Teaching Tools: Alternative Assessments in International Law Teaching

The Teaching International Law Interest Group invites you to join us for a conversation with Melanie O’Brien, of the University of Western Australia Law School. Dr O’Brien will talk about the ‘unusual’ assessments and in-class activities that she sets in her Public International Law and International Humanitarian Law units. In particular, she will talk about two assignments, a media analysis (PIL) and a film review (IHL). She will also discuss the rationale behind the assignments, the structure of the assignments, how she has tweaked them over the years, learning outcomes, and how the students perform in the assessments.

Dr Melanie O’Brien is an award-winning teacher of international humanitarian law, public international law and legal research. Dr O'Brien's research and supervision areas include international criminal law, genocide studies, international human rights law, international humanitarian law (IHL), feminist legal theory, public international law, comparative criminal law, peacekeeping, and military law. Dr O'Brien's work on forced marriage has been cited by the International Criminal Court, and she has been an expert consultant for multiple UN bodies. She has conducted fieldwork and research across six continents. Additionally, she is the President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), and a member of the WA International Humanitarian Law Committee of the Australian Red Cross.


  • Melanie O’Brien, University of Western Australia Law School
  • Md. Rizwanul Islam, North South University, Co-chair of Teaching International Law IG (Moderator)

This session was organized by ASIL’s Teaching International Law Interest Group.