Anna Saunders

  • Ms Anna Saunders

    MPhil candidate

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Anna is a Teaching Fellow and MPhil candidate at Melbourne Law School. She researches across the fields of history and theory of international law, with a focus on security, intervention and statebuilding. Her MPhil project is a legal and political history of enemy states in the early years of the United Nations. Anna is a Senior Program Fellow in the Laureate Program in International Law, and co-editor of a volume on revolution and international law with Anne Orford, Kathryn Greenman and Ntina Tzouvala, to be published with Cambridge University Press.

Anna holds a JD (first class) from Melbourne Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Adelaide, with honours in Politics. She is a former Editor of the Melbourne Journal of International Law and has tutored in public law and legal theory at the University of Melbourne’s Ormond College. Prior to commencing her MPhil, she was a research assistant at Melbourne Law School in the fields of international law, constitutional law, and legal theory. She has also worked in the field of native title in the state of Victoria and volunteered in international refugee law and policy.

Thesis Title

Enemy States and the United Nations: A Legal and Political History

Thesis Summary

The enemy states clauses are an often-forgotten aspect of the origins of the United Nations. The thesis will redescribe those origins through examining the negotiations, practices of implementation, and subsequent erasure of the enemy state concept. The enemy states clauses in the Charter of the United Nations provided for a transitional period during which the major powers were allocated responsibility for the occupation and demilitarisation of Germany and Japan, the detachment and administration of enemy state territory, and the conclusion of peace agreements. The thesis aims to critically assess the legacy of this formative period for the postwar international legal order, informing contemporary debates on international law’s role in maintaining peace and security.


  • International Law
  • Public Law
  • Legal History
  • Legal Theory