Professor Hilary Charlesworth

BA (Hons), LlB (Hons) (Melb), SJD (Harvard)
Distinguished Professor
College of Asia & the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • International Law (Excl. International Trade Law) 180116
  • Law And Society 180119
  • Legal Theory, Jurisprudence And Legal Interpretation 180122
  • History And Philosophy Of Law And Justice 220204
  • Human Rights Law 180114

Research interests

I am intererested in the theory and practice of international law; and the development of human rights law, both at the international and the national levels. I have worked on many RegNet research projects, including 'Peacebuilding Compared', 'Building Justice and Democracy after Conflict', 'Rights, Ritualism and Regulation' and 'The UN Security Council and the Rule of Law'. I am now working on a history of Australia's engagement with the International Court of Justice, and a project on 'The Art of International Law'.


Hilary Charlesworth was educated at the University of Melbourne and Harvard Law School. She is, from 2016, a Melbourne Laureate Professor at Melbourne Law School and Distinguished Professor and Director of the Centre for International Governance and Justice in the Regulatory Institutions Network at the Australian National University. She has held visiting appointments at United States and European universities. She held an ARC Federation Fellowship from 2005-2010 and an ARC Laureate Fellowship (2010-2015).

She was President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law (1997-2001). She is on the editorial boards of a number of international law journals and served as Co-Editor of the Australian Yearbook of International Law from1996-2006 and a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law 1999-2009. She was joint winner of the American Society of International Law’s 2006 Goler T Butcher Medal in recognition of ‘outstanding contributions to the development or effective realization of international human rights law’ . She was elected to the Institut de Droit International in 2011.

She has worked with various non-governmental human rights organisations on ways to implement international human rights standards and was chair of the Australian Capital Territory government's inquiry into an ACT bill of rights, which led to the adoption of the ACT Human Rights Act 2004. She was appointed judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice in 2011 for the Whaling in the Antarctic case, and in 2019 as a judge ad hoc for a case between Guyana and Venezuela.

Researcher's projects


The Art of International Law

Australia and the International Court of Justice (ARC Discovery Project)

Rights, Regulation and Ritualism (ARC Laureate Fellowship)

Strengthening the rule of law through the United Nations Security Council (ARC Linkage Project)

Building Justice and Democracy after Conflict (ARC Federation Fellowship)

Current student projects

Current ANU PhD students (principal supervisor):

Marie-Eve Loiselle, Jodie O'Leary, Aderito de Jesus Soares


PhD Panel member:

Felicity Grey



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  17 April 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers