Dr Lauren Sanders

Senior Research Fellow

School of Law
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law


Dr Lauren Sanders is a Senior Research Fellow with the TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland in the Law and Future of War project. Lauren’s current research focus is on the application of export control, arms trade and sanctions regimes relevant to the export and brokering of trusted autonomous military systems and associated technology. Her broader research and teaching interests include international criminal law, international humanitarian law and domestic counter-terrorism law. She is the editor of UQ's Law and Future of War podcast where she interviews experts in the fields of law and emerging and disruptive technology, military strategy and military affairs.

She completed her initial law studies with The University of Queensland, along with a Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies. Her PhD studies were competed at the Australian National University focused on the practical application of universal jurisdiction. She holds an LLM in Legal Practice, Masters in Defence and Strategic Studies and numerous Graduate certificates in military law.

Before returning to The University of Queensland, Lauren spent twenty years as an Australian Army signals officer and legal officer, and has served in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor and on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, a legal advisor to ADF domestic counter-terrorism operations, and an assistant Inspector-General of the ADF. She is a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff College, and was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for her work as the Command Legal Officer within Special Operations Command.

She supports the training of military legal officers with the University of Adelaide's Legal Training Module Level Three (Masters Law Course); and is a reserve legal officer, where she is a member of the Principal Writing Team for the Australian Defence Force’s Law of Armed Conflict Manual, and teaches at the Indo-Pacific Centre for Military Law and the ADF's Military Law Centre.

Research Interests

  • War crimes
  • Export controls and sanctions
  • International humanitarian law
  • State responsibility
  • Law relating to military emerging and disruptive technology

Research Impacts

Lauren's resereach is used to inform government and Defence industry on best practices relating to the adoption of new and novel weapons technology and legal regulatory requirements; and the adoption of accountability mechanisms in armed conflict utilising new technologies.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Sanders, Lauren (2023). Lawfare in the 21st Century. Routledge Handbook of the Future of Warfare. (pp. 109-119) edited by Sebastian Kaempf and Artur Gruszczak. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003299011-13

  • Sanders, Lauren (2023). Lawfare in the 21st Century. Routledge Handbook of the Future of Warfare. (pp. 109-119) London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003299011-13

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs