Fellows Detail

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA FAIIA

BA, LLB (Hons) (Melbourne), MA (Oxford); LLD h.c. (Melbourne; Carleton University, Canada; Sydney; Queen’s University, Ontario)

Elected: 2012

Discipline: Law

Specialisation: International Relations


Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC is Chancellor of the Australian National University (Jan 2010), a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne (July 2009) and President Emeritus of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation of which he was President and Chief Executive Officer from January 2000 to June 2009.  He has co-chaired two major International Commissions, on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000 – 2001) and on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008 – 2010).

Professor Evans holds first class honours degrees in Law from Melbourne University and in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.  Before entering the Australian Parliament in 1978 he was an academic lawyer specialising in constitutional and civil liberties law and a barrister specialising in industrial law.  He became a Queens Counsel in 1983.

A member of the Australian Parliament for twenty-one years, he was Senator for Victoria from 1978 – 1996, serving as Deputy Leader (1987 – 1993) and then Leader (1993 – 1996) of the Government, and was a member of the House of Representatives from 1996 until September 1999, serving a Deputy Leader of the Opposition (1996 – 1998).  He was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments for thirteen years, in the posts of Attorney-General (1983 – 1984), Minister for Resources and Energy (1984 – 1987), Minister for Transport and Communications (1987 – 1988) and Foreign Minister (1988 – 1996).

Gareth Evans was one of Australia’s longest-serving Foreign Ministers, best known internationally for his roles in developing the UN peace plan for Cambodia, bringing to a conclusion the international Chemical Weapons Convention, founding the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and initiating the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Gareth Evans was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) on 11 June 2012 foreminent service to international relations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as an adviser to governments on global policy matters, to conflict prevention and resolution, and to arms control and disarmament.  In May 2010 he was awarded the 2010 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute Four Freedoms Award for Freedom from Fear, for his pioneering work on the Responsibility to Protect concept and his contributions to conflict prevention and reolution, arms control and disarmament.  He was Australian Humanist of the Year in 1990, won the ANZAC Peace Prize in 1994 for his work on Cambodia, was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2001.  In the United States he received in 1995 the Grawemeyer Prize for Ideas Improving World Order for his Foreign Policy article Cooperative Security and Intrastate Conflict.  His other international awards include the Chilean Order of Merit (Grand Cross), given in 1999 primarily for his work in initiating APEC.


  • Member of the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, co-chaired by Cyrus Vance and David Hamburg (1994 – 1997)
  • Co-Chair (with Mohamed Sahnoun) of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), appointed by the Government of Canada which published its report, The Responsibility to Protect, in December 2001 (2000 – 2001)
  • Member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, whose report A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility was published in December 2004
  • Member of the Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction, sponsored by Sweden and chaired by Hans Blix, which reported in June 2006
  • Member of the International Task Force on Global Public Goods, sponsored by Sweden and France and chaired by Ernesto Zedillo, which reported in September 2006, and
  • Member of the Commission of Eminent Persons on the Role of the IAEA to 2020 and Beyond, whose report Reinforcing the Global Nuclear Order for Peace and Prosperity was launched in June 2008
  • Co-Chair (with former Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi) the Australia and Japan sponsored International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008 – 2010).  Its report Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Agenda for Global Policymakers, was published in December 2009
  • Member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Committee on Genocide (current)
  • Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Canberra-based Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (current)
  • Convenor of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (current) and
  • Co-chair of the International Advisory Board of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (current)
  • Member of the Global Leadership Foundation, chaired by F W de Klerk (current)
  • Member of the Aspen Atlantic Group, chaired by Madeleine Albright (current)
  • Member of the Supervisory Council of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe (current)
  • Member of the International Council of the Asia Society (current)
  • Member of the Advisory Council of the Independent Diplomat (current)
  • Member of the International Advisory Board of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University (current)
  • Member of the jury of the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award (current), and
  • Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association
  • In June 2008 Gareth Evans was made an Inaugural Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Australian international relations.
  • Elected Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford (May 2004)
  • Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs
  • Member of the International Advisory Board of the Leuven Centre for Global Studies; and
  • Member of the International Board of Advisors of the International Peace and Security Institute affiliated with SAIS (John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies).


Gareth Evans has written or edited nine books including:

  • Cooperating for Peace: The Global Agenda for the 1990s (Allen & Unwin, 1993)
  • Australia’s Foreign Relations (Melbourne University Pess 1991, 2nd edn 1995; and
  • The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All (Brookings Institution Press, September 2008, paperback edition 2009.

He has published over one hundred chapters in books and journal articles (and many more newspaper and magazine articles) on foreign relations, politics, human rights and legal reform.


Contact Information

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

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