Institutional Research Information Service
UCL Logo
Please report any queries concerning the funding data grouped in the sections named "Externally Awarded" or "Internally Disbursed" (shown on the profile page) to your Research Finance Administrator. Your can find your Research Finance Administrator at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/research/rs-contacts.php by entering your department
Please report any queries concerning the student data shown on the profile page to:

Email: portico-services@ucl.ac.uk

Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
 More search options
Dr Megan Donaldson
Bentham House
4–8 Endsleigh Gardens
Dr Megan Donaldson profile picture
  • Associate Professor
  • Faculty of Laws

Prior to postgraduate study, Megan worked in corporate litigation, and served as an Associate to Justice Hayne of the High Court of Australia. She holds an LLM (Legal Theory) and a J.S.D. (PhD-equivalent) from New York University School of Law. From 2015–19 she was Junior Research Fellow in the History of International Law at King’s College, Cambridge, and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law.

Research Summary

Megan works in public international law, its theory and history.

Her historical work has examined the development of the international legal order over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly foundational areas like the law of statehood, treaties and diplomatic relations. She is interested in methodological dimensions of the interaction between law and history: how each approaches texts and material evidence; how different scales (national, imperial, global) and strands (intellectual, social, cultural) of historical scholarship might engage differently with law; and the possibilities for more fruitful collaboration between these fields in future. Work on contemporary international law has explored the workings of international institutions, with a particular focus on transparency; public law and constitutional values; and the use of languages of public law in global governance.

A study in the history of treaty-making—'The Survival of the Secret Treaty: Publicity, Secrecy, and Legality in the International Order'—won the Francis Deák prize (2017) for the leading article by a younger author in the American Journal of International Law. Other recent publications include an article on 'The League of Nations, Ethiopia, and the Making of States' (Humanity (Spring 2020)), and an edited collection (with Annabel Brett and Martti Koskenniemi), History, Politics, Law: Thinking through the State (CUP, 2021).  

Megan is now working on a book tracing secrecy and publicity in the international legal order (under contract with OUP). Her main future project is on the conceptualization of peace and peace-making, particularly the faultline between scholarship on imperial governance and on peace agreements between European powers (terrain sketched in 'The Boundaries of Peace-Making: British Imperial Encounters c.1700–1900', in Weller, Retter and Varga (eds), Peace Agreements and International Law (CUP, 2021)). Other current work includes a chapter on legal thought in the early League of Nations (in collaboration with the project Laying the Foundations: The League of Nations and International Law, 1919–45, at the University of Copenhagen); and research into the absence of prosecutions of Italian forces for atrocities committed in Ethiopia.

Teaching Summary

In 2022–23 Megan convenes International Criminal Law (LLM), Histories of International Law (LLM) and Public International Law (LLB).

Some IRIS profile information is sourced from HR data as explained in our FAQ. Please report any queries concerning HR data shown on this page to hr-services@ucl.ac.uk.
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by