Participation and the protection of citizens abroad in international law

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Event details

PhD Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 04 February 2016


Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building (8), Fellows Road, ANU
ANU Canberra


Suzanne Akila


+61 (0)2 6125 3948

When a citizen experiences violations of international law abroad, many factors contribute to magnifying the protective role of the person’s State of nationality.

States face pressure to act or make representations on behalf of their citizens abroad to protect them from violations.

Yet it can be hard to distinguish what actions constitute protection (as opposed to routine consular assistance) and which interventions are likely to be successful.

Moreover, with all the emphasis on States, we can inadvertently ignore how other actors shape and contribute to the protection of citizens abroad.

This thesis investigates the contemporary practice of protection and considers how different actors participate. It examines national systems and past cases from Germany, Mexico and Australia, with a focus on how actors use legal and non-legal mechanisms in the protection of citizens abroad.

Suzanne Akila is a Sir Roland Wilson Foundation scholar at the Centre for International Governance and Justice, Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet). She is seconded from her position as a Senior Legal Officer at the Office of International Law at the Attorney-General’s Department to complete her PhD.

She is an alumna of the Harvard Institute of Global Law and Policy Workshop and was a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute Comparative Public Law and International Law in 2013.

She completed her LLM at University College London specialising in Public International Law and has undertaken studies at the University of British Colombia and The Hague Academy of International Law. She has previously worked with associates at Chatham House, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and on the International Justice Project at Amnesty International.

Suzanne is also an admitted legal practitioner with experience as a criminal prosecutor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (WA). Her research explores the protection of citizens abroad in international law, specifically considering Germany, Australia and Mexico as case studies.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet