• Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Office:S634 Hartley Teakle building, St Lucia campus
Phone:+61 7 (336) 57997
Consultation:By appointment
Dr Melanie O'Brien


Dr Melanie O’Brien is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland.

Melanie’s research project is titled From Discrimination to Death: Genocidal Process and Prevention Through a Human Rights Lens, and aims to construct a paradigm of the genocidal process through human rights violations to function as a map to prevent future genocides.

Melanie’s research and supervision areas include international criminal law, 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 Genocide Studies and Prevention. Melanie is a member of the QLD International Humanitarian Law Committee of the Australian Red Cross, and the Advisory Board of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS). She has won several prestigious grants such as the Griffith Asia Institute Australia China Futures Dialogues Visiting Fellowship to Peking University, China, and the Gandel Philanthropy Scholarship for the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators, at Yad Vashem in Israel.

Melanie is supervisor of the UQ Pro Bono Centre’s International Humanitarian Law High Schools Program www.law.uq.edu.au/pro-bono-high-schools-program

Melanie has previously worked at Anti-Slavery Australia in the Law School, University of Technology Sydney; the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security at Griffith University; the National Human Rights Institution of Samoa; the Legal Advisory Section of the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court; the International Criminal Justice Unit of the Nottingham University Human Rights Law Centre; the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations; the Raoul Wallenberg Institute; the Australian Law Reform Commission; and the NSW Crown Solicitors Office. She is an admitted legal practitioner.

Research Interests

  • Criminal Law
  • Feminist and Critical Legal Theory
  • Human Rights Law
  • International Criminal Law