Donald R Rothwell is one of Australia’s leading experts in International Law with specific focus on the law of the sea; law of the polar regions, use of force and implementation of international law within Australia. He is the author of 22 books and over 200 book chapters and articles including, with Tim Stephens, the influential and respected academic text, The International Law of the Sea (2nd ed, 2016). His most recent work is Arctic Ocean Shipping (BRILL The Law of the Sea 1.3 (2017)).
His most recent edited work - the 3rd edition of International Law in Australia (2017) co-edited with Associate Professor Emily Crawford, revives a publication that last appeared in 1984 and brings together some of Australia's most eminent international law jurists, practitioners and scholars to assess contemporary developments for Australia and international law.
Major career works include The Polar Regions and the Development of International Law (CUP, 1996), and International Law: Cases and Materials with Australian Perspectives 2nd (CUP: 2014) with Kaye, Akhtarkhavari and Davis.
Rothwell is also Co-Editor of the Australian Year Book of International Law and Editor-in-Chief of the Brill Research Perspectives in Law of the Sea. Since 2012 he has been Rapporteur of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on ‘Baselines under the International Law of the Sea’. He has taught a range of courses including Law of the Sea, International Dispute Resolution, International Law and Use of Armed Force, International Humanitarian Law, Military Operations Law, and Public International Law.
Rothwell was previously Challis Professor of International Law and Director of the Sydney Centre for International and Global Law, University of Sydney (2004-2006), where he had taught since 1988. He has acted as a consultant or been a member of expert groups for UNEP, UNDP, IUCN, the Australian Government, and acted as advisor to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
In 2012 Rothwell was appointed an inaugural ANU Public Policy Fellow, and in 2015 elected as Fellow to the Australian Academy of Law. He is a regular media commentator on international law issues and has written over 100 opinion comments, including for all of the major daily newspapers in Australia and ABC Online ‘The Drum. His media interviews have included ABC TV 7.30, ABC Radio ‘AM’ and ‘PM’, ABC Radio National ‘Breakfast’, ABC News 24, Al Jazerra (TV), BBC World (TV), and the Voice of America.