Strategy, Enterprise and Innovation

Dr Frank Ledwidge

  • Qualifications: MA (Oxf), PhD, Barrister
  • Role Title: Senior Fellow
  • Address: Portsmouth Business School @ Cranwell, Whittle Hall, Royal Air Force College, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 8HB
  • Telephone: 01400 266 624
  • Email:
  • Department: Strategy, Enterprise and Innovation
  • Faculty: Portsmouth Business School


Frank spent fifteen years at the front end of British foreign policy, dealing with problems such as torture, human trafficking and war crimes in the Balkans, Central Asia and the Middle East. Prior to that, he worked for seven years as a barrister in his home town of Liverpool and throughout the North of England, working mostly in the criminal and family jurisdictions. 

Frank was seconded by the British government to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe for 7 years.  He worked in Kosovo, Albania and much of the former Soviet Union in international human rights protection, criminal law reform, and institution building at the highest levels of government.  Later he served as the first ‘Justice Advisor’ to the UK Mission in Helmand Province in 2007-2008 and worked in a similar role at the UK Embassy in Libya during and after the war there.  He also has extensive experience in Bosnia, Iraq and Ethiopia. He was an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve for 15 years.

Frank holds law degrees from Oxford and Huddersfield Universities and received his doctorate in war studies from Kings College London in 2015.

He is the author of several well-reviewed books and is regular commentator on national and international print and broadcast media.

Frank has given evidence to the UK House of Commons Defence Committee on National Strategy and has spoken at conferences all over the world on war and law. In 2016 he was privileged to deliver one of Cambridge University's annual 'Darwin Lectures'.


In the early part of his career Frank developed some expertise in missing persons in war, torture prevention, intelligence and interrogation and human trafficking, More recently Frank’s work has focused on contemporary strategy, national security and military operations. 



Aerial Warfare (Oxford University Press 2018) 

Rebel Law (Hurst 2017) 

Losing Small Wars (Yale University Press 2011/second edition 2017)

Investment in Blood (Yale University Press 2013)

Academic Articles

  • Indian Journal of International Law and International Affairs (Vol 1 Issue 2) p182-202 ‘Why should we obey International Humanitarian Law’
  • Review article in H-Diplo ‘Col WAR Reconnaissance Flights over Berlin’ (March 2016) available 
  • Review article  in Military History Quarterly (US); Afghan Way of War (June 2012)
  • British Army Review (Winter 2010) Issue 150 ‘Missing a trick’-Justice, the Taleban and Insurgency (reprinted in US Army Manual on Rule of Law reform)
  • Journal of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) (January 2010) ‘ Rethinking the Durand Line’ (with Bijan Omrani)
  • Journal of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) (March 2009) ‘Justice and Counter Insurgency in Afghanistan –A missing link?’ Journal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs (2009) ‘The Challenge of Justice Reform in a Society at War’.
  • Fletcher Forum of World Affairs Vol  30.1(2006) ‘Torture; Realities and Perceptions’ (co-authored with Lucas Openheim).
  • Helsinki Monitor (Vol 17.1) (2006)  ‘OPCAT: A major step forward in the global prevention of Torture’

Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile