Dr Gabrielle Simm joined UTS as a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 2015. Her three year research project examines the emerging field of international disaster law with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
In 2014 she was a lecturer at Macquarie Law School. In 2012-13 she was a Senior Research Associate at the Australian Human Rights Centre, UNSW Law School, where she remains a Visiting Fellow. She has also taught law at the Australian National University and the University of British Columbia.
Prior to commencing her PhD, she worked as an international lawyer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Attorney-General's Department in Canberra. She has also worked as a refugee lawyer at Victoria Legal Aid and in a voluntary capacity at the Refugee & Immigration Legal Service in Melbourne.
Admitted as a Legal Practitioner in Victoria and New South Wales
- Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law
- European Society of International Law
- Asian Society of International Law
Can supervise: YES
- International Law
- Migration and Refugee Law
- Disasters and Humanitarian Action
- Feminist, Critical and Socio-legal Theory
Public international Law
Byrnes, A & Simm, G 2018, Peoples' Tribunals and International Law, Cambridge University Press.
Peoples' Tribunals and International Law is the first book to analyse how civil society tribunals implement and develop international law.
Gabrielle Simm's critical re-evaluation of sex between international personnel and local people examines the zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and its international legal framework. Whereas most preceding studies of the issue have focused exclusively on military peacekeepers, Sex in Peace Operations also covers the private military contractors and humanitarian NGO workers who play increasingly important roles in peace operations. Informed by socio-legal studies, Simm uses three case studies (Bosnia, West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to illustrate the extent of the problem and demonstrate that the problems of impunity for sexual crimes are not just a failure of political will but the result of the structural weaknesses of international law in addressing non-state actors. Combining the insights of feminist critique with a regulatory approach to international law, her conclusions will interest scholars of international law, peace and conflict studies, gender and sexuality, and development.
Simm, G 2018, 'Disaster Response in Southeast Asia: The ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Response and Emergency Management', Asian Journal of International Law, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 116-142.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Southeast Asia includes some of the states at greatest risk of disasters worldwide, and ASEAN has been at the forefront of using international law to attempt to co-operate in disaster risk reduction and response. The ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) is a regional treaty that has been hailed as among the world's best practice: progressive, comprehensive, and, unusually for a disaster instrument, legally binding. This paper evaluates ASEAN's responses to two mega-disasters: Cyclone Nargis that hit Myanmar in May 2008 and Super-typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda that hit the Philippines in November 2013. The paper aims further to investigate the role of non-state actors, such as civil society and the private sector, in institutionalizing and implementing AADMER.
Simm, G 2016, 'The Paris Peoples' Tribunal and the Istanbul Trials: Archives of the Armenian Genocide', Leiden Journal of International Law, vol. 29, no. 01, pp. 245-268.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Joyce, D & Simm, G 2015, 'Zero Dark Thirty : international law, film and representation', London Review of International Law, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 295-318.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This article explores the relationship between film and international law by reference to the feature film Zero Dark Thirty (2012). The authors examine this film in the context of international law, while also considering related questions of genre, torture, gender and targeted killing.
Simm, G & Byrnes, A 2014, 'International peoples' tribunals in Asia: Political theatre, juridical farce, or meaningful intervention?', Asian Journal of International Law, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 103-124.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Since the 1960s, over eighty international peoples' tribunals have been established outside formal state and international structures. Many have drawn on the forms and procedures of state-sponsored international tribunals and investigated whether states, international organizations, and transnational corporations have violated established norms of international law, while also seeking to infuse it with more progressive values. This paper first provides an overview of the history of international peoples' tribunals in Asia, then examines three tribunals that have focused on situations in Asia. We argue that not only do peoples' tribunals respond to a perceived gap in official structures of accountability, but they also perform other functions. These include building solidarity and networks, and recording and memorializing otherwise unacknowledged experiences. Further, such tribunals not only engage in holding states and others accountable informally but also articulate claims about the right of civil society to "own", interpret, and develop international law. © Asian Journal of International Law, 2014.
Simm, G 2011, 'International Law as a Regulatory Framework for Sexual Crimes Committed by Peacekeepers', Journal of Conflict and Security Law, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 473-506.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Byrnes, A & Simm, G 2018, 'International Peoples' Tribunals: Their Nature, Practice and Significance' in Byrnes, A & Simm, G (eds), Peoples' Tribunals and International Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, pp. 11-41.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This chapter by the editors provides a tour d'horizon of the phenomenon of international peoples' tribunals from their emergence on the stage in the late 1960s to the present. We explore the nature, composition, normative frameworks, legitimacy, impact and special contributions that peoples' tribunals have made to the development of a just international order and the implementation of human rights guarantees.
Byrnes, A & Simm, G 2018, 'Reflections on the Past and Future of International Peoples' Tribunals' in Byrnes, A & Simm, G (eds), Peoples' Tribunals and International Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 259-273.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In this chapter we draw together the major themes of the essays and reflect on the future of peoples' tribunals. The chapter engages with three substantive questions. First, to what extent are the peoples' tribunals discussed here representative of international peoples' tribunals more generally? Second, what is the relationship between peoples' tribunals, social movements and international law? Third, what impact do peoples' tribunals have on the implementation and development of international law?
Simm, G 2018, 'Peoples' Tribunals, Women's Courts and International Crimes of Sexual Violence' in Byrnes, A & Simm, G (eds), Peoples' Tribunals and International Law, Cambridge University Press, pp. 61-83.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This chapter compares peoples' tribunals with women's courts, focussing on international crimes of sexual violence.International criminal law has been the focus of much feminist activism and contestation to the extent that it has been claimed that 'feminism rules'. At the same time, unofficial or peoples' tribunals and women's courts - civil society initiatives - continue to proliferate. This chapter examines the treatment of international crimes of sexual violence by peoples' tribunals through a focus on the former Yugoslavia. It explores two key questions. First, what do peoples' tribunals offer to victim-survivors of international crimes of sexual violence that is lacking in official courts? Second, to what extent do 'mainstream' peoples' tribunals suffer from the same defects as official courts, thereby rendering 'women's tribunals' necessary?
Williams, S & Simm, G 2018, 'Assistance to Disaster Victims in an Armed Conflict: the Role of International Humanitarian Law' in Giustiniani, FZ, Sommario, E, Casolari, F & Bartolini, G (eds), Routledge Handbook of Human Rights and Disasters, Routledge, United Kingdom, pp. 43-62.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This chapter considers the interaction between International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Disaster Law (IDL) in governing humanitarian assistance to disaster victims in an armed conflict. Disasters may occur in a State that is already experiencing armed conflict; or a disaster or series of disasters may lead to armed conflict. The relationship between IHL and IDL, and which law applies in practice, is unclear. Using examples from the Asia-Pacific region, this chapter discusses the International Law Commission (ILC) Draft Article that treats IHL as lex specialis in disasters. First, it outlines the principles of IHL on humanitarian assistance and how they potentially apply to those affected by a disaster. Next, it considers how the ILC has approached the role of IHL, before examining how IHL and IDL may interact in practice. Finally, the chapter argues that a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between IHL and IDL is required so as to take into account the context in which disasters occur and to recognise that the IHL and IDL may be complementary and mutually reinforcing.
This chapter assesses regulatory theory through a case study of trafficking of women into the sex industry in Bosnia by DynCorp which was contracted to provide policing to the UN peace operation in the late 1990s-early 2000s.
Joyce, D & Simm, G 2016, 'Zero Dark Thirty: International Law, Torture and Representation', Hart Publishing, Oxford and Portland, Oregan, pp. 491-502.
This chapter explores the relationship between film and international law by reference to the feature film Zero Dark Thirty (2012). The authors examine this film in the context of international law, while also considering related questions of genre, torture, gender and targeted killing.
Simm, G & Williams, S, 'Submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on Draft General Recommendation No. 35 on the Gender-related Dimensions of Disaster Risk Reduction in a Changing Climate'.