Mary Ellen O'Connell
The Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law
Mary Ellen O’Connell’s expertise lies in the international legal regulation of the use of force and on conflict and dispute resolution, especially the peaceful resolution of disputes prior to an escalation to armed conflict. She is highly sought-after as an expert on the legality of combat drones (remotely piloted missile aircraft), a subject on which she recently testified before Congress.
The author of The Power and Purpose of International Law, O’Connell currently chairs the International Law Association’s study committee on the meaning of war. She is also a member of the German Society of International Law and the International Institute for Humanitarian Law, and she serves as vice president of the American Society of International Law.
In addition to her appointment in the Notre Dame Law School, O’Connell is a research professor of international dispute resolution in the University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
Established in 1977, this professorship was a gift of Notre Dame parents Bob and Marion Short of Minnesota. Bob served on the Notre Dame Law School Advisory Council from 1974 until his death in 1982.