Professor Don Anton

BSc, JD, Barrister & Solicitor, Vic & High Court; Legal Practitioner, NSW; Member, Missouri, Idaho & U.S. Supreme Court Bars
Associate Professor of Law
ANU College of Law
T: +61.2.6125.3516

Areas of expertise

  • International Law (Excl. International Trade Law) 180116
  • Human Rights Law 180114
  • Environmental And Natural Resources Law 180111
  • Comparative Law 180106
  • Conflict Of Laws (Private International Law) 180107
  • Legal Institutions (Incl. Courts And Justice Systems) 180120
  • Litigation, Adjudication And Dispute Resolution 180123
  • Legal Theory, Jurisprudence And Legal Interpretation 180122
  • International Trade Law 180117

Research interests

  • International Law
  • Human Rights
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Law and Municipal Law
  • Jurisdiction
  • Law of the Sea
  • Law of Treaties
  • Nationality
  • Peaceful Settlment of Disputes
  • Polar Regions
  • Sources Doctrine
  • State Responsibility
  • Use of Force
  • Comparative Law
  • Conflicts of Laws (Private International Law)
  • Environmental Law
  • International Arbitration
  • International Trade and Investment Law
  • Written and oral advocacy



Anton is an internationally recognised international law scholar and is listed in the Directory of Experts of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). He has an active international law practice.  He has twice appeared as Counsel in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and has appeared as Counsel for amici before the US Supreme CourtAnton is an Associated Fellow of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research has also taught for the United Nations Environment Programme. Anton is active with various international law bodies. He is the Co-Chair of the ASIL International Environmental Law Interest Group. He is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law and part of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment. He was a Member of the International Law Association's Committee Sustainable Development until the end of its work. Anton is an Associate Editor on the Australian International Law Journal and a Corresponding Editor with International Legal Materials. Anton has been a repeat Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan

Researcher's projects

2013-2016 -- AusAID Development Research Award (approx $900.000).  Sole Principle Investigator in a multiyear research project to test the truth of underlying assumptions surrounding the economic development potential and enviornmental consequences of deep seabed mining.

A rearch team led by ANU College of Law Associate Professor Don Anton received nearly $900,000 AusAID grant in 2013 for a project called Exploring the Sustainable Development Potential of Environmentally Sensitive Deep Seabed Mining Sponsored by South Pacific Developing Countries (Pacific). 

This reseach team consists of ANU College of Law Associate Professor Don Anton, as Principal Investigator, and an international research team of Co-Chief Investigators, including Professor Don Rothwell (ANU CoL), Associate Professor Colin Filer (ANU CAP), Professor Rosemary Rayfuse (UNSW), Associate Professor Robin Warner(Wollongong), and Dr Joanna Mossop (Victoria University, Wellington).

This research project will test and analyse the apparent possibilities for sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) in South Pacific developing countries presented by deep seabed mining in partnership with commercial entities. Fundamentally, the research will attempt to demonstrate:
i) Whether developing states subject to investigation can capture adequate revenue from deep seabed mining;
ii) If so, whether this revenue will significantly help address poverty alleviation and sustainable development; and
iii) Whether (and if so how) the environmental risks associated with deep seabed mining can best be minimised and managed?
Based on initial findings against these questions, the research will identify how best to promote and protect the interests of developing states that seek to engage in seabed mining to advance development. In particular, the project will develop legal options (national and international) for engagement in environmentally sound mining activities in the deep seabed, both within and beyond national jurisdictions, and for structuring strategic alliances and cooperative arrangements that serve the public interest.

Project funds: 

2013: $153,189
2014: $325,943
2015: $354,460


Current student projects


Paul Govind (Supervisor) - Funding for climate change adaptation as a practical implementation of the so-called right to development.

Fanny Thornton (panel member) - Climate Change Displacement and International Law: What Place for Justice?

Scott Joblin (panel member) - The Antarctic Environmental Protocol: Functionality of present barrier protections regarding hydrocarbon extraction in the Southern Ocean deep seabed.

John Abrahamson (panel member) - Joint Development of Offshore Polar Oil and Gas Resources and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

Matthew Osborne (panel member) - Legal regulation of environmental threats to Australia's marine environment


Angela Dwyer (supervisor 2004-2008)(SJD conferred) - The Precautionary Principle and Species Protection in Australia


Masters by Research

Tamsin Paige (panel) 2012 - The Disconnect between Traditional Norms of Piracy and Contemporary Problems in Somalia

Masters Graduate Research Unit

Sophie Chapman (supervisor) 2004

Carolyn Salam (supervisor) 2003

Sharelle Hart (supervisor) 2002

Helen Murphy (supervisor) 2001



Ben Hopwood - A Long Way from Geneva: Practical Failings of International Humanitarian Law in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Need for Reform 

Nick Topfer - The Effectiveness of Conditionality within the World Bank

Caitlin Powell - Has the approach to international environmental law that is characterised by a focus on sustainable development been effective at combating biological diversity loss?

Tanj Ganguly - Ultimate Justice: State responsibility as the normative basis for a duty to protect the victims of anthropogenic change

Tara Schultz - Can the ICC effectively prosecute sexual and gender based violence?


Catriona McKay - International Criminal Liability of Non-State Actors for Environmental Harm During Conflict (published in the ANU SSRN Honours edition)

Cassandra Kanaley - Expert Evidence Before the International Court of Justice


Jinn-Khing Law - The Geoengineering Elephant: Addressing the Need for International Governance


Colin Bailey - Beyond Kyoto: Anticipating Copenhagen in Australia

Julian Bowen - The Global Internal Displacement Crisis and the Role of the International Community: Closing the Protection Gap or Conceding Defeat?


Lian Yong - Revising the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Jeremy Johnson - A Usable Future: The Public Trust and Water Management in Australia

Joesph Critchton - Maintaining the Pacific Ocean: Evaluation of the Dispute Settlement System in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea


Sara Samios - Adequacy of International Legal Responses to the Likely Effects of Climate Change on Small Low-Lying Island States 

Anton Wasson - A Bridge Too Far? The Effectiveness of the Global Environment Facility as the Financial Mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 

David Nyskohus - Regulating Gene Technology in Australia: An Investigation of the Applicable Law and Compatibility Aspects of Domestic Legislation and Australia's International Trade Obligations


Karen Stagoll - Europe, Human Rights and the Environment: The Requirement of a New Human Right to the Environment Within the European Human Rights System

Clinton Dengate - Enforcement of Fisheries Law in Antarctica: An Australian Case Study

2003 (University of Michigan)

Brian Schwartz - WTOs and GMOs: Analyzing the European Community's Recent Regulations Covering the Labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (pubished in the Michigan Journal of International Law)

Aaron Ostrovsky - The European Commission's Regulations for GMOs and the Current WTO Dispute - Human Health or Enviornmental Measures? Why the Deliberate Release Directive is More Apporpriately Adjudicated in the WTO Under the TBT Agreement (published in the Colorado Journal of International Enviornmental Law and Policy)


Ben Fuller - Statutory Interpretation and Environmental Law in Australia

Clare Peters - Water Wars: A Critique of the Water Management Act (2000) NSW and Its Objectives

Paul Shepherd - A Prisoner's Dilemma? Dispute Settlement Under the Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna


Robyn Briese - Precaution and Cooperation in the World Trade Organisation: An Environmental Perspective (Published in the Australian Yearbook of International Law)

Katrina Moore - Commonwealth Regulation of Gene Technology and the Protection of the Environment

Joanne Woodbury - Prosecuting War Crimes in Australia

Francesca Giorlando - The Requirement Under International Law to Conduct Antecedent Environmental Impact Assessments for Ultra-Hazardous Activities that Pose Significant Risk of Transboundary Harm

Haidi Wilmot - World Preservation Through World Law: The Search for International Eunomy


Sanjiva De Silva - Liability for Contamination Caused by Genetically Modified Organisms

Nicholas Dimitriadis - Technocracy v. Democracy in the Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms in Australia

Patrick Tyson - Australian SPS Measures After the WTO's "Australia-Salmon" Decisions

Claire Crocker - Delivering Sustainable Development: Law, Science, and a Strategy for Success

BE Turnbull - International Trade Law and the Regulation of Investment


Laurence Edwards - The Limits of International Environmental Law (Australia Awards intern 2012)

Kiko de Guzman - Human Rights and the Environment (Australia Awards intern 2011)

Melissa Steedman - The World Trade Organisation, Dispute Settlement Mechanisms and International Trade and Investment (paper prepared for the Australian Chamber of Commerce, 2000)

Summer research scholars

Summer Research Scholars

Suzanne Zhou (Melbourne University) - 2010-11

Kenneth Chan (University of Auckland) - 2007-08



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Updated:  22 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers