Professor Ramesh Thakur

Ramesh ThakurProfessor Ramesh Thakur is  Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (CNND) in the Crawford School, Australian National University and Adjunct Professor in the Institute of Ethics, Governance and Law at Griffith University. He was Vice Rector and Senior Vice Rector of the United Nations University (and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations) from 1998–2007.

Educated in India and Canada, he was a Professor of International Relations at the University of Otago in New Zealand and Professor and Head of the Peace Research Centre at the Australian National University, during which time he was also a consultant/adviser to the Australian and New Zealand governments on arms control, disarmament and international security issues. He was a Commissioner and one of the principal authors of The Responsibility to Protect (2001), and Senior Adviser on Reforms and Principal Writer of the United Nations Secretary-General’s second reform report (2002). He was a Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo (2007–11), Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (2007–10) and Foundation Director of the Balsillie School of International affairs in Waterloo, Ontario.

The author or editor of over thirty books and 300 articles and book chapters, he also writes regularly for quality national and international newspapers around the world. He serves on the international advisory boards of institutes in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. His most recent books include The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Global Governance and the UN: An Unfinished Journey, co-written with Thomas G. Weiss (Indiana University Press, 2010); The Responsibility to Protect: Norms, Laws and the Use of Force in International Politics (London: Routledge, 2011); and The People vs. the State: Reflections on UN Authority, US Power and the Responsibility to Protect (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2011).

His next major project is The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy co-edited with Andrew F. Cooper and Jorge Heine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Major General (Retd) Michael G Smith AO

Michael SmithMajor General Michael G. Smith AO (Retd) is currently the Director, Security Sector Advisory and Coordination Division, UNSMIL (United Nations Support Mission in Libya), assisting the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. He was the founding Executive Director of the Australian Civil-Military Centre, established by the Australian Government in 2008 to improve Australia's inter-agency and international coordination for conflict and disaster management. From 2002–2008, he was CEO of Austcare (now Action Aid Australia), an independent non-government aid and development agency. He served as an Army Officer in the Australian Defence Force for 34 years, retiring in 2002, following his last military assignment as Deputy Force Commander for the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). He had previous overseas experience in Papua New Guinea, Kashmir and Cambodia. Mike holds a BA in History (UNSW) and an MA in International Relations (ANU).

He is an Adjunct Professor at the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance at Griffith University, and a Visiting Fellow and Member of the International Advisory Board of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University. Since 2002, Mike has published 6 major articles/chapters on national and human security, peace operations, refugees and displacement, and a book titled Peacekeeping in East Timor: the Path to Independence (Lynne Rienner, 2003). He has worked closely with the United Nations on peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding initiatives, and has given keynote addresses at a number of domestic and international forums on these subjects. In December 2008, he led a UN needs assessment mission to support the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN).

Professor Charles Samford 

Charles SamfordProfessor Charles Sampford gained his DPhil in Law at Oxford in 1986 and, after working in Law and Philosophy at Melbourne and being promoted to Principal Research Fellow, was invited to apply for the Foundation Deanship of Law at Griffith University in January 1991.

In 1999, he became Foundation Director of the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance (the only Australian centre in law or governance to receive centre funding from the Australian Research Council).  In September 2004, he became the Director of the Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law, a joint initiative of the United Nations University, Griffith, QUT, ANU and the Center of Asian Integrity. Since then, he has been Convenor of the ARC Governance Research Network.  Professor Sampford has written over eighty articles and chapters in Australian and foreign journals and collections and has completed twenty-one books and edited collections for international publishers including OUP, Blackwell and Routledge.  

Foreign fellowships include the Visiting Senior Research Fellow at St John's College Oxford (1997) and a Fulbright Senior Award to Harvard University (2000). From 2002–2003, he was a member of a task force on responding to threats to democracy co-chaired by Madeleine Albright. In 2003–2004, he led a Soros funded series of dialogues on governance values involving western and Islamic scholars. He has led a range of projects bringing in a total of around $15m. In the last decade, his writing has dealt extensively with interventions, global values and the rule of law in both domestic and international affairs. In June 2008, his work was recognised by the peak Australian Research funding body (the Australian Research Council) who invited the 20 researchers across all disciplines who had most clearly “made a difference” to the Graeme Clarke Outcomes Forum at Parliament House Canberra.

Dr Hugh Breaky

Hugh BreakyHugh is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law and the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance at Griffith University. His PhD work in political philosophy at the University of Queensland researched the ways natural rights limit intellectual property. His research focuses on philosophical issues in international relations, international law and the protection of civilians, as well as continuing research on the nature of rights, especially security, intellectual and property rights, as well as various topics in applied ethics.

His first book, Intellectual Liberty: Natural Rights and Intellectual Property, was published in 2012 by Ashgate. His 2009-2012 publications include articles in top law, philosophy, ethics and international policy journals, including The Modern Law Review, The Philosophical Quarterly, Social Theory and Practice and Global Responsibility to Protect, as well as three chapters in Norms of Protection: Responsibility to Protect, Protection of Civilians and Their Interaction (United Nations University Press, 2012). He is vice-president of the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics.

Dr Vesselin Popovoski

Vesselin PopovskiDr Vesselin Popovski is Senior Academic Programme Officer, Head of “Peace and Security” Section at the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) in Tokyo. He is a former diplomat, UN desk officer at the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry and first secretary at the Bulgarian Embassy in London. He holds two Master's degrees in international relations from the Moscow Institute of International Affairs and from the London School of Economics. His PhD from King's College, London was on the methodology of analysis of UN Security Council resolutions. Other positions include: research fellowship at NATO Academic Program “Democratic Institutions”; lecturer and programme director at the Centre for European Studies, Exeter University, UK; visiting lecturer at King's College, London; as well as work at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Westminster University and Huron University (USA).

He is a contributor to the ICISS Report Responsibility to Protect (2001) and co-author of the Princeton Principles of Universal Jurisdiction (2001). From 2002 to 2004, he worked in Moscow, implementing the European Union Project “Legal Protection of Individual Rights in Russia.” His recent publications include “Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs” with Richard Falk (Oxford University Press 2012); “Norms of Protection: Responsibility to Protect and Protection of Civilians and their Interaction” with Angus Francis and Charles Sampford (2012); “After Oppression: Transitional Justice in Latin America and Eastern Europe” with Monica Serrano (2012); “Blood and Borders: Responsibility to Protect Minorities and Role of Kin State” with Ramesh Thakur and Walter Kemp (2011); a trilogy “Building Trust in Government”, “Engaging Civil Society” and “Cross-Border Governance in Asia” with Shabbir Cheema (2010-11). He co-edited also “Democracy in the South” with Brendan Howe (2010) “Human Rights Regimes in the Americas” with Monica Serrano (2010) “World Religions and Norms of War” with Greg Reichberg (2009).

Dr Angus Francis

Angus FrancisDr Angus Francis is an adjunct associate professor at the Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Law where he specialises in international human rights and refugee law. Previously he convened the Human Rights and Governance Research Programme within the Law and Justice Research Centre before moving back into practice as the Principal Solicitor of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service.  

He has published widely in international journals and edited collections and has been a Visiting Fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University (1996–1997, 2003). He has consulted to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, parliamentarians and various NGOs on issues relating to refugee law and policy.

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