Dr Sophie Rigney


Law, School of Social Sciences

Portrait photo of Sophie Rigney
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+44 (0)1382 385436


Scrymgeour Building


Sophie Rigney joined the University of Dundee as a Lecturer in Law in May 2017. Previously, Sophie had been appointed as a Senior Research Fellow at the Melbourne Law School (Australia) and co-appointed as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. In that role, Sophie convened the international research collaboration between the Universities of Melbourne and London entitled ‘Transition and Nation: The United Kingdom and Indigenous Nations as a Meeting of Sovereigns’. Sophie has previously lectured at the Melbourne Law School, the University of Tasmania (Australia), and the University of Sussex.

Sophie has substantive research interests in Indigenous interactions with international law; international criminal law and procedure; feminist, critical and decolonial approaches to international law; human rights law; and post-conflict justice. Sophie is currently engaged in three main research projects:

  • first, she is working on a substantive research project on how Indigenous communities create and practice a distinctly Indigenous international law;
  • second, she is undertaking research into critical understandings of international criminal law, and particularly the place of defence lawyers and the accused in international criminal trials and narratives surrounding these trials; and
  • third, she is engaged with an examination of how international law is depicted in literature – particularly in children’s literature – as well as in film, and other narrative forms.

Sophie’s research has appeared in a number of international journals and books, and she has written for The AgeInside Story, and The Conversation. Sophie is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Human Rights and a contributor to the Case Matrix Network for the International Criminal Court.

Sophie has a lengthy teaching record, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is particularly interested in building critical thinking skills into legal pedagogy. Sophie has taught a wide range of subjects, including foundational law subjects, contract law, and equity, and she has also coordinated ‘Human Rights and Global Justice' at Melbourne Law School, and ‘International Criminal Procedure’ at the University of Tasmania.

Prior to her academic career, Sophie was a Defence Legal Assistant and Case Manager at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, in The Hague (2009-2011). There, she worked for the defence of Radovan Karadžić and of Lahi Brahimaj. Sophie has previously served as the Chair of the London Board of Trustees of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (2016-7), and as a Director of Amnesty International Australia (2004-6). Sophie holds a PhD from the Melbourne Law School (2016), and first-class honours degrees in Law and Political Science from the University of Tasmania (2008).