Douwe Korff - Emeritus Professor of International Law


Douwe Korff is a Dutch comparative and international lawyer specialising in human rights- and data protection law. He studied at the Free University of Amsterdam (NL) and at the European University Institute in Florence (IT); was Head of European Research at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat in London (UK) in the late-70s/early-80s; did further academic work at the Max Planck Institutes for criminal and public law in Freiburg im Breisgau and Heidelberg (DE); and taught at the universities of Maastricht (NL) and Essex (UK), before he became Professor of International Law at London Metropolitan University, London (UK) in 2002. In 2014, he became Emeritus Professor there. He also continues to be a visiting professor at the universities of Zagreb and Rijeka in Croatia. He is an Associate of the Oxford Martin School of the University of Oxford, a Visiting Fellow at Yale University (Information Society Project), and a Fellow at the Centre for Internet and Human Rights of the European University of Viadrina, Berlin.

Professor Korff has been closely involved with the legal responses to the Edward Snowden revelations of mass surveillance by the USA and the UK and others, and was called as an expert on those issues before the relevant committees of the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the Lower House of the German Parliament (Bundestag). He works closely with human and digital rights groups such as EDRi, EFF, Statewatch, FIPR, Article 19 and Privacy International.


Associate, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford
Member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the Global Cybersecurity Capacity Centre 

Visiting Fellow, Yale University (Information Society Project)  

Fellow of the Centre for Internet & Human Rights, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/O and Berlin  (scroll down the page)

Visiting Professor, University of Zagreb, Croatia (Faculty of Organization and Informatics, FOI) (university) (faculty)

Visiting Professor, University of Rijeka, Croatia (Faculty of Law, PRAVRI) (university) (faculty)


SSRN page:

LinkedIn public profile: 

Wikipedia page: (out of date)


Home address:

Wool Street House
Gog Magog Hills
Cambridge CB22 3AE
United Kingdom


(If you want to phone me or fax me, please send me an email asking for the details)


Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights Issue Paper on "The Rule of Law on the Internet and in the wider digital world", December 2014, available at: 
Greens study on "Ensuring Utmost Transparency [in the legislative work of the EP]" (Foreword), December 2014, available at:

My 2013 report for the Council of Europe on "The use of the Internet & related services, private life & data protection: trends & technologies, threats & implications", which has been available online for some time, has now been re-released (with one correction) and is available here: 
It can also be downloaded from the Oxford Martin School’s GCCC portal:


Presentation and panel member at a hearing at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) organised by the PACE Rapporteur, Pieter Omtzigt, with Edward Snowden giving evidence by video-link, 8 August 2014:

Presentation on international and European law on mass surveillance, at the inquiry into surveillance held by the German Bundestag, 5 June 2014:

Presentation at a PACE side-even entitled "After Snowden: using law and technology to counter snooping", on the occasion of 2014 Data Protection Day, organised by PACE, Pieter Omtzigt, with Jacob Appelbaum:

Presentation on international and European law on mass surviellance, at the European Parliaments LIBE-Commitee, 14 October 2013:

“Studium Generale” lecture at Maastricht University, on “The Naked European Citizen”, 30 October 2007:


(either written or drafted by me or to which I made substantial contributions)


- Privacy and Law Enforcement (with Ian Brown), study for the UK Information Commissioner, 2005, released on the Commissioner’s website in September 2004 as “Striking the Right Balance: Respecting the Privacy of Individuals and Protecting the Public from Crime” (no longer available on the ICO website, but available on request):

This report consists of five parts, presented in four sections:

Parts 1 & 2:   Technology development and its effect on privacy & law enforcement
Part 3:           TIA & PNR [= Total Information Awareness and Passenger Name Records]
Part 4:           The legal framework
Part 5:           Conclusions & Policy implications

- Protecting the right to privacy in the fight against terrorism, “Issue Paper” written for the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, 2008, available in English and French at:

- Terrorism and the Proportionality of Internet Surveillance (with Ian Brown), European Journal of Criminology, Vol. 6, Issue 2 (2009), available at:

- Technologies for the use of images; Automated processes of identification, behavioural analysis and risk detection; Control at the airports, presentation at a Seminar on Security, Privacy & Data Protection, organised by the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD), Madrid, June 2010, available at:

- Expert presentation to European Parliament Civil Liberties (LIBE) Committee, at a hearing on “Data Protection in a Transatlantic Perspective:  Future EU-US data protection agreement in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters”, 25 October 2010.

Handout for the hearing:

Note on US Ambassador comments (submitted after the hearing):  

- Paper expanding on a short intervention on behalf of European Digital Rights (EDRi) at the EU – USA Privacy Conference in Washington DC, 19 March 2012, available at:

- The use of the Internet & related services, private life & data protection: trends & technologies, threats & implications, presented at the Council of Europe Steering Committee on Data Protection, March 2013 (T-DP(2013)07), available at:


- Note on European & International Law on Trans-National Surveillance, prepared for the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament to assist the Committee in its enquiries into USA and European states’ surveillance, August 2013, available at: (long and short versions available – follow links)

- Submission to the United States Congress, the European Parliament and Commission & the Council of the European Union, & the Secretary-General & the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the surveillance activities of the United States and certain European States’ national security and “intelligence” agencies, drafted for European Digital Rights (EDRi) and the Fundamental Rights European Experts group (FREE), August 2013, available at:

- Surveillance law and practice (with Ian Brown), late-2013 to early-2014, study carried out at the request of the UN University as part of a research project on the application of international human rights law to national regimes overseeing governmental digital surveillance, requested by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, unpublished but described in her report to the UNGA, The right to privacy in the digital age, as providing “a major substantive contribution to the preparation of [the report]” – para. 8 of the report, available at:

- Powerpoint presentation to the Committe on Legal Affairs & Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE – LA) on Mass Surveillance in Context, Strasbourg, 8 April 2014:

(powerpoint slides available on request)

- Foreign surveillance: law and practice in a global digital environment (with Ian Brown), European Human Rights Law Review, 2014(3) (April 2014), available at:

- Legal Analysis supporting the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance, issued by a global consortium of civil society organisations, of which I wrote the first draft, May 2014, available at:

- Contribution to a Terrorism prevention scenario, prepared in the EU SURVEILLE project by a team led by Prof. Scheinin of the European University Institute in Florence (IT), April 2014, with a chart illustrating “The full surveillance analyses context”:

(the scenario will be published by the EU with the report on the project in 2015; the chart is not published but available on request)

- Expert Opinion, prepared for the Committee of Inquiry of the German Bundestag into the “5EYES” global surveillance systems revealed by Edward Snowden, presented at the Committee Hearing, Berlin, 5 June 2014, available at: (full text in English, in spite of what it says on the cover page) (summary in English)

- The rule of law on the Internet and in the wider digital world, “Issue Paper” written for the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, released December 2014, available in English (with the executive summary and the Commissioner’s recommendations also available in French, Turkish and Russian) at:

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