Photo of Melanie O'Brien

Melanie O'Brien

Dr

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

    6009 Perth

    Australia

20062019
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Personal profile

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.

Roles and responsibilities

Dr O’Brien is the coordinator of Public International Law; Foundations of Public International Law; International Humanitarian Law; Supervised Research; and all the Masters Research units. She is a member of the Law School Research Committee.

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.

Funding overview

- 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

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

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.

Teaching overview

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)

Research

- 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.

Languages

English
French
German

Education/Academic qualification

International Law, PhD, University of Nottingham

Human Rights, IHL, LLM, Lund University

Law, LLB, University of Newcastle

History, French, BA, University of Newcastle

Legal Practice, GDLP, University of Technology Sydney

Keywords

  • Law
  • 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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2006 2019

Criminalising Peacekeepers: Modernising National Approaches to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

O'Brien, M., 2017, Palgrave Macmillan. 207 p. (Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

exploitation
UNO
abuse
jurisdiction
military law
1 Citations
West Africa
violence
Disease
public health
human rights

Press / Media

Lecture capture: vital learning aid or a licence to skip class?

Melanie O'Brien

31/10/18

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

UN: Crimes against Rohingya are genocide. World: So what?

Melanie O'Brien

29/08/18

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media