered to be an honour and privilege. I was assisted in finalizing the text for publication by Richard Hart who in those days worked for Oxford University Press.

The reputation of Oxford University Press and the decision of the Press to publish my work under the Clarendon Press inprint helped in no small way to bring my work to the attention of the international academic community. The book, upon the nomination of Professor Brownlie, was awarded the Guggenheim Prize in International Law.

Given the eminence of the authors whose research was subsequently selected for publication, I have always considered it an honour that my work was selected by Professor Brownlie as the first monograph in the series that is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary.


Professor David Attard
IMO International Maritime Law Institute


To mark the anniversary, we are freeing up 30 chapters to celebrate 30 years of the series.