Mary Ellen O'Connell

Notre Dame Law School

Phone
574-631-7953
Email
MaryEllenOConnell@nd.edu
Website

Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law, Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

  • International law
  • International legal regulation of the use of force
  • Conflict and dispute resolution

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O'Connell’s Latest News

O'Connell in the News

As Russia Threatens Captured American Vets, U.S. Invokes Laws of War

Every fighter claiming to be a legal combatant is entitled to a hearing to learn if their conduct in any way violated the law of war, such as failing to wear a uniform or some form of insignia while engaging in military operations, said Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor of international law at the University of Notre Dame.

Russian sentenced to life in Ukraine's 1st war crimes trial

Mary Ellen O’Connell, an expert on international law at the University of Notre Dame, said that putting Shishimarin on trial could prove “extremely detrimental to Ukrainian soldiers in the hands of Russia.”

Accountability for alleged war crimes in Ukraine likely a long way off

Although inquiries are underway, Mary Ellen O’Connell, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, called for a negotiated end to the war — the sooner the better.

War crime charges may not be enough to deter Putin — even as evidence of Russian atrocities mounts

“International condemnation or war crimes threats will have little effect on Russian behavior. This is nothing new for them,” said Bob Latiff, adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame, citing previous offenses in Syria and Chechnya...“The crimes are increasing resolve among Ukraine’s existing supporters to continue and even step-up military assistance and economic pressure. But ending the war will require a bigger coalition of support — reaching China, India, and others,” Mary Ellen O’Connell, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, said.

Putin acting 'irrationally,' says analyst, but settlement possible

Mary Ellen O’Connell, Professor of International Dispute Resolution at the University of Notre Dame, said that the conflict is at a critical juncture, and that Russia’s failure to attain its military objectives provides an opportunity.

A 'cold-blooded' alliance? China could be a pivotal force in Russia's war against Ukraine

“Russia would like China to step in to mitigate sanctions,” said Notre Dame Law School professor Mary Ellen O’Connell, author of "The Crisis in Ukraine.”

Ukraine and Russia from an international law perspective with Notre Dame professor

Mary Ellen O’Connell, International Law specialist and Law and research professor at Notre Dame talks about previous conflicts with NATO countries. The two discuss Russia’s position in the United Nations and putting pressure on Putin. 

How the world can make Putin pay for invading Ukraine

Mary Ellen O’Connell is the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law and research professor of international dispute resolution at the University of Notre Dame.

Notre Dame professor explains history of Russia-Ukraine relations

Professor Mary O'Connell says Ukraine became a fully independent member of the United Nations under a treaty with the Soviet Union in 1991.

Has Russia already invaded Ukraine? An expert clarifies 'invasion'

We asked Mary Ellen O'Connell, professor of international dispute studies at Notre Dame Law School and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, how do we know when we've passed the red line?

EXPLAINER: Ukraine shows how not all 'invasions' are equal

Mary Ellen O’Connell, a Notre Dame law professor and an expert on international law and the use of force, says any crossing of a national border with military forces is unlawful, even if it’s called something other than an invasion.

Yemen: Saudi-led airstrike on rebel-run prison kills at least 60 and wounds 200

“News of the Saudi air strike on a prison – a protected civilian site – and knocking out Yemen’s internet is both tragic and no surprise,” said Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at Notre Dame law school in the US. 

Family seeks to sue Lebanon over dead father’s captivity

Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at the Notre Dame Law School, said it may be challenging for a case to be brought against Lebanon, which is not designated a “state sponsor of terrorism.”

Biden didn’t accept Putin’s ‘red lines’ on Ukraine – here’s what that means

“Putin has said again and again that Ukraine is culturally and historically part of Russia. Ukraine’s history is complicated, but for Putin and other Russians, Russia should by rights include Ukraine,” said Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, when asked why Russia opposed NATO’s expansion.

Biden risks killing more civilians with drone strikes in Afghanistan as part of his 'over-the-horizon' strategy, experts warn

"Not only do remote pilots have only a vague idea in most cases who they are killing, now that the war is over in Afghanistan, it will be virtually impossible to use drone strikes legally," Mary Ellen O'Connell, Notre Dame Law School professor and expert on international law in relation to the use of force, told Insider.

COVID-19 vaccination does not violate the Nuremberg Code

The Nuremberg principles that Key alludes to are not part of U.S. law; they refer to a treaty agreed to after World War II to prosecute individuals for war crimes, and crimes against humanity, said Mary Ellen O’Connell, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame School of Law.

Expert: Taliban takeover inevitable, a multi-administration failure

Despite the poorly planned exit, Mary Ellen O’Connell says this was a multi-administration failure three presidents in the making.

Five militiamen killed in U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, Syria

Mary Ellen O'Connell, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, has criticized the U.S. attacks as a violation of international law.

Planet America

Mary Ellen O'Connell, law, speaks with Australian Broadcasting Corporation. (starting at 15:00)

Rockets strike Iraqi base housing US troops ahead of Pope Francis visit

Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame and an expert on the use of military force, said in emailed comments that the attacks in Iraq "demonstrate the danger and illegality of deploying force for deterrence."

Why Democrats are blasting Biden’s attack against Iranian proxies in Syria

Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at Notre Dame and co-author of Self-Defense Against Non-State Actors, told me she agrees that the president should come to Congress when there is time to seek authorization.

First US military action under Biden draws criticism

Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, criticised the US attack as a violation of international law.

Unpacking the fine print of Biden's declaration about the war in Yemen

I spoke about Biden's announcement on Yemen with Mary Ellen O'Connell, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School and a research professor of international dispute resolution at Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

US launches air strikes against Iran-linked militias in Syria

Mary Ellen O’Connell, an expert in the lawful use of force at the University of Notre Dame, described the act as a “grave violation of international law”, saying the US had no right to target Syrian soil in reprisal for an act committed in Iraq.

US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, criticized the U.S. attack as a violation of international law.

Militia official: US strike in Syria kills 1, wounds several

Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, criticized the U.S. attack as a violation of international law.