Dr Madelaine Chiam is a Senior Lecturer in the La Trobe Law School. She researches primarily in public international law, in particular the histories of international law, the relationships between the global and the local, and the role of international law in Australian life. Madelaine's work aims to understand how international law is used in domestic societies, and she studies international law both as a public discourse and as a set of legal doctrines. Madelaine is especially interested in the ways that international law is and has been taught, written about, and portrayed by academics, politicians, the media and other participants in public discussions of international law. Madelaine is pursuing this research through three different projects. The first is a monograph, 'International Law in Public Debate', which examines the uses of international law in Australia during the First World War, the Vietnam War and the 2003 Iraq War (under contract with Cambridge University Press). The second is a longer project that aims to trace an intellectual history of international lawyers in Australia. The first part of this project is a piece on the first Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law. The third project examines the ways in which international legal arguments were deployed in different places by various actors in relation to the Vietnam War.
Madelaine is a founding member of the La Trobe Law School International Legal Studies Research Group. She is also a regular member of the faculty of the Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop, where she has convened writing workshops and co-taught courses in Human Rights and in Comparative International Law. Prior to joining La Trobe, Madelaine was a Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Law School. She has previously been a Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Australian National University College of Law and a lawyer in commercial practice in Melbourne.