Professor Bruce Oswald CSC

Professorial Fellow


Bruce "Ossie" Oswald is a Professorial Fellow at Melbourne Law School.

His interests in law and practice are in the areas of international humanitarian law, peace operations, state building, accountability and responsibility, and the application of human rights law to military operations. More specifically, his interests are in examining the law and practice surrounding the protection of civilians, the taking and handling of detainees during military operations, and militias undertaking law and order functions.

Ossie has served in the Australian Regular Army as a legal officer. He has seen operational service in Rwanda, the Former Yugoslavia, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has provided legal advice and held staff appointments as a legal officer at tactical, operational and strategic levels. During his service in Australia he provided legal advice to the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, Headquarters Australian Theatre, Strategic Command and Directorate of Operations and International Law. Ossie continues to serve in the Army Reserves as a legal officer.

For his service as the Legal Officer for the Australian Contingent serving in Rwanda, Ossie was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC).

In 1997 Ossie worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Former Yugoslavia.

Ossie was a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow (October 2012 - June 2013) at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington DC, USA.

Ossie retired from Melbourne Law School in September 2021.

Memberships and affiliations

  • Colonel, Australian Army Reserve
  • Member, American Journal of International Law
  • Member, Australian New Zealand Society of International Law
  • Member, Editorial Board Journal of International Peacekeeping

Teaching (2023)

Melbourne Law Masters