Sebastián Machado

  • Sebastian Machado

    PhD candidate

Sebastián Machado is a PhD Candidate at the Laureate Program in International Law, Melbourne Law School. He researches across the fields of jurisprudence, legal philosophy, public international law, and armed conflict. He has a particular interest in the interpretation of past practices as law-creating facts, and his doctoral thesis examines the idea of international law as a language-game which comes into existence when it becomes part of the tools that international lawyers use to make better sense of the world as any given tradition might want to make sense of it; a discourse which is situational, a discipline that exists only because of its readiness-at-hand to international lawyers.

Before coming to Melbourne, Sebastián was a Senior Advisor to the Attorney General of the Republic of Colombia where he supervised the investigation and prosecution of major war criminals and breaches of the laws of war. He was also appointed by the President of the Republic of Colombia as a member of the governmental delegation to agree on the terms for a ceasefire between the Government and different armed groups. In the past, Sebastián was the head of the Advisory Section on International Law of the Colombian Foreign Ministry and the Acting Director of the bureau itself.
Before being appointed in public posts, Sebastián worked both as a junior associate at a private law firm and as a researcher for a Special Rapporteur at the General Assembly's International Law Commission.

He is the author of various publications on issues related to domestic criminal procedure in cases of international crimes, international legal theory, and international criminal law.

For nearly ten years, Sebastián has been teaching both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level on issues related to general jurisprudence, hermeneutics, public international law, international criminal law, and law of armed conflict. He has also been a faculty member of the mandatory course offered by Colombia's Superior War Academy for military officers graduating for commanding responsibilities.

Thesis Title


Hermeneutics of Humanitarianism: Interpretation, Tradition, and Existentialism in War

Thesis Summary


International law is a language-game which comes into existence when it becomes part of the tools that international lawyers use to make better sense of the world; a discourse which is situational, a discipline that exists only because of its readiness-at-hand to international lawyers. At the same time, international lawyers talk about their profession through the existence of past actions which they deem significant of their interpretation as law-creating facts, particularly through the creation of custom. My thesis looks at how these facts are and may be interpreted by international lawyers to create opportunities for their discourses.

Supervisors

  • International dispute resolution
  • International law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Legal history