J.D. (St. Louis); Barrister & Solicitor, Victoria and High Court of Australia; Legal Practitioner, New South Wales; Member of the Missouri Bar, Idaho State Bar, Texas Bar (pro hac vice), and Attorney & Counsellor of the Supreme Court of the United States
- Professor of International Law
Don Anton is a leading public international lawyer. He took up the Chair in International Law at Griffith Law School in 2015. He researches and advises across the international law curriculum. He has taught across a wide range of subjects including International Law, Human Rights, International Environmental Law, Human Rights and the Environment, International Climate Change Law, Marine and Coastal Law, International Trade and the Environment, International Procedure and Advocacy, Federalism and the Environment, Environmental Dispute Settlement, Property, and Torts.
Anton has an active international law practice. He is currently serving as Counsel to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in advisory proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in the 2013 Request for an Advisory Opinion Submitted by the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (Case No. 21). In 2010 he also appeared as Counsel (JPG 295k) on behalf of the IUCN in the Seabed Disputes Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Case No. 17, Responsibilities and Obligations of States Sponsoring Persons and Entitities with Respect to Activities in the Area. In 2011 and again in 2014, Anton served as Counsel and Attorney of Record for thrity eminentamici curiae international law professors on issues of public international law in Chevron v. Donziger (PDF 434k) -- an appeal in the U.S. involving a US$8.4 billion dollar judgment in Ecuador against Chevron. Amici include Stephen McCaffery, Martii Koskenneimi, Manfred Nowak, Linda Malone, Christopher McCrudden, Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Cesare Romano, Gerry Simpson, Karl Wellens, and Burns Weston. In 2012, Anton appeared as Counsel and amicus curiae on behalf of Australian international lawyers amici curiae in the Supreme Court of the United States in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum in support of human rights claims of the Ogoni people of Nigeria against Royal Dutch Petroleum.
Anton consults regularly with government and international organisations on matters of international law. In July 2014, he attended the 20th Session of the International Seabed Authority in Kingston, Jamaica as part of the Australian Delegation. He currently works with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (PDF 222k) on environmental aspects of their international law programme. He has been a consultant to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and the Australian Senate Committee on Environment. He has also taught for the United Nations Environment Programme.
Anton is active with various international law bodies. He is currently on the Advisory Committees of the American Society of International Law International Environmental Law Interest Group (and has served as a Co-Chair of the Group) and the Disaster Law Interest Group. Anton has also been a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law since 1997 and is part of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment. Anton was a Member of the International Law Association's Committee on International Law on Sustainable Development. He also served on the Executive Council of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law in 2007 and 2008. He was also part of the 2008-2009 American Society of International Law/American Bar Association Joint Taskforce on Treaties in U.S. Law. The Taskforce Report was adopted by the American Bar Assocition in 2010.
Anton also holds a number of international law editorial positions. He currently serves as a Book Review Editor on the Cambridge Journal, Transnational Environmental Law. He is also an Associate Editor on the Australian International Law Journal and a Corresponding Editor with International Legal Materials published by the American Society of International Law.
Anton is a regular Visiting Professor. In 2015, he will visit the University of Colorado Law School as a Visiting Scholar-in-Residence. In 2013, he was the first Visiting Professor at the University of Yangon Law Department since Myanmar has reopened. As a repeat Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan (2008-09; 2003), Anton has taught the pathbreaking compulsory Transnational Law course and International Environmental Law. As a Visiting Professor at the University of Alabama (2007) he has taught International Human Rights. Anton has also served as a Visiting Lecturer teaching international law subjects at University of Sydney (1997-1999) and the University of Adelaide (1995-96).
Anton is an Australian Research Council Expert of International Standing in international law. He was the Chairperson of the ACT Fulbright Postgraduate and Postdoctoral Awards Selection Committee from 2006-2008. While in practice in the U.S. he served as an Idaho Bar Examiner.
Anton is admitted to practice law in a number of jurisdiction across Australia and the United States. He has a law degree from St. Louis University School of Law and a B.S. in political science from Central Missouri State University. Following graduation, Anton served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Paul Simon on the Missouri Court of Appeals. He then practiced law in Bosie, Idaho where he engaged in air disaster litigation, insurance defence, and the representation of major mining companies. In Australia, Anton has worked as counsel for Freehills Hollingdale Page and Blake Dawson Waldron (as they were then). He was also Director of Policy and Senior Solicitor with the Environmental Defenders Offices in Sydney and Melbourne from 1997-2000.
From 2000-2015, prior to joining Griffith, Anton was a member of the faculty at the ANU College of Law and he remains an Adjunct Professor of Law at The ANU. While at the ANU he served as Acting-Director of the Australian Centre for Environmental Law and Convener of all Environmental Law Programs at the ANU. He also served as Associate Dean for International Programs and Exchanges. Anton also taught at the University of Melbourne Law School from 1994-1997 as a Lecturer in Law. From 1992-1993, Anton was employed as a Research Associate in International Law at Columbia University Law School in New York working with Professors Louis Henkin and Oscar Schachter.
In a "former life" before the law, Anton worked as a firefighter at the Pattonville-Bridgeton Terrace Fire District in St. Louis (1979-80), where he fought fires, ran medical emergencies, and helped to deliver a baby.
See Anton's full curriculum vitae (PDF 207k).
- International Law
- Law of Treaties
- Peaceful Settlement of Disputes
- Sources Doctrine
- State Responsibility
- Use of Force
- International Environmental Law
- Law of the Sea
- Polar Law
- Human Rights Law
- International Arbitration
- International Investment Law
- International Trade Law
- International Environmental Law
- International Law and Municipal Law
- Jurisdiction & Immunities
- Comparative Law (United States)
- Environmental Law
- Natural Resources Law (including Mining Law)
- Immigration Law
- Legal Institutions (Incl. Courts And Justice Systems)
- Litigation, Adjudication And Dispute Resolution
- Written and oral advocacy
- Legal Theory, Jurisprudence And Legal Interpretation
Current teaching areas
- The International Law curriculum
Major Research Projects
2013-2016 - DFAT Australian Development Research Award (approx $900.000)
Project Title: Managing Deep Seabed Mining by Pacific Island States
Professor Anton is the Sole Principle Investigator in a multiyear research project to test the truth of underlying assumptions surrounding the economic development potential and environmental consequences of deep seabed mining.
A research team led by ANU College of Law Associate Professor Don Anton received nearly $900,000 AusAID grant in 2013 for a project called Exploring the Sustainable Development Potential of Environmentally Sensitive Deep Seabed Mining Sponsored by South Pacific Developing Countries (Pacific).
This research team consists of Griffith Law School Professor Don Anton, as Principal Investigator, and an international research team of Co-Chief Investigators, including Professor Don Rothwell (ANU College of Law), Associate Professor Colin Filer (ANU College of Asia Pacific), Professor Rosemary Rayfuse (UNSW Law School), Associate Professor Robin Warner (Wollongong Law School), and Dr Joanna Mossop (Victoria University, Wellington Law School).
This research project will test and analyse the apparent possibilities for sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) in South Pacific developing countries presented by deep seabed mining in partnership with commercial entities. Fundamentally, the research will attempt to demonstrate:
- Whether developing states subject to investigation can capture adequate revenue from deep seabed mining;
- If so, whether this revenue will significantly help address poverty alleviation and sustainable development; and
- Whether (and if so how) the environmental risks associated with deep seabed mining can best be minimised and managed?
Based on initial findings against these questions, the research will identify how best to promote and protect the interests of developing states that seek to engage in seabed mining to advance development. In particular, the project will develop legal options (national and international) for engagement in environmentally sound mining activities in the deep seabed, both within and beyond national jurisdictions, and for structuring strategic alliances and cooperative arrangements that serve the public interest.
2014-2017 – DFAT Government Partnerships for Development (approx $1.9m)
Project Title: Meeting Legal Challenges of Foreign Investment in Myanmar
Professor Anton was part of a team that put together the successful proposal for this grant to bring legal expertise at the ANU to the University of Yangon Law Department in order to assist in building capacity. Since departing the ANU, Professor Anton has maintained a small role in the project in working with Dean Khin Mar Yee and senior Lecturer Khin Khin Oo on research related to the impact of foreign direct investment in Myanmar. Over the next several years, Professor Anton will visit Myanmar to work with his Yangon counterparts on this research to expose challenges and opportunities associated with FDI and way that it can be managed for the benefit of the people of Myanmar.
- Environmental Protection and Human Rights (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011), pp 1-986 (with Dinah Shelton).
- International Environmental Law: Cases Materials Problems (LexisNexis Publishing Co, 2007), pp i-xlix, 1-1689 (with Jon Charney, Philippe Sands, Tom Schoenbaum & Mike Young)
- International Law: Cases and Materials (Oxford Univ. Press, 2005), pp i-xxxvi, 1-995 (with Penelope Mathew & Wayne Morgan).
- Politics, Values and Functions: International Law in the Twenty-First Century (Martinus Nijhoff, 1997), pp 1-482 (with Jonathan Charney & Mary Ellen O’Connell).
- Challenge: Global Environmental Protection (Sydney: McGraw-Hill Publishers, 1996), pp i-ix, 1-174.
- International Law in Contemporary Practice (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015)(with Gillian Triggs, Natalie Klein & Adam McBeth).
- The Elgar Companion to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2015)].
- International Environmental Law (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2015).
- Principles of Human Rights (West Publishing Co., forthcoming 2016).
Journal articles, book chapters and comment
- 'The Application of the Precautionary and Adaptive Management Approaches in the Seabed Mining Context: Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd Marine Consent Decision Under New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012', (2015) 30 Int’l J. Marine & Coastal L.
- 'ICJ's Decision in Australia v. Japan: Giving up the Spear or Refining the Scientific Design?', 45 Ocean Dev. & Int’l L. 328 (2014) (with A. Telesetsky and T. Koiurova).
- 'Introductory Note: 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention', 1930, 53 I.L.M. 1227 (2014).
- ‘Making or Breaking the International Law of Transit Passage? Meeting Environmental and Safety Challenges in the Torres Strait with Compulsory Pilotage’, in D. Caron & N. Oral (eds.), Navigating Straits: Challenges for International Law, (Brill/Nijhoff, 2014), pp. 49-86.
- ‘The Timor Sea Treaty Arbitration: Timor-Leste Challenges Australian Espionage and Seizure of Documents’ (2014) 18 ASIL Insight (Issue 6).
- ‘The Maritime Dispute Between Peru and Chile’ (2014) E-Intenational Relations (Mar. 18, 2014), at: http://www.e-ir.info/2014/03/18/the-maritime-dispute-between-peru-and-chile/.
- '"Treaty Congestion" in Contemporary International Environmental Law', in S. Alam, J. Bhuiyan, T. Chowdhury and E. Techera (eds.), Routledge Handbook of International Environmental Law, (Routledge 2013), pp. 651-665.
- 'The "Thirty Percent Solution" and the Future of International Environmental Law' (2013) 10 Santa Clara Journal of International Law 209-219.
- ‘International Law and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq’ (2013) 2 International Advocate 9 (No. 3).
- ‘The Principle of Residual Liability in the Seabed Disputes Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea’ (2012) 7 McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy 241-257.
- ‘Still This Endangered Planet’ (2012) 106 Proceedings of the American Society of International Law 95-98.
- ‘The 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and the Future of International Environmental Protection’ (2012) 7 Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development 64-72.
- 'Case Concerning Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay) (Judgment)  ICJ Rep (20 April 2010)’ (2012) 17 Australian International Law Journal 213-223.
- 'Advisory Opinion on Responsibility and Liability for International Seabed Mining (ITLOS Case No. 17): International Environmental Law in the Seabed Disputes Chamber' (2011) 14 Environmental Policy and Law 60-66 (with R. Makgill & C. Payne).
- 'Protecting Whales by Hue and Cry: Is There a Place for Non-State Actors in the Enforcement of International Law' (2011) 14 Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy 137-145.
- ‘Public International Law and International Civil Litigation: From Ecuador to the United States and Back (Twice) Chevron v. Donziger’ (2011) 107 Precedent (Nov/Dec).
- ‘Dispute Concerning Japan’s JARPA II Program of “Scientific Whaling” (Australia v. Japan)’ 14 ASIL Insight (Issue 20)(July 8, 2010).
- ‘Antarctic Whaling: Australia’s Attempt to Protect Whales in the Southern Ocean’ (2009) 36 Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review 319-351.
- ‘Introductory Note to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Fourth Assessment Report’ (2008) 47 International Legal Materials 94-98.
- ‘False Sanctuary: The Australian Antarctic Whale Sanctuary and Long-Term Stability in Antarctica’ (2008) 8 Sustainable Development Law & Policy 17-21, 61-63.
- ‘Australian Jurisdiction and Whales in Antarctica: Why the Australian Whale Sanctuary in Antarctic Waters Does Not Pass International Legal Muster and is also a Bad Idea as Applied to Non-Nationals’ (2008) 11 Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law 159-192.
- '"Australia"', in Vers un Nouveau Droit de L’environnement? (Centre international de Droit Comparé de l’Environnement, 2003), pp. 228-266.
- ‘Greening the Federation’ (2003) Environmental Law Reporter (ELI), International Developments (subscription service).
- ‘Australia Overview’ (2002) International Environment Reporter 205:0101 (BNA, No. 168)(subscription service).
- 'Truth, Justice and the Australian Way About "Open Standing": Truth About Motorways Pty Ltd v Macquarie Infrastructure Investment Management Ltd’ (2001) Environmental Law Reporter (ELI), International Developments (subscription service).
- A Model Act for the Comprehensive Regulation of Gene Technology (Environment Defenders Office (Victoria) Ltd, 2000)(prepared for distribution to members of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law), pp 1-142.
- ‘Law for the Sea’s Biological Diversity’ (1997) 36 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 341-371.
- ‘Is The Use of Nuclear Weapons Against the Law?’ (1996) 39 The Advocate 15-21.
- ‘Nationalizing Environmental Protection in Australia: The International Dimensions’ (1993) 23 Environmental Law 763-784 (with J. Kohout & N. Pain).
- ‘Radiation Control’, in J. Baird, S. Campbell, R. Mellon & B. Tyler, (eds.) Idaho Environmental Law Handbook, (Rockville, MD: Government Institutes, 1991), pp 116-152.
- ‘Idaho Forestry Practices’, in J. Baird, S. Campbell, R. Mellon & B. Tyler, (eds.) Idaho Environmental Law Handbook, (Rockville, MD: Gov. Institutes, 1991), pp 201-220.
- ‘Paying the Bill for Hazardous Substance Cleanup: Buyers & Lenders Beware’ (1990) 33 The Advocate 7-9.
- 'The Missouri Aberration: Abolition of Remittitur' (1986) 30 St. Louis University Law Journal 1195-1219.
- 'Why Julian Assange May Have a Case to Answer in Australia, Despite What the AFP Says (or, Why Julia Gillard Might Be Right)’, ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 11-04, SSRN (Jan. 1, 2011) (With G. Urbas).
- ‘Australian Jurisdiction and Whales in Antarctica’ (2009) 11 Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law 159-192.
- ‘Regulating a Brave New Genetically Modified World’ (2001) 58 Impact 10-15.
- Reforming the Law of Environmental Standing and Third Party Appeal Rights in Victoria (Australian Centre for Environmental Law Occasional Paper 18, 2000), pp 1-112.
- ‘Opposing the Multilateral Agreement on Investment’, in Stopping the Juggernaut: Public Interest versus the Multilateral Agreement on Investment 206-219 (J Goodman & P Ranald, eds.)(1999).
- ‘The Global Environment and the Public Interest’ (1996) 13 Environmental and Planning Law Journal 269-287.
- ‘Nuclear Weapons -The Lawyers Interest’ (1996) 7 Public Law Review 80-85.
- ‘Memorandum on the Legality of the Planned Resumption of Nuclear Testing by France’ (1995) 12 Environmental and Planning Law Journal 299-306.
- ‘International and Environmental Lawyers Worldwide Join to Challenge the Lawfulness of the Resumption of Nuclear Testing by France’ (1995) 28 International Law News (Sept.), pp 21-30.
- ‘Greening International Trade: A Preliminary Exploration’ (1994) 23 International Law News (June), pp 20-24.
- ‘International Environmental Law’, in Environment and the Law (Sydney: CCH Australia, Ltd., 1992), pp 37-70.
Book reviews, published conference papers
- (Book Review), Transnational Climate Change Governance, by Harriet Bulkeley, Liliana B. Andonova, Michele M. Betsill, Daniel Compagnon, Thomas Hale, Matthew J. Hoffmann, Peter Newell, Matthew Paterson, Charles Roger, Stacy D. Vandeveer, Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. i-xii, 1-212, £40.00 hb; ISBN-13: 978-1-107-06869-8 hard; IBSN-10: 110706869X, 222, (2015) 4 Transnational Environmental Law.
- (Book Review), Richard Garnett, Substance and Procedure in Private International Law, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2012, lxvii 384 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-953279-7, (2013) 60 Netherlands International Law Review 489-493.
- (Book Review), Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Search for Legal Remedies, Randall S. Abate & Elizabeth Ann Kronk, Editors (Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK & Northampton, Ma, USA, 2013), (2013) 19 Australian Journal of Human Rights 165-170.
- (Book Review), Timothy Stephens, International Courts and Environmental Protection (2010) 29 Australian Yearbook of International Law 201-209.
- (Book Review) CG Weeramantry, Nuclear Weapons and Scientific Responsibility (2001) 22 Australian Yearbook of International Law 231-235.
- (Book Review) L. Susskind, Environmental Diplomacy: Negotiating More Effective Global Agreements (1996) 17 Australian Yearbook of International Law 269-275.
- (Book Review) N. Al-Nauimi & R. Meese, International Legal Issues Arising Under the United Nations Decade of International Law (1996) 21 Melbourne University Law Review 935-941.
- ‘Knowledge and Information as Power in the International Protection of the Environment: The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (E-LAW)’, in Defending the Environment (Australian Centre for Environmental Law, 1995).
- ‘Greening International Trade: A Preliminary Exploration’ (1994) 2 Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law 194.
- (Book Review) A. Kiss & D. Shelton, Manual of European Environmental Law (1994) 15 Australian Yearbook of International Law 314-321.
- ‘Defending the Environment through International Law: Enforcing International Environmental Obligations, in Defending the Environment’ (Australian Centre for Environmental Law, 1994).
- (Reporter), The Internationalization of Domestic Law: The Shrinking Domaine Reservé (1993) 87 American Society of International Law Proceedings 553-574.
- Regulating Environmental Protection: What We Can Learn From North America and European Experience and the Extent of Australia's International Obligations: in E.P.A.s . . . Replacing Red Tape with Green? 53-95, (Sydney: Environmental Defender's Office, Ltd, 1991) (With J. Kohout & N. Pain).
Select conference papers
- Organised an American Society of International Law Tillar House Discussion Panel on the Approach Deep Seabed Mining (December 2014).
- Presented a paper on the Adequacy of the International Deep Seabed Mining Regime at a Faculty Seminar at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (July 2014).
- Presented a paper on Environmental Bills of Rights at a Symposium on Environmental Constitutionals at Widener University School of Law (May 2014).
- Presented a paper on International Food Security at a Symposium on Human Rights and the Environment at Santa Clara University School of Law (January 2014).
- Presented a paper on Arbitrating the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea: The Latest Round between Timor-Leste and Australia at the Australian National University (December 2013).
- Presented a paper on the Move to Mine the Deep Seabed at Concordia University School of Law (July 2013).
- Presented a paper on the Australian Experience Before the World Court at a Symposium on Whaling in the Antarctic at the Australian National University (June 2013).
- Presented a paper on International Law and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq Revisited at a Canadian-Australian seminar on the 2003 invasion of Iraq at the Australian National University (May 2013).
- Presented paper on the International Seabed Authority at a Symposium organised by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the signing of the United National Convention on the Law of the Sea (November 2012).
- Invited to lead a Symposium organised around my latest book (with Dinah Shelton) on International Environmental Protection and Human Rights at George Washington University Law School (March 2012).
- Invited to present paper on Rio +20 at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (March 2012).
- Participated in Experts’ Group on Human Rights, the Environment and Climate Change involving the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (Geneva, February 2012).
- Presented paper at Conference on Safety, Security and Environmental Protection in Straits Used in International Navigation: Is International Law Meeting the Challenge?, Istanbul (September 2011).
- Presentation at International Environmental Law Symposium, Towards Rio+ 20: Contemporary Issues in International Environmental Law, ANU, May 2011.
- Invited to present paper on Proceedings brought by Australia against Japan in the International Court of Justice, Monterey Institute of International Studies, October 2010.
- Presentation on the Role of Non-State Actors in the Enforcement of International Law, at Pirates of the Southern Ocean? Conference, ANU, April 2010.
- Panelist at Symposium on Twenty Ton Canaries: The Great Whales, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, April 2009.
- Presentation on Australia’s Attempts to Protect Whales in the Southern Ocean at, The Great Whales Conference, Boston College School of Law, April 2009.
- Workshop Panelist, Four Societies of International Law Second Workshop on International Law and Democratic Theory, University of Alberta School of Law, September 2008.
- Presentation on Public Partition in International Environmental Lawmaking at invitation only conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy at Yale Law School, May 10-11, 2008.
- Presentation on International Climate Change Law at the 2007 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, University of Oregon School of Law.
- Organised Conference and presented paper on Whaling, Diplomacy, and Law in Antarctica, The Australian National University College of Law, 2006.