The Laureate Program in International Law at Melbourne Law School is funded by the Australian Research Council's Laureate Fellowship scheme from 2015 to 2020, and led by Professor Anne Orford. It establishes a new interdisciplinary research team of scholars in law, the social sciences, and the humanities to work on a major project entitled Civil War, Intervention, and International Law.
The role of third states and other actors in initiating, supporting, financing, directing, and policing civil wars in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, together with the US claim to be engaged in a 'global non-international armed conflict', has raised fundamental questions about the adequacy of the current international legal framework relating to force and intervention. The Laureate Program combines historical research, legal analysis, and critical theorising to grasp the changing patterns and practices of international intervention, and make sense of the evolving role and responsibility of foreign actors in civil and proxy wars. It brings together leading scholars, world-class early career researchers, and innovative practitioners to explore the place of international law in contemporary social, economic, and political transformations.
A major emphasis of the Laureate Program is on training a new generation of researchers capable of interpreting and responding to legal and institutional developments in international law, armed conflict, humanitarianism, displacement, and global political economy. The Program hosts a series of visiting fellowships, workshops, policy roundtables, and conferences aimed at building a community of critical scholars and practitioners working on the foundational issues at stake in debates about intervention and the increasing militarisation of civil life.