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Sands, Philippe

Philippe Sands

Elected: 2020

Image credit: Antonio Olmos

Philippe Sands QC is Professor of Law at University College London and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He appears as counsel before international courts and tribunals, and sits as an international arbitrator.

He is author of Lawless World (2005) and Torture Team (2008) and several academic books on international law, and has contributed to the New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, the Financial Times and the Guardian. East West Street: On the Origins of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide (2016) won the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize, the 2017 British Book Awards Non­Fiction Book of the Year, and the 2018 Prix Montaigne. His new book, The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive, was published in April 2020 and is also available as a BBC podcast.

Philippe is President of English PEN and a member of the Board of the Hay Festival.

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Fellowship Election Process​

Fellows are nominated by peers and elected by our Council of writers – our governing Board. Being elected a Fellow of the RSL is a lifetime honour. This role gives them the opportunity to support other writers, readers and the future of literature. The RSL connects writers in the Fellowship to one another, and to a wider readership.