UNSW Law & Justice’s Professor Natalie Klein has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA). Fellows include Australia’s leading researchers and practitioners across the breadth of social sciences disciplines and Prof. Klein is among 21 elected in 2023.

“Fellows are the architects of progress and visionaries of social science, and I warmly welcome them to the Fellowship,” said Academy President and UNSW Sydney Professor Richard Holden.

“The election of these individuals as Fellows of the Academy exemplifies the exceptional calibre of research and scholarship within the social sciences. Their work is not only academically significant, but holds immense practical relevance for shaping policies, improving communities and advancing our understanding of complex societal challenges.

“Through rigorous research and evidence-based analysis, social scientists contribute valuable insights that inform decision-making, drive innovation and enhance the wellbeing of individuals and communities.”

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Prof. Klein teaches and researches in a number of areas of international law, with a focus on law of the sea and international dispute settlement. She provides advice, undertakes consultancies and interacts with the media on law of the sea issues.

“I think there are many challenges currently being put on the value of education and research in Australia, especially in the discipline areas of the social sciences. It means a great deal to me to be part of a body that contributes to public policy and highlights the significance of research in the social sciences across all facets of life in Australia,” she said.

Prof. Klein is currently finishing an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship that focuses on the use of informal lawmaking across different issues of maritime security. She is concluding an ARC Discovery Project that examines the international laws needed to regulate the use of maritime autonomous vehicles that are being deployed either to enhance or jeopardise maritime security. Prof. Klein is also working on a book with colleagues about submarines in international law that will be published next year, and is developing projects on the protection of human rights at sea.