Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Peter Rowe, LLB 1970, LLD 2011 (died 2 June 2018, aged 70)

Obituary appeared in The Guardian

Peter Rowe was a Professor of Law and an eminent figure in the fields of the law of armed conflict, the military and human rights; international criminal law; and the interrelationship between domestic and international law in these areas. His books Defence: The Legal Implications: Military Law and the Laws of War (1987), and The Impact of Human Rights Law on Armed Forces (2006), are key works in the field.

He was Professor of Law at Lancaster University (1995-2014) and then Emeritus Professor, a judge on a social security tribunal for more than 20 years, and advised the armed forces and the British and European parliaments.

Peter’s approach to the law was a practical one. Long before the terms “impact” and “engagement” became common usage, he believed in the importance of connecting academia with the real world.

During the Falklands War, Peter appeared regularly on television and radio news programmes. He lectured on the Vienna course on international law for military advisers as well as courses for NATO. He went on missions for the Red Cross to Ukraine and Moldova.

Peter and his twin brother, Robert, were born in Belfast to an army officer, Major Dennis Rowe, and his wife, Anne (née Nesbitt). The family travelled to Malaya before the boys were sent to board at Methodist College, Belfast. Peter gained his law degree at Queen’s University in 1970, and his doctorate through Liverpool University.

His academic career began in 1970 as a lecturer at Chelmsford College. In 1977 he moved to Preston Polytechnic, and then, in 1978, to Liverpool University. He established the Cayman Islands Law School (now Truman Bodden Law School) in 1982, before returning two years later to Liverpool, where he became Professor in 1986. In 2011 he received an honorary LLD from Queen’s University Belfast.

Peter loved flying and had fond memories of his time at Queen’s Air Squadron. He was also a keen sailor on Lake Windermere, near his home.

While still at school Peter met Anne White and they married in 1970; she was a teacher of children and young people with special educational needs. He is survived by Anne, their two children, Tim and Katherine, two grandchildren, Zac and Max, and brothers Robert and Nick.

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