Dr Sophie Rigney
Research Associate

Dr Sophie Rigney

Law & Justice
School of Global & Public Law

Dr Sophie Rigney is the Senior Research Associate on the ARC-funded project, 'Recognition after Uluru: What Next for First Nations?'.

Prior to joining UNSW, Sophie was a Lecturer in Law at the University of Dundee, Scotland (2017-2020). In this role, Sophie taught a wide variety of undergraduate, Honours, and Masters subjects, and was the Director of Doctoral Studies for the School of Social Sciences. She oversaw the research higher degree journey of 120+ PhD and Masters candidates, and contributed to the research environment at Dundee by sitting on various research committees. 

Sophie has also worked as a Senior Research Fellow and Academic Convener of the project 'Transition and Nation: the United Kingdom and Indigenous Nations as a Meeting of Sovereigns' (2016-2017). This was a major research collaboration between the Melbourne Law School and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London. Sophie was co-appointed between these institutions to manage and deliver the project in collaboration with teams of researchers in Australia and the UK. 

Sophie's research interests are in three areas: first, how Indigenous communities create and practice a distinctly Indigenous international law; secondly, international criminal law (particularly the rights of the accused and the role of defence lawyers); and thirdly, international law's narratives, especially the ways in which international law is depicted in children's literature. 

Sophie's first monograph, 'Fairness and Rights in International Criminal Procedure', will be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2021. Sophie has published in the London Review of International Law, the Journal of Race and Ethnic Studies, the Melbourne University Law Review, and the Melbourne Journal of International Law.

Prior to her academic career, Sophie worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2009-2011). This included working for the defence of Lahi Brahimaj and the stand-by defence team for Radovan Karadzic. 

Sophie has previously served as the Chair of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (UK), and as a Director of Amnesty International Australia. 


  • Book Chapters | 2021
    Rigney S, 2021, 'The meeting of laws in Australian children's literature', in Routledge Handbook of International Law and the Humanities, pp. 392 - 404
    Book Chapters | 2021
    Rigney S; Williams G, 2021, 'Human Rights in a Pandemic', in Pandemics, Public Health Emergencies and Government Powers Perspectives on Australian Law, pp. 134 - 149, https://federationpress.com.au/product/pandemics-public-health-emergencies-and-government-powers/
    Book Chapters | 2018
    Rigney S, 2018, 'Postcard from the ICTY', in International Law's Objects, Oxford University Press, pp. 366 - 376, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198798200.003.0031
    Book Chapters | 2015
    Rigney S, 2015, 'The fractured relationship between fairness, the rights of the accused, and disclosure at the International Criminal Court', in Accountability for Violations of International Humanitarian Law: Essays in Honour of Tim McCormack, pp. 198 - 213
    Book Chapters | 2015
    Rigney S, 2015, '‘“That a Trial is Fair”: The Centrality and Incoherence of Fairness in International Criminal Trials’', in in Arman Sarvarian et al (eds) Fairness in International Criminal Proceedings (British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2015).
  • Journal articles | 2021
    Larkin D, 2021, 'State and territory legislative vulnerabilities and why an Indigenous Voice must be constitutionally enshrined', Alternative Law Journal�, https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/FHVCDUPSS8JN9HGAJJKF/full
    Journal articles | 2021
    Rigney S, 2021, 'On Hearing Well and Being Well Heard: Indigenous International Law at the League of Nations', TWAIL Review, vol. 2, pp. 122 - 153
    Journal articles | 2020
    Rigney S, 2020, 'Creating the law school as a meeting place for epistemologies: decolonising the teaching of jurisprudence and human rights', Law Teacher, vol. 54, pp. 503 - 516, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03069400.2020.1827821
    Journal articles | 2020
    Rigney S, 2020, 'Distant Justice: The Impact of the International Criminal Court on African Politics', European Journal of International Law, vol. 31, pp. 1157 - 1161, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chaa068
    Journal articles | 2018
    McMillan M; Rigney S, 2018, 'Race, reconciliation, and justice in Australia: from denial to acknowledgment', Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 41, pp. 759 - 777, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2017.1340653
    Journal articles | 2018
    Rigney S, 2018, ''You start to feel really alone': defence lawyers and narratives of international criminal law in film', LONDON REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, vol. 6, pp. 97 - 123, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lril/lry009
    Journal articles | 2017
    Rigney S, 2017, 'The Hopes and Discontents of Indigenous-Settler Reconciliation', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE, vol. 11, pp. 359 - 368, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ijtj/ijx013
    Journal articles | 2016
    McMillan M; Rigney S, 2016, 'Critique and comment: The place of the first peoples in the international sphere: A logical starting point for the demand for justice by indigenous peoples', Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 39
    Journal articles | 2016
    McMillan M; Rigney S, 2016, 'THE PLACE OF THE FIRST PEOPLES IN THE INTERNATIONAL SPHERE: A LOGICAL STARTING POINT FOR THE DEMAND FOR JUSTICE BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES', MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, vol. 39, pp. 981 - 1002, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000385303400007&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
    Journal articles | 2016
    Rigney S, 2016, 'The Law and Practice of the International Criminal Court', JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE, vol. 14, pp. 742 - 744, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqw031
    Journal articles | 2015
    Rigney S, 2015, 'The Milosevic Trial: An Autopsy', JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE, vol. 13, pp. 201 - 202, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqu091
    Journal articles | 2014
    Rigney S, 2014, '‘“The Words Don’t Fit You”: Recharacterisation of the Charges, Trial Fairness, and Katanga’', Melbourne Journal of International Law
    Journal articles | 2013
    Rigney S, 2013, 'Hartwig, International Criminal Procedure', JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE, vol. 11, pp. 691 - 692, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqt017