Associate Fellow, International Law Programme
Contact information
+61 2 9351 0354 (Sydney time)


Ben Saul is professor of international law at the University of Sydney and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. His book Defining Terrorism in International Law (2006) is the leading work on the subject, and he is lead author of the Oxford Commentary on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2014), awarded the 2015 Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law. Ben has taught law at Oxford, the Hague Academy of International Law and in China, India, Nepal and Cambodia, and been a visiting scholar at Harvard. Ben practises as a barrister and was counsel in the largest successful cases against Australia before the United Nations Human Rights Committee, FKAG v Australia and MMM v Australia (2013), involving the indefinite detention of 51 refugees. Ben has advised or consulted to United Nations bodies, governments, and NGOs. He has a doctorate in law from Oxford.


  • International counter-terrorism law
  • International humanitarian law / law of armed conflict / law of war
  • Human rights law
  • International law and the use of military force
  • International criminal law


2017-18Whitlam and Fraser Chair of Australian Studies, Harvard University
2016 -Challis Chair of International Law, University of Sydney
2011-Professor of International Law, University of Sydney
2012 -Australian Research Council Future Fellow, University of Sydney
2007-10Director, Sydney Centre for International Law, University of Sydney
2006 -Barrister, Australia
2005-06Senior Lecturer, UNSW Law Faculty
2002-04Tutor in Public International Law, University of Oxford 
2003-04Lecturer, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford 
2001Legal Officer, Australian Law Reform Commission


Broadcast experience

Ben has extensive international media experience across all formats, including opinion writing in The International New York Times, The Guardian, and The Australian. Some of his appearances have been on BBC World, AFP, Reuters, CNN, ABC, Radio France International, Voice of America, Voice of Russia, Al Jazeera, Radio Free Europe, Bloomberg, Nikkei, Asahi Shimbun, The Economist, Time Magazine, Le Monde, China Daily, Xinhua, CCTV, China Radio International, The Huffington Post,  El Pais, South China Morning Post, Straights Times, Haaretz, Al-Ahram, Haaretz, and other major Australian outlets. 


  • English (broadcast)
  • German (not for broadcast)
  • French (not for broadcast)
  • Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights: International and Regional Jurisprudence (Bloomsbury, London, 2016)

  • Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism, (ed) (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2014)

  • The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Commentary, Cases and Materials, with David Kinley and Jacqueline Mowbray (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014)
  • ‘Terrorism’ in Miša Zgonec-Rožej and John R.W.D. Jones (eds), Blackstone’s International Criminal Practice (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2015)
  • ‘The Status of Western Sahara as Occupied Territory under International Humanitarian Law and the Exploitation of Natural Resources’ (2015) 27 Global Change, Peace and Security
  • ‘China, Natural Resources, Sovereignty and International Law’ (2013) 37 Asian Studies Review 196