Faculty of Law


International Justice Initiative Background

The Initiative was founded in 2016, following the experience of two UTAS students travelling to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris during December 2015.

The students had conducted research into the negotiations process throughout the year under the guidance of UTAS alumnus Matthew Stilwell – a public interest lawyer and legal advisor to developing countries in the negotiations – and were able to make valuable contributions in the lead up to, and during, the conference.

The Initiative is the result of efforts to bring similar opportunities to engage in international law processes to UTAS law students, to help cultivate the next generation of public interest international lawyers.


People supporting the Initiative include:


Matthew Stilwell is a Faculty of Law Alumni and public interest lawyer who has counselled governments, international- and non-governmental organizations in multilateral negotiations on trade, climate, energy and sustainable development.

Rebecca Byrnes graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2014 and is currently studying a masters in Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She supports poor and vulnerable countries in the international climate negotiations.

Brook Dambacher is a final year law student at the University of Tasmania. She works to support developing countries in the UN climate change negotiations and sustainable development initiatives.

Faculty Advisors

Rick Snell is an Associate Professor in law at the University of Tasmania. He played a key role in catalysing and supporting the Initiative as Deputy Dean/Deputy Head of Law School.

Matias Thomsen is a PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania. His research is on the role International Criminal Court judges can play in the progressive development of international humanitarian law. He has an on-going relationship as a research assistant with the International Criminal Court.