Claire Yau

School of Law

Research Student


I have been studying and working at the University of Sheffield since 2010. I completed my LLB in Law and Criminology (with a year abroad in Uppsala, Sweden) in 2014, and completed my LLM in International Law in 2015. During 2016, I worked at the School of Law as a research assistant to Dr. Paul Cardwell. Later in 2016, I began studying for my PhD.

  • LLB Law with Criminology (with a year abroad), University of Sheffield & Uppsala University Sweden (2010-2014)
  • LLM International Law, University of Sheffield (2014-2015)
  • FHEA
Research interests

he Obligation to Prevent Transboundary Harm and the Prevention and Suppression of OCTAs (cyber terrorist recruitment, financing and propaganda)

The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the prevention and suppression of operational cyber terrorist activities (OCTAs) under current international law, with particular reference to state responsibility to prevent such activities through the customary obligation to prevent transboundary harm. This thesis addresses the issues relating to the theoretical framework concerning OCTAs; existing legislation for holding states responsible for OCTAs; and the duty of states to prevent OCTAs as a matter of customary international law.

I am funded on the School of Law Scholarship (2016).

Research interests include: cyber law, counter-terrorism, non-state actors, state responsibility.

Supervisors: Dr Russell Buchan and Professor Nicholas Tsagourias

Research group

Sheffield Centre for International and European Law (SCIEL)

Teaching activities

I teach on two law modules: Law 135 Criminal Law and Justice and Law 337 Family Law. I began teaching in the first semester of my PhD in 2016, and I have continued teaching as a GTA throughout my PhD. I was awarded the Fellowship in Advanced HE in 2020.

Professional activities
  • Member of SCIEL and ESIL.
  • Co-organiser of The Law and Technology Conference 2020 (supported by SCIEL, and School of Law).
  • Research Assistant for Dr. Paul J. Cardwell, titled ‘The UK and EU External Relations Law and Policy – Why Does it Matter?’ funded by the ESRC at the University of Sheffield (April -July 2016)


  • University of Sheffield School of Law Scholarship 2016