• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE5658

Gallagher, Anne

Anne Gallagher
  • Occupation Academic, Human rights lawyer, Lawyer, Teacher


Anne Gallagher AO is a lawyer, practitioner, teacher and scholar, specialising in human rights and the administration of criminal justice. She obtained a BA and LLB from Macquarie University; a Masters of International Law from the Australian National University; and a PhD from the University of Utrecht.

After teaching international law for several years at ANU, Anne sat for the national competitive examinations to enter the United Nations and was recruited in 1992 to the UN’s human rights operations. From 1998 to 2002 she was Special Adviser to Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland. During that time Anne was at the forefront of developing the new international legal framework around transnational organized crime, migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

Since resigning from the UN in 2003, she has been working with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its ten Member States to strengthen legislative and criminal justice responses to human trafficking and related exploitation. This Australian-government funded program – the world’s largest and most ambitious criminal justice initiative against trafficking – has been acclaimed for its impact on laws, policies and practices within and outside the ASEAN region and Anne’s contribution has been widely recognized, including by the ASEAN Secretary-General.


Anne has combined her career as a UN official and high-level development professional with a vocation as a teacher and independent, self-funded scholar. She has published widely in the areas of human rights and criminal justice and is, according to the United States Government, “the leading global authority on the international law on human trafficking”. Her publications in this field include articles in major journals including Human Rights Quarterly and Virginia Journal of International Law; the official legal commentary to the UN Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking; and the sole legal reference text on this subject, The International Law of Human Trafficking, published by Cambridge University Press and awarded the 2011 American Society of International Law Certificate of Merit – Honorable Mention. The companion volume, The International Law of Migrant Smuggling, was published in 2014 to high acclaim.

Anne continues to advise the United Nations and is the author of many UN and ASEAN documents, handbooks, research reports and training materials on human trafficking, human rights, criminal justice and the rule of law. From 2012-2015 she led in a multi-year research project, mandated by the United Nations Crime Commission, focusing on problematic elements the international legal definition of human trafficking and is currently leading a similar initiative examining the international legal definition of migrant smuggling. During the period 2011-2015 Anne was an invited guest lecturer at Cambridge University; Oxford University; the University of Glasgow; the Australian National University; the American Society of International Law; Harvard University; American University; Johns Hopkins University; Duke University; and Stanford University. In 2014 she was appointed Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Presidential Task Force on Trafficking in Persons. Also in 2014 she was made a member of the High-level Advisory Group to the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration and, in 2015, a Member of the Track II Dialogue on Forced Migration in the Asia-Pacific Region. In 2016 Anne joined Doughty Street Chambers, the UK’s leading human rights and civil liberties chambers.

In November 2011 Anne was awarded the inaugural Australian Freedom Award for her international work against contemporary forms of slavery. In June 2012 she was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), the country’s second-highest civic honor. This appointment was made for her: “distinguished service to the law and human rights, as a practitioner, teacher and scholar, particularly in areas of human trafficking responses and criminal justice”. Also in June 2012, Anne was named a “2012 Hero” by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “for her ambitious work in the global fight against modern slavery”. In 2013 she received the inaugural Australian National University Alumni of the Year award and, in 2015, the “Peace Woman of the Year” award from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.


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