Associate Professor Jonathan Liljeblad

PhD (University of Southern California), JD (University of Southern California), BS (California Institute of Technology)
ANU College of Law

Areas of expertise

  • International Law (Excl. International Trade Law) 180116
  • Human Rights Law 180114
  • Environmental And Natural Resources Law 180111
  • Law And Society 180119
  • Comparative Law 180106

Research interests

International Law, Human Rights, Environmental Law, Rule of Law, Law & Development


Jonathan Liljeblad received a PhD and JD from the University of Southern California (USC), an MS from the University of Washington (UW), and a BS from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). His research largely focuses on rule-of-law, with case studies from human rights and environmental issues. His fieldwork is mostly in Myanmar. Generally, his research falls within the fields of international law, rule-of-law, human rights, environmental law, law & development, and law & society. Due to the empirical nature of his research, his work connects academia, government, and civil society; seeks interdisciplinary, transboundary, and cross-cultural collaborations; and endeavors to nurture direct impact upon policy-makers and societal leaders. He was born in Myanmar, but grew up in Sweden and the United States. He received an Endeavour Research Grant (2018) and was a Fulbright Scholar (2014-2015). He currently is working on projects supported by Asia Development Bank (ADB), the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Researcher's projects

  • Promoting Rule-of-Law Education in Myanmar--supported by funding from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Konrad Adenauer Foundation), research producing direct impact in the form of handbooks to address confusion regarding Myanmar law by educating Myanmar civil society, working professionals, and government. The first handbook addresses elements of Myanmar law related to civil society organizations (CSOs) and the second handbook addresses elements of Myanmar environmental law.
  • Reforms in Myanmar's Legal Profession--related to work under the auspices of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), research analyzing the changes undertaken by actors such as the Myanmar Union Attorney General's Office (UAGO), Office of the Supreme Court of the Union (OSCU), and Independent Lawyers' Association of Myanmar (ILAM) to reform the system of laws and regulations regarding Myanmar lawyers and legal institutions.
  • Legal Education Reform in Myanmar's Post-Authoritarian Transition--a study of the issues associated with Myanmar's attempts to transform its legal education system within the context of the country's transition and alongside global trends in legal education. Particular attention is paid to the introduction of topics such as human rights, environmental law, research methods, and legal ethics/professional responsibility. The work has direct impact in terms of assisting offices of Myanmar's university system in reforming the country's law schools and legal curricula.
  • Indigeneity and Rule-of-Law in Myanmar--associated with the efforts of Myanmar non-government organizations (NGOs) funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the project explores the introduction of indigeneity into the ethno-nationalist discourse in Myanmar and analyze the implications for Myanmar's legal reforms. The project has direct impact in terms of developing guidelines for integrating indigenous rights into ongoing reforms in Myanmar's political and legal system.
  • Rule-of-Law Issues Facing Conservation in Post-Authoritarian Transitions--investigation into the challenges in law and governance impeding scientific efforts to manage and conserve Myanmar's environment, with particular attention to Myanmar's protected areas. The work has direct impact in terms of assisting Myanmar's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MoNREC) and international non-government organizations (NGOs) and national civil society organizations (CSOs) working to aid MoNREC).
  • Law, Development, and World Heritage--analysis of the social, cultural, economic, and political complexities associated with the implementation of new Myanmar laws in support of its World Heritage obligations.


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Updated:  03 June 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers