Prof. O’Connell Takes on New Role at Kroc, Retains Law School Position

Author: Susan Good

Mary Ellen Oconnell

Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law Mary Ellen O’Connell was recently named Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. O’Connell will retain her position at the Law School, which she has held since 2005.

In his announcement to Kroc faculty and staff, Director R. Scott Appleby wrote, “Mary Ellen brings to the Kroc Institute substantial expertise in peace through law, specifically international legal regulation of the use of force, conflict and dispute resolution, and the resolution of disputes prior to an escalation to armed conflict. In her expanded role at the Kroc Institute, she will regularly teach her graduate-level course on International Dispute Resolution, which is open to Kroc master’s students; advise Kroc M.A. and Ph.D. students; and become more deeply engaged in peace research in collaboration with Kroc faculty. A prolific writer and active speaker, Mary Ellen will also contribute to policy studies, public outreach and communications related to peace. An engaged Catholic intellectual, she deepens Kroc’s expertise in Catholic social ethics and theory of justice.”

Prior to joining the Notre Dame faculty, she was the William B. Saxbe Designated Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law of Ohio State University.

O’Connell earned her B.A. in History, with highest honors, from Northwestern University in 1980. She was awarded a Marshall Scholarship for study in Britain. She received an MSc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 1981, and an LL.B., with first class honors, from Cambridge University in 1982. She earned her J.D. from Columbia University in 1985, where she was a Stone Scholar and book review editor for the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. After graduation, she practiced with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. She then taught at Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington; at The Bologna Center of The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna, Italy; and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; and the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

The author of two books—_International Law and the “Global War on Terror”_ and The Power and Purpose of International Law—four casebooks, four edited collections, and more than 65 articles and book chapters, O’Connell has been active in the American Society of International Law, the German Society of International Law, the International Institute for Humanitarian Law, the International Law Association, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Last spring, The Irish Voice newspaper and Irish America Magazine O’Connell to their Legal 100, a list of the leading Irish American lawyers in the United States.

She teaches contracts as well as a number of courses in the area of international law. O’Connell’s primary research focuses on international legal regulation of the use of force and conflict and dispute resolution, especially peaceful resolution of disputes prior to an escalation to armed conflict. She currently serves as chair of the International Law Association on the Use of Force.

In conjunction with research on these issues, she continues to examine the processes by which international law is made, applied, and enforced and is particularly interested in the enforcement of international law and the question of whether it is time for a classical revival in international law.