Collegiate Affiliation

Dr Melanie O’Brien is Visiting Professor at the Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, based in Global Studies. Dr O'Brien's regular position is Associate Professor of International Law at the UWA Law School, University of Western Australia.

Dr O'Brien's work on forced marriage has been cited by the International Criminal Court, and she has been an amicus curiae before the ICC. She has been an expert consultant for multiple UN bodies, and is widely consulted by global media for her expertise on international criminal law. She has conducted fieldwork and research across six continents.

Dr O'Brien is the President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), and a member of the WA International Humanitarian Law Committee of the Australian Red Cross. She was a 2022 Research Fellow at the Sydney Jewish Museum & a 2023 Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Loughborough, UK. 

Dr O'Brien is the author of Criminalising Peacekeepers: Modernising National Approaches to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (Palgrave, 2017) and From Discrimination to Death: Genocide Process through a Human Rights Lens (Routledge, 2022).

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching: Tertiary Pedagogy, University of Western Australia
  • PhD: International Law, University of Nottingham
  • Masters of International Human Rights Law: International Human Rights Law, Lunds Universitet
  • Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice: Legal Practice, University of Technology Sydney
  • Bachelor of Laws: Law, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts: History & French, University of Newcastle


  • International criminal law
  • Genocide studies
  • International humanitarian law
  • International human rights law
  • Feminist legal theory