Researcher biography

Dr Melinda Rankin is the author of 'De facto International Prosecutors in a Global Era: With My Own Eyes.' Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022.

Currently, she is Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland. Prior to this, she was Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Queensland; Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Constitutionalism, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB Social Science Centre Berlin); and Lecturer at The University of Sydney.

Rankin's currect research project, titled Conceptualisaing Defacto International Proscutors in a Global Era, explores the role of 'de facto international prosecutors' as an emerging phenomenon. While it examines 'private' non-state actors, and state legal 'officials' in foreign courts, it also focuses on witnesses and victims of core crimes. The Project examines the practices, innovations and strategies de facto international prosecutors adopt, and shows how witnesses and victims of core crimes emerge as key leaders in the accountability process. Moreover, it illuminates how the legacy of Nuremberg Trials continues to influence de facto international prosecutors as they pursue important legal cases against those most responsible for humanity's greatest crimes.

Her first book was 'The Political Life of Mary Kaldor: Ideas and Action in International Relations' (London and Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishing, 2017). The book reflected upon how and why she coined the terms 'New Wars' and 'Cosmopolitan Law Enforcement'.

Rankin has published a range of refereed academic journal articles, as well as policy articles for Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), Berlin; the Center for Global Constitutionalism at WZB, Berlin; and Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney.

In 2018, she received the Berlin Fellowship Award. In the past, she has provided comment for media, including on SBS World News on the subject of Iran and US relations.

Rankin is a Member of the International Society of Public Law (ICON-S), New York; British International Studies Association (BISA); American Society of International Law (ASIL); and International Studies Association (ISA).

Prior to her academic career, Dr Rankin worked in projects, business operations, strategy consultancy, data governance, and policy for groups such as (in London) JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York; (in Sydney) MLC, Westpac and Genworth; and (in Melbourne) ANZ and NAB.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Single Authored Books

Rankin, Melinda (2022), De facto International Prosecutors in a Global Era: With My Own Eyes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rankin, Melinda (2017), The Political Life of Mary Kaldor: Ideas and Action in International Relations, London and Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishing.

Refereed Journal Articles

Rankin, Melinda (2019) 'The 'responsibility to prosecute' core international crimes: German universal jurisdiction and suspected atrocities committed by the Syrian government.' Global Responsibility to Protect, 11 (4): 394-410.

Rankin, Melinda (2018) 'The future of international criminal evidence in New Wars: The Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA).' Journal of Genocide Research 20(3): 392-411.

Rankin, Melinda (2017) 'Investigating crimes against humanity in Syria and Iraq: The Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA).' Global Responsibility to Protect 9 (4): 395-421.

Essays and Commentary Journal Articles

Hale, Kip and Rankin, Melinda (2019) 'ICC's Decision on Myanmar: Extending the 'system' of ICL.' Australian Journal of International Affairs 71 (3): 22-28.

Rankin, Melinda (2018) 'Australia's responsibility to prosecute? Bridging the international criminal law gap in Syria and Iraq.' Australian Journal of International Affairs 72 (4): 322-328.

Policy Articles

Rankin, Melinda and Jacinta O'Hagan, (2020) 'Prosecution of alleged war crimes: need for Afghan voices in Australian judicial process', United Against Inhumanity, Tassin la Demi-Lune, 17 December.

Rankin, Melinda, (2019) 'The looming international law paradox between the US and Iran', The Interpreter, Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney, 13 May.

Rankin, Melinda, (2019) 'Responsibility to Prosecute? The Case of German Universal Jurisdiction, CIJA, and the Arrest of Syrian Perpetrators.' LawLog, Center for Global Constitutionalism, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, WZB (Social Science Centre Berlin), Berlin. 13 March.

Rankin, Melinda, (2018) 'A road map for Germany: Negotiating a path to accountability with Assad.' PeaceLab, Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), Berlin, 19 December.

Rankin, Melinda, (2018) 'Jamal Khashoggi: Shifting law in a deadly turf war.' The Interpreter, Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney, 29 October.

Rankin, Melinda, (2018) 'To Russia: A Plea of Caution on Syria.' The Interpreter, Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney, 5 March.

Rankin, Melinda, (2018) 'Australia's Responsibility to Prosecute in Syria and Iraq,' Australian Outlook, Australian Institute for International Affairs, Sydney, 19 February.