Marnie Lloydd

  • Marnie Lloyd

    PhD candidate

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Marnie Lloydd is a PhD Candidate with the Australian Research Council Laureate Program in International Law’s project on Civil War, Intervention and International Law, under the supervision of Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Michael D Kirby Chair of International Law Anne Orford, and Professor Martti Koskenniemi. She is the recipient of the University of Melbourne's Human Rights Scholarship (2016-2019).

Marnie specialises in the field of international law in armed conflict, and humanitarian assistance. Her current doctoral research involves a critical historical reading of legal debates in international law regarding different types of foreign fighters - private individuals who voluntarily travel abroad to fight with an armed group in another country.

Prior to joining the Laureate Program, Marnie worked for more than ten years as a Delegate and Legal Advisor with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), undertaking postings in Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Chad, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as at the Geneva headquarters where she advised on international humanitarian and human rights law, including on the conduct of hostilities and detention, in support of the ICRC's activities in the Middle East. She has taught and spoken on issues of international humanitarian law, arms control and humanitarian affairs with diverse audiences around the world, including to military legal advisors, and as a guest lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.

Marnie also has prior experience in refugee law, minority rights and commercial law, having worked as a legal consultant for UNHCR (Geneva), legal researcher with the European Centre for Minority Issues (Germany) and solicitor at Kensington Swan law firm (NZ).

Marnie holds an LLM in International Law in Armed Conflict from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, an MA in International Humanitarian Assistance from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, and degrees in Arts and first class honours Law from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.


Thesis Title

'Other' Foreign Fighters under International Law: Treatment, status and due diligence obligations

Thesis Summary

The term ‘foreign fighter’ is not defined in international law. The attention to terrorism in current scholarship and practice regarding foreign fighters overshadows the fact that throughout history, civil war – and, indeed, one small part of the ‘war on terror’ today – has also been fought by ‘other’ types of foreign fighters or international volunteers.  By taking a critical historical approach to key legal moments related to the phenomenon of these ‘other' foreign fighters, my thesis considers debates in international law regarding private individuals who voluntarily travel abroad to fight with an armed group in another country, and the fundamental and confronting questions that arise with the private taking up of arms across borders. Based on this analysis, my thesis will consider how examining the legal debate, responses and institutional history relevant to the issue of foreign volunteers can help us to understand the interplay of international law and friendly relations between sovereign states during civil war.


  • International Law
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Refugee Law