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Elaine Gorasia


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Personal profile

Research interests (short)

  • Trade and WTO Law
  • Natural Resources and International Law
  • Public International Law
  • International Water Law

Research interests

Elaine’s research interests are in the areas of:

  • Trade and WTO law (and in particular export restrictions, the trade of natural resources, exceptions, and trade and national security).
  • Natural Resources and International Law (including without limitation: the law relevant to inter-State conflicts related to natural resources; access to natural resources (including humanitarian assistance and the control of access to natural resources as a weapon of war); the law governing weather modification and the law governing natural resources shared by States).
  • International Water Law (in particular the laws governing the use of shared freshwater resources) and the emerging International Human Right to Water.
  • Public International Law (including sources of international law, the fragmentation of international law, and sovereignty). 

Biographical details

Elaine was a doctoral candidate at the Dickson Poon School of Law under the supervision of Dr. Federico Ortino between 2013-2017 and was awarded her PhD, on 'The WTO and the Bulk Water Trade' (without corrections) in 2018.  Her doctoral research was fully funded by the King's College School of Law Graduate School Scholarship.

Elaine’s doctoral thesis considered three key legal regimes regulating the trade in bulk water: international water law (incorporating theories of sovereignty and in particular the principle of sovereignty over natural resources), the emerging international human right to water and the rules of the WTO. Elaine’s research adopted a doctrinal analysis to examine potential conflicts between these regimes in relation to the bulk water trade, and demonstrate how international water law and the right to water might be incorporated within the WTO legal order.

Elaine remains interested in the use of international law as an instrument to secure equitable access to essential natural resources, as well as the wider question as to whether states are ever legally obliged to trade such resources.

Elaine holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in Public International Law (with distinction), and an LLB in Laws, both from King’s College London. In addition, she holds post-graduate practice diplomas in International Human Rights Law and International Competition Law from the International Bar Association / College of Law.


Elaine is a visiting lecturer at King’s College London in World Trade Law, and was acting module leader for the LLM module in World Trade Law at King’s College London in the academic year 2017-2018.

Elaine previously taught Public International Law as a visiting lecturer on the King’s College LLB in 2015-2016 and was a fractional teaching fellow in Public International Law from 2015-2017 at SOAS’ Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy on the MA modules ‘International Law’ and ‘Contemporary Problems of World Order’, where she also supervised MA dissertations in international law. She was a nominee for the SOAS Director’s Teaching Prize.

Summary of Professional Legal Experience

Elaine joined the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a lawyer specialising in Public International Law in 2017, following a short stint at the Department of International Trade.  

Elaine was admitted as a solicitor in England in 2004, following training at a US law firm based in London.  Before commencing her PhD, Elaine provided legal support to various companies and organisations (including without limitation, BBC World News, BBC World Service, ITV Global and BBC Learning) as an employed solicitor and independent consultant.  This included a period as the sole solicitor for the BBC’s international development charity, now called “BBC Media Action” where Elaine provided legal advice and support in relation to various international development projects. Elaine has previously interned at the ICTY and was a judicial assistant for Lord Collins of Mapesbury (in the High Court).


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