ILS International Law and Practice Course 2020 Lecture Seven

Rule of force: Economic, political and ideological levers of power in North Korea and Myanmar and pathways to accountability

Join the International Law Section for the seventh ILS International Law and Practice Course lecture – Rule of force: Economic, political and ideological levers of power in North Korea and Myanmar and pathways to accountability –featuring Professor Melissa Crouch, Ms Daye Gang and Ms Anne O'Donoghue.

Drawing on the recent report Blood Coal Export from North Korea: Pyramid scheme of earnings maintaining structures of power, Ms Daye Gang will discuss how intergenerational and systemic human rights abuses sustain North Korea’s economy and fund weapons development in breach of United Nations Security Council sanctions.

Professor Melissa Crouch will examine the legal issues surrounding Myanmar’s military coup d’état, drawing on her research of authoritarian constitutionalism. These legal issues are a determining factor in whether the international community recognises the military regime or the elected representatives. She will demonstrate why the military takeover needs to be recognised as a coup and not a constitutional state of emergency. Professor Crouch will reflect on the responses of the international community to the coup, and what comes next for Myanmar.

This webinar will consider the power structures in North Korea and Myanmar that sustain authoritarianism and enable human rights abuses, discuss accountability in the context of a State’s repudiation of international human rights norms and obligations, and consider how Australia may contribute to victims’ fight for justice.

Event details

Date: Tuesday, 13 April 2021 

Time: 5.00pm - 6.30pm

Format: Zoom webinar 

This event will be hosted online and is only available to ILS Members. To participate in the webinar, become a member of the International Law Section which includes access to the ILS International Law and Practice Course 3.0. Join here.

See Section membership fees here.

If you have any queries about the event, please contact Doris Wimmler, ILS Section Administrator, on 02 6246 3758 or email




Professor Melissa Crouch

Melissa Crouch is Professor and Associate Dean Research at the Law School, UNSW. She established and runs the Southeast Asia Law & Policy Forum at the Faculty of Law & Justice. Her research contributes to comparative constitutional law; law and society; and law and religion. Melissa is Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Grant on "Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes: The Case of Myanmar" (2018-2021).

She is the author of the book "The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis" (2019), which was shortlisted for the Australian Legal Research Awards inaugural book award 2020. Melissa has worked with local and international organisations with a focus on constitutional and administrative law reform, and legal education, in Southeast Asia.

Prior to the coup in Myanmar, she regularly visited the country and was last there in January 2020. She is the Vice-President of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA), the peak academic body for Asian studies in Australia (2021-2022).

Ms Daye Gang

Daye is a Korean barrister at the Victorian Bar in Australia. She is also a PhD candidate at the Michael Kirby Centre for Public Health and Human Rights at Monash University, where she is researching restorative justice for sexual and family violence, and a consultant with the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights based in South Korea. She has conducted global advocacy for the Citizens’ Alliance report revealing how North Korea’s “blood coal” is traded in breach of Security Council Sanctions.

During the pandemic, she started a project to translate all North Korean laws into english. For her work, she won the International Bar Association Outstanding Young Lawyer Award in 2020.


Ms Anne O'Donoghue

Executive Member of the International Law Section. Anne O’Donoghue is an accredited immigration law specialist, with over 27 years of experience.

She is the director and principal lawyer of Immigration Solutions Lawyers (ISL). Anne is acknowledged as one of Australia’s leading immigration law specialists.



Event Details