Senior Lecturer in International Law, University of Western Australia

Dr Melanie O’Brien is a Senior Lecturer in International Law at the UWA Law School and affiliated researcher in the Asia Pacific Centre for Responsibility to Protect, University of Queensland, Australia. Melanie is 2nd Vice-President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and a member of the WA International Humanitarian Law Committee of the Australian Red Cross. She is an admitted legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of NSW. Melanie has previously worked at Anti-Slavery Australia UTS, Griffith University, the National Human Rights Institution of Samoa, and the International Criminal Court. She is the author of Criminalising Peackeepers: Modernising National Approaches to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (Palgrave 2018).


  • 2018–present
    Senior lecturer, University of Western Australia
  • 2015–2017
    Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Queensland
  • 2013–2014
    Human rights legal officer, National Human Rights Institution of Samoa
  • 2010–2014
    Research fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security, Griffith University
  • 2014–2014
    International law researcher, Anti-Slavery Australia, University of Technology Sydney
  • 2006–2007
    Legal research assistant, Human Rights Law Centre, University of Nottingham
  • 2004–2005
    Law clerk, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court


  • 2010 
    University of Nottingham, PhD in International Law
  • 2004 
    Raoul Wallenberg Institute, University of Lund, LLM in International Human Rights Law
  • 2003 
    University of Technology Sydney, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice
  • 2002 
    University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Laws
  • 2000 
    University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Arts