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Melanie O'Brien

Dr

Former affiliation

The University of Western Australia

  • The University of Western Australia (M253), 35 Stirling Highway, 1.11 Law Building

    6009 Perth

    Australia

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Personal profile

Funding overview

- UWA EEU 'Flipping the Classroom' Grant

- Ian Potter Foundation Conference Grant

- US Holocaust Memorial Museum Workshop Attendee Grant

- Clark University Conference Attendee Grant

- TC Beirne School of Law Collaborative Workshop Grant (with Professor Heather Douglas)
- Ian Potter Foundation Travel Grant
- Australian Academy of the Humanities Humanities Travelling Fellowship
- International Network of Genocide Scholars Travel Grant
- University of Queensland Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Griffith Asia Institute Australia China Futures Dialogues Visiting Fellowship to Peking University, China
- Gandel Philanthropy Scholarship for the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators, at Yad Vashem in Israel

Languages

English
French
German

Biography

Dr Melanie O’Brien is Senior Lecturer in International Law at the UWA Law School, University of Western Australia; and an affiliated researcher of the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, University of Queensland.

Dr O'Brien's research and supervision areas include international criminal law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law (IHL), feminist legal theory, public international law, comparative criminal law, peacekeeping, and military law. She has published in leading academic journals and is on the Editorial Boards of Human Rights Review and The International Journal of Human Rights, and served on the Editorial Board of Genocide Studies and Prevention (2013-2017).

Dr O'Brien is the Second Vice-President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), and a member of the WA International Humanitarian Law Committee of the Australian Red Cross.

Dr O'Brien's book, Criminalising Peacekeepers: Modernising National Approaches to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse was published in 2017 in Palgrave's Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security series.

Previous positions

- Research Fellow, TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland
- Researcher, Anti-Slavery Australia in the Law School, University of Technology Sydney
- Human Rights Legal Advisor, National Human Rights Institution of Samoa
- Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security, Griffith University
- Law Clerk, Legal Advisory Section of the Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court
- Research Assistant, International Criminal Justice Unit of the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre
- Consulting Editor, Raoul Wallenberg Institute

Teaching

LAWS5165 Public International Law (JD)
LAWS5224 Foundations of Public International Law (MIL)
LAWS5220 International Humanitarian Law (MIL)
LAWS5512 Supervised Research (JD)
LAWS5694 Research Paper I (LLM/MIL)
LAWS5695 Research Paper II (LLM/MIL)
LAWS5696 Research Paper III Part 1 (LLM/MIL)
LAWS5697 Research Paper III Part 2 (LLM/MIL)

Roles and responsibilities

Dr O'Brien is Director, Research Assessment, Impact & Engagement.

Dr O’Brien is the unit coordinator of Public International Law; Foundations of Public International Law; International Humanitarian Law; Supervised Research; and all the Masters Research units.

Dr O'Brien is a member of the Law School Research Committee. Her research and supervision areas include international criminal law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law (IHL), feminist legal theory, public international law, comparative criminal law, peacekeeping, and military law.

Industrial relevance

Dr O’Brien is an admitted legal practitioner (NSW Supreme Court). She has worked in legal practice and international organisations, in the National Human Rights Institution of Samoa; the Legal Advisory Section of the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court; the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations; the Australian Law Reform Commission; and the NSW Crown Solicitors Office.

Research interests

- Human rights and genocide: this research aims to construct a paradigm of the genocidal process through human rights violations to function as a map to prevent future genocides.
- Photographs as evidence in international criminal trials.
- Prevention and punishment of peacekeeper sexual exploitation and abuse.
- Gender-based violence against women in mass atrocities.
- Rohingya genocide.

Education/Academic qualification

The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 16 Dec 2019

University of Nottingham

Award Date: 14 Jul 2010

Lund University

University of Newcastle

University of Newcastle

University of Technology Sydney

Research expertise keywords

  • International criminal law
  • Human rights law
  • Human Rights
  • International humanitarian law
  • Feminism and feminist theory
  • United Nations
  • Comparative Criminal Law
  • International Law/ Human Rights
  • International Law
  • International Law/ Criminal Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminology
  • Genocide Studies

Industry keywords

  • Law

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