The School of Law invites you to attend the book launch for:

The Laws of Yesterday’s Wars

From Indigenous Australians to the American Civil War

Edited by Samuel White, Adjunct Research Fellow UNE Law School

Friday 6th May, 2pm via Zoom webinar

This book offers a culture-by-culture account of various unique restrictions placed on warfare over time, in a bid to demonstrate the underlying humanity often accompanying the horrors of war. It offers the first systematic exploration of Indigenous Australian laws of war, relating decades of experience in communities. Containing essays by a range of laws of war academics and practitioners, this volume is a starting point in a new debate on the question: how international is international humanitarian law?

Samuel Camden Duckett White has served as both a Royal Australian Infantry Corps and an Australian Army Legal Corps officer in a range of tactical, operational and strategic postings. He is currently posted to the Directorate of Operations and International Law, Canberra which provides strategic legal advice to the Australian Defence Force and Department of Defence.

He holds a Bachelor of Classics and Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) from the University of Queensland; a Master of Laws (with First Class Honours) from the University of Melbourne; and a Master of War Studies from the University of New South Wales. He is admitted to practice in the State of Queensland and the High Court of Australia.


Alexander Gillespie, PhD is a Professor of Law at the University of Waikato. He obtained his LLB and LLM degrees with Honours from The University of Auckland and his PhD from the University of Nottingham. His areas of scholarship pertain to international and comparative environmental law; the laws of war; civil liberties; and a number of pressing issues of social concern. Alexander has been awarded a Rotary International Scholarship, a Fulbright Fellowship, a residency at the Rockerfeller Bellagio Centre in Italy, and the New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Fellowship. He was the first New Zealander to be named Rapporteur for the World Heritage Convention, involving international environmental diplomacy under the auspice of UNESCO.

 Andrew Butler has worked as an associate to a Federal Court Justice and the President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. He has a keen interest in administrative law, international law and the Law of Armed Conflict, as well as military history. He holds a Bachelor of Justice (Criminology) (with Distinction) and a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) from the Queensland University of Technology. He is currently completing a Master of Laws at the University of Queensland.

 Andrew Read, RAN is a Legal Officer in the Royal Australian Navy, holding the rank of Lieutenant. He completed his tertiary studies at the Australian National University College of Law, culminating in his attainment of a Master of Laws. In his current role he provides 

advice to Command on operational, disciplinary and administrative law issues.

Chris M. Bailey, USAF Bailey is a judge advocate in the United States Air Force.  He has served in a range of legal advisor positions at the Wing, numbered air force and joint levels.  In addition to his operational assignments, Maj Bailey was selected by the United States Air Force to attend the University of Nebraska College of Law where he received a Master of Laws degree in Space, Telecommunications and Cyber Law. 

Major Bailey received a direct commission as a United States Air Force judge advocate in December 2010.  In addition to his Master of Laws degree, he has earned a Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2010 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Southwestern University in 2007.  He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. 

Kyle Walker is a Captain within the Australian Regular Army who has served as a staff officer within the headquarters of the 7th Combat Brigade and Forces Command. Kyle practices in the areas of administrative, disciplinary and operations law. His attainments include an Bachelor of Laws from the University of Newcastle, a Master of Laws from the College of Law, and a Graduate Certificate of Military Law from the Australian National University. 

Ray Kerkhove, PhD is a cultural researcher and senior consultant historian (accredited through PHAQ) working with the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre, University of Queensland (UQ). His MA thesis (UQ) was Explaining Aztec human sacrifice. Kerkhove designed and ran the Continuing Education course on Ancient Mesoamerica (UQ) and contributed maps and themes on Mesoamerican history for the globally-acclaimed tertiary textbook World History Made Graphic (1995).

He now specialises in 19th Century Aboriginal history and culture. He has over 35 years’ experience working closely with Indigenous families on cultural and historical projects and in 2011 received the National Trust (Queensland)’s Governor’s Gold Award for his services to promoting Indigenous heritage. He is the co-author of The Battle of One Tree Hill (Boolarong Press, 2019) which offered an in-depth analysis of Aboriginal-settler conflict in the Lockyer-Darling Downs region (Queensland). Kerkhove is currently working on completing a field guide to frontier war sites in Queensland, and a book on the tactics of Aboriginal resistance.  

The Laws of Yesterday’s Wars is part of the International Humanitarian Law Series