About Professor Ben Saul

Professor Saul has an international reputation in public international law with particular expertise in anti-terrorism law.

  • Professor Ben Saul is Challis Chair of International Law at the University of Sydney and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) in London. He was the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University in 2019.
  • He has published 20 books, over 100 refereed articles, and hundreds of other publications; made hundreds of scholarly presentations; and been awarded millions of dollars of research grants (including an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship). His research has been used in international and national courts and he has been involved in over 130 parliamentary inquiries. His bookDefining Terrorism in International Law(2006) is the leading work on the subject, and he is lead author of theOxford Commentary on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights(2014), awarded a Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law. His latest book is The Oxford Handbook on International Law in Asia and the Pacific (2020).
  • Ben has taught law at Oxford, Harvard, The Hague Academy of International Law and in China, India, Nepal, Cambodia and Italy. He has also been a visiting professor at the Max Planck Institute for International Law, and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights; and given lectures at Cambridge, NYU, LSE and for the UN Audio Visual Library of International Law.
  • Ben has been involved in cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He was lead counsel in five successful national security cases before the UN Human Rights Committee against Australia, includingFJ(2016),FKAG(2013), andMMM(2013) (arbitrary indefinite detention and inhuman treatment of 51 refugees on secret security grounds);Hicks(2016) (unlawful military trial at Guantanamo Bay); andLeghaei(2015) (secret security expulsion interfering in family rights).
  • Ben has advised or consulted to the United Nations (including UNODC, UNESCO, UNHCR and OHCHR), the International Committee of the Red Cross, governments, regulators, judiciaries, and NGOs (including Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Commission of Jurists), and delivered technical assistance in developing countries. He drafted the professional training curriculum on terrorism and international law for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
  • Ben has also undertaken professional missions or field research in numerous countries, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Botswana, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Fiji, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Namibia, Nepal, Mexico, Myanmar, Palestine, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Turkey, Uganda, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Western Sahara.
  • Ben has served on various professional and international bodies, including the International Law Association’s Committee for the Compensation of Victims of War. He is on the editorial boards of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague and theIndonesian Journal of International Law, and the advisory board of Kathmandu School of Law. Previously he was Director of the Sydney Centre for International Law, Editor in Chief of theAustralian International Law Journal, President of Australia’s Refugee Advice and Casework Service, a member of the Law Council of Australia’s National Human Rights Committee, the NSW Legal Aid’s Human Rights Committee, and Vice-President of Sydney PEN. He formerly worked as a Legal Officer at the Australian Law Reform Commission.

For a complete profile, please see here.

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Selected publications


Refer to Professor Ben Saul's Profile