Dr Melanie O’Brien

Dr Melanie O’Brien is an Associate Professor of International Law at the University of Western Australia and an award-winning teacher of International Humanitarian Law, Public International Law, and Legal Research. Her research examines the connection between human rights and the genocide process, as well as sexual and gender-based crimes against women in atrocities. Her work on forced marriage has been cited by the International Criminal Court. She has advised the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on human rights and genocide prevention and the International Labor Organization on child sexual slavery in international criminal law. Melanie has conducted fieldwork and research across six continents, and her forthcoming book, From Discrimination to Death (Routledge), explores human rights violations through the genocide process.

Melanie is the President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) and co-convened the 2017 IAGS conference at the University of Queensland, serving on the Editorial Board of Genocide Studies and Prevention from 2013 to 2017. She is on the Editorial Board of Human Rights Review, and the WA International Humanitarian Law Committee of the Australian Red Cross. Melanie is an admitted legal practitioner who has previously worked at several Australian universities, the National Human Rights Institution of Samoa, and the Legal Advisory Section of the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. She is the author of Criminalizing Peacekeepers: Modernizing National Approaches to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (Palgrave 2017) and tweets @DrMelOB.