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The Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics (RUMLAE)

The Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics at the Adelaide Law School (RUMLAE) has been established to examine legal and policy issues relevant to military and security matters with a particular focus on ethical aspects relevant to the use of force.

Our research unit specialises in

RUMLAE aims to facilitate the emergence of a creative inter-disciplinary dialogue on contemporary challenges in the areas of:

  • military law,
  • national security,
  • international law,
  • military justice,
  • international relations;
  • and strategic policy.


Warfare remains law’s most intractable challenge, so complete has the legal vocabulary become that languages of strategy, politics and ethics are frequently fused in moments of legal decision.

RUMLAE aims to deconstruct these layers and identify moments of clarity in the manner in which choices are made and actions authentically taken under the law. Particular attention in the RUMLAE research agenda is given to ethical and moral issues relating to the use of force and the dimension of national security. RUMLAE is dedicated to better understanding how discourses of violence are both created and understood, and how they can be mitigated.

Key contacts

Prof Dale Stephens (Director)

Prof Melissa de Zwart (Deputy director)

Our research projects

  • Criminal justice system and the Australian Defence Force - Kellie Toole.