Melanie Klinkner

Professor Melanie Klinkner

  • Professor of International Law
  • Weymouth House W405, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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Dr Melanie Klinkner is an international law scholar and, together with Dr Ellie Smith, author of the Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Protection and Investigation. In January 2023 she was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant (£1.6 mio, funded through the UKRI guarantee for Frontier Research) to develop a comprehensive human rights framework for Mass Grave Protection, Investigation and Engagement (MaGPIE). She led an Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Leaders Fellowship for the creation of mass grave protection guidelines with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) as project partner. In addition, she was the Principal Investigator on a Global Challenges Research Fund project on how to humanise the process of mass grave protection and investigation from the representative perspective of victims’ families. Presently she is working on a Leverhulme funded project to explore the merit of open source mass grave mapping. Together with Dr Howard Davis she is author of the monograph ‘The Right to the Truth in International Law’ (published by Routledge, 2020)...



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person's work contributes towards the following SDG:

Peace, justice and strong institutions

"Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels"

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Journal Articles



  • Klinkner, M. and Smith, E., 2023. Introduction: Mass Graves, Truth and Justice. Mass Graves, Truth and Justice. 1-22.
  • Klinkner, M. and Smith, E., 2023. Conclusion and outlook on things to come. Mass Graves, Truth and Justice. 154-166.
  • Smith, E. and Klinkner, M., 2023. ictims’ Rights to Participation and their Legitimate Information Interests. In: Borghi, M. and Brownsword, R., eds. Law, Regulation and Governance in the Information Society Informational Rights and Informational Wrongs. Routledge.
  • Klinkner, M., 2023. Mass grave protection and missing persons. Anthropology of Violent Death: Theoretical Foundations for Forensic Humanitarian Action. 197-217.
  • Smith, E. and Klinkner, M., 2023. Victims' rights to participation and their legitimate information interests. Law, Regulation and Governance in the Information Society Informational Rights and Informational Wrongs. Routledge.
  • Klinkner, M., Smith, E. and Smith, E., 2023. Introduction. Mass Graves, Truth and Justice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mass Grave Investigation. Elgar.
  • Klinkner, M., Smith, E. and Smith, E., 2023. Conclusion. Mass Graves, Truth and Justice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Investigation of Mass Graves. Elgar.
  • Klinkner, M. and Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2022. Transitional justice principles versus survivors’ experience – conflicting interpretations in Kosovo case study involving missing persons and their memorialisation. In: Rauschenbach, M., Viebach, J. and Parmentier, S., eds. Localising Memory: The Dynamics and Informal Practices of Memorialisation after Mass Violence and Dictatorship. Routledge.
  • Hanson, I., Klinkner, M., Cheetham, P. and Mickleburgh, H.L., 2022. Mass Graves. Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences: Volume 1-4, Third Edition. 452-463.
  • Klinkner, M. and Smith, E., 2022. Victims' Rights. In: Binder, C., Nowak, M., Hofbauer, J. and Janig, P., eds. Elgar Encyclopedia of Human Rights. Edward Elgar.
  • Klinkner, M., 2021. The Development of Indicators on Missing Persons. Global Report on Missing Persons. International Commission on Missing Persons.
  • Klinkner, M. and Smith, E., 2015. The Right to Truth, Appropriate Forum and the International Criminal Court. In: Szablewska, N. and Bachmann, S., eds. Current Issues in Transitional Justice. Towards a More Holistic Approach. Springer, 3-29.
  • Klinkner, M., 2013. Scientific Evidence in International Criminal Trials. In: Weisburd, D., ed. Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Springer.


  • Klinkner, M. and Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2017. Grieving lost normalcy: a Kosovo case study of social memory, incomplete transitional justice and political agency. In: Sixth International Expert Seminar on Transitional Justice 25-26 September 2017 KU Leuven.
  • Klinkner, M., Schwandner-Sievers, S., TIan, F. and Biran, A., 2015. Rethinking post-war reconciliation, memory and heritage via ‘gaming’ technology. In: BFX Academic Conference 2015 26-27 September 2015 Bournemouth, Bournemouth University.
  • Klinkner, M., 2015. Ukraine and Russia: International (criminal) responses to hybrid war? In: International Criminal Trials: Historical Paradigms and Contemporary Dimensions 21 September 2015 Preston, University of Central Lancashire.
  • Klinkner, M. and Davis, H., 2014. Institutionalising the right to the truth at the ICC. In: SLSA Conference 26-28 March 2013 York.
  • Bray, M., 2014. Mass grave evidence before international criminal trials. In: Forensic Forum 2014 5 March 2014 London.
  • Klinkner, M., 2012. Improving forensic investigations into mass graves for international criminal proceedings. In: European Academy of Forensic Science 20-24 August 2012 The Hague.
  • Klinkner, M., 2011. The value of forensic evidence for international criminal proceedings. In: 2nd Biennial War Crimes Conference: Justice? Whose Justice? Punishment, Mediation or Reconciliation 3-5 March 2011 London.
  • Klinkner, M., 2008. International Justice through Science: Investigating Human Rights Violations with or without Forensic Science? In: The 12th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Justice Research 14-17 August 2008 Adelaide.
  • Klinkner, M., 2008. Proving Genocide – Cooperation between lawyers and forensic scientists under the ICTY. In: Seventh Biennial Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars 9-13 July 2007 Sarajevo.


Internet Publications


  • Klinkner, M.J., 2009. Toward improved understanding and interaction between forensic science and international criminal law in the context of transitional justice. PhD Thesis. Bournemouth University; Business School.




PhD Students

  • Ahmed Abed. The rules, their application and effectiveness, governing humanitarian assistance in the context of the Syrian Conflict
  • Ellie Smith. The need for truth-telling as a part of the right to truth and its realisation at the ICC
  • Giulia Levi. Bridging post-Brexit Referendum Divides
  • Joshua Rieser. British Foreign Policy: Britain’s Interpretation of International Law and Response to International Crisis, Ethnic Stratification & Genocide in Southeast Asia 1965-1980
  • Luke Nwibo Eda. Missing Migrants
  • Selin Sonmez. Writing the Wrongs: On the Role and Effectiveness of Apology as a Remedy for International Crimes and Historical Injustices

Profile of Teaching PG

  • Principles of International law, International Organisations and the WTO
  • Dissertation Support and Research Methods
  • International Criminal Law and International Criminal Justice
  • International Human Rights Law

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Advanced Criminal Law


  • Missing Persons Indicator Development and Internships (Higher Education Innovation Fund, 01 May 2024). In Progress
  • The Missing Persons Indicator Project (International Commission on Missing Persons, 02 Nov 2023). In Progress
  • MaGPIE: A comprehensive, universal human rights framework for Mass Grave Protection, Investigation & Engagement (ERC Consolidator Grant / guaranteed by UKRI Frontier Research, 02 Oct 2023). In Progress
  • MaGMap: Does open source Mass Grave Mapping and Documenting protect or expose? (Leverhulme Trust, 01 Apr 2022). In Progress
  • It remains to be seen: animation of mass grave recovery (UKRI, 01 Apr 2020). Completed
  • Protecting Mass Graves to advance Truth and Justice (Arts and Humanities Research Council, 25 Feb 2019). Completed
  • Fusion co-creation project involving BU students and partners in Kosovo: rethinking post-war reconciliation via ‘gaming’ technology (Fusion Investment Fund, 01 Nov 2015). Completed
  • Rethinking Reconciliation (European Union Academic Development Scheme, 01 Feb 2015). Completed
  • A victim's right to truth and the International Criminal Court (Nuffield Foundation, 01 Sep 2013). Completed
  • Cambodia Field Research - financial support (Harold Wyam Wingate Foundation, 01 Jan 2007). Completed


  • PhD in Law (Bournemouth University, 2009)
  • MA in Philosophy, Anthropology, Biology (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 2003)


  • International Association of Genocide Scholars, Member (2021-),
  • International Commission on Missing Persons Panel of Experts, Member (2021-),
  • Chatham House: International Affairs Think Tank, Associate Member (2019-),
  • Socio-Legal-Studies Association, Member (2019-),
  • Higher Education Academy, Fellow (2015-),
  • Society of Legal Scholars, Member,