Shaw was the Sir Robert Jennings Professor of International Law at the University of Leicester and taught international law, human rights and equity and trusts. Following retirement, he was appointed as Senior Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge and made a Trustee of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He is a practising barrister and jurist.
He is the author of a best selling book on International Law (first published in 1977; 6th edition released in 2008). He also edited Title to Territory, a collection of articles on title and sovereignty in international law.
Shaw's published writings encompass 20 works in 54 publications in 3 languages and 2,999 library holdings.
- International Law (1977)
- Dispute-settlement in Africa (1983)
- International Law and Intervention in Africa (1985)
- Title to Territory in Africa: International Legal Issues (1986)
- Genocide and International Law (1989)
- The Definition of Minorities in International Law (1991)
- Succession d'états aux biens et aux dettes: opinion à la Commission d'étude des questions afférentes à l'accession du Québec à la souveraineté (1992)
- La dette extérieure (1995)
- The International Court of Justice: a Practical Perspective(1997)
- The Heritage of States: the Principle of "uti possidetis juris" Today (1997)
- Nemzetközi jog (2001)
- Title to Territory (2005)
- The International Law of Territory (2008)
- The International Legal Principles Relating to Territorial Disputes: The Acquisition of Title to Territory in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- Settling Territorial Disputes in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- Principles of Maritime Delimitation in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law