Hilary Charlesworth

Hilary Charlesworth is Professor and Director of the Centre for International Governance and Justice in the Regulatory Institutions Network at The Australian National University. She also holds an appointment as Professor of International Law and Human Rights in the College of Law, ANU. In 2005 she was awarded a Federation Fellowship by the Australian Research Council for a project on building democracy and justice after conflict. She has held visiting appointments at United States and European universities.

She was the inaugural President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law (1997-2001). She was Co-Editor of the Australian Yearbook of International Law from1996-2006 and has been a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law 1999-2009. She was joint winner of the American Society of International Law’s 2006 Goler T Butcher Medal in recognition of ‘outstanding contributions to the development or effective realization of international human rights law’.

She has worked with various non-governmental human rights organisations on ways to implement international human rights standards and was chair of the Australian Capital Territory government’s inquiry into an ACT bill of rights, which led to the adoption of the ACT Human Rights Act 2004. In 2009 she was appointed as one of the four Australian members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0236-6503

Networked Governance of Freedom and Tyranny »

Peace in Timor-Leste

Authored by: John Braithwaite, Hilary Charlesworth, Adérito Soares
This book offers a new approach to the extraordinary story of Timor-Leste. The Indonesian invasion of the former Portuguese colony in 1975 was widely considered to have permanently crushed the Timorese independence movement. Initial international condemnation of the invasion was quickly replaced by widespread acceptance of Indonesian sovereignty. But inside Timor-Leste various resistance networks maintained their struggle, against all odds. Twenty-four years later, the Timorese were allowed to choose their political future and the new country of Timor-Leste came into being in 2002. This book presents freedom in Timor-Leste as an accomplishment of networked governance, arguing that weak networks are capable of controlling strong tyrannies. Yet, as events in Timor-Leste since independence show, the nodes of networks of freedom can themselves become nodes of tyranny. The authors argue that constant renewal of liberation networks is critical for peace with justice – feminist networks for the liberation of women, preventive diplomacy networks for liberation of victims of war, village development networks, civil society networks. Constant renewal of the separation of powers is also necessary. A case is made for a different way of seeing the separation of powers as constitutive of the republican ideal of freedom as non-domination. The book is also a critique of realism as a theory of international affairs and of the limits of reforming tyranny through the centralised agency of a state sovereign. Reversal of Indonesia’s 1975 invasion of Timor-Leste was an implausible accomplishment. Among the things that achieved it was principled engagement with Indonesia and its democracy movement by the Timor resistance. Unprincipled engagement by Australia and the United States in particular allowed the 1975 invasion to occur. The book argues that when the international community regulates tyranny responsively, with principled engagement, there is hope for a domestic politics of nonviolent transformation for freedom and justice.

Pillars and Shadows »

Statebuilding as peacebuilding in Solomon Islands

This volume of the Peacebuilding Compared Project examines the sources of the armed conflict and coup in the Solomon Islands before and after the turn of the millennium. The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has been an intensive peacekeeping operation, concentrating on building ‘core pillars’ of the modern state. It did not take adequate notice of a variety of shadow sources of power in the Solomon Islands, for example logging and business interests, that continue to undermine the state’s democratic foundations. At first RAMSI’s statebuilding was neither very responsive to local voices nor to root causes of the conflict, but it slowly changed tack to a more responsive form of peacebuilding. The craft of peace as learned in the Solomon Islands is about enabling spaces for dialogue that define where the mission should pull back to allow local actors to expand the horizons of their peacebuilding ambition.

Reconciliation and Architectures of Commitment »

Sequencing peace in Bougainville

Authored by: John Braithwaite, Hilary Charlesworth, Peter Reddy, Leah Dunn
Following a bloody civil war, peace consolidated slowly and sequentially in Bougainville. That sequence was of both a top-down architecture of credible commitment in a formal peace process and layer upon layer of bottom-up reconciliation. Reconciliation was based on indigenous traditions of peacemaking. It also drew on Christian traditions of reconciliation, on training in restorative justice principles and on innovation in womens’ peacebuilding. Peacekeepers opened safe spaces for reconciliation, but it was locals who shaped and owned the peace. There is much to learn from this distinctively indigenous peace architecture. It is a far cry from the norms of a ‘liberal peace’ or a ‘realist peace’. The authors describe it as a hybrid ‘restorative peace’ in which ‘mothers of the land’ and then male combatants linked arms in creative ways. A danger to Bougainville’s peace is weakness of international commitment to honour the result of a forthcoming independence referendum that is one central plank of the peace deal.