Dr Tim McFarland

Research Fellow

School of Law
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law


Dr Tim McFarland is a Research Fellow at the TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland. His current research focuses on the legal challenges connected with the defence and security applications of science and technology, with a particular focus on the impact of autonomous systems. His broader research interests include the law of armed conflict and international criminal law. He is the author of Autonomous Weapon Systems and the Law of Armed Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Before joining the University of Queensland, Tim researched the legal, ethical and social implications of military use of autonomous systems as a member of the Values in Defence & Security Technology group within the School of Engineering and Information Technology of the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy. He completed his PhD studies at Melbourne Law School. He also holds degrees in Engineering and Economics, and has worked in the international humanitarian law department of the Australian Red Cross as well as in a variety of information technology roles.


  • Doctor of Philosphy, University of Melbourne


  • McFarland, Tim and Galliott, Jai (2021). Understanding AI and autonomy: Problematizing the meaningful human control argument against killer robots. Lethal Autonomous Weapons. (pp. 41-56) edited by Jai Galliott, Duncan MacIntosh and Jens David Ohlin. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oso/9780197546048.003.0004

  • McFarland, Tim (2021). The concept of autonomy. Autonomous cyber capabilities under international law. (pp. 12-35) edited by Rain Liivoja and Ann Väljataga. Tallinn, Estonia: NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

  • Liivoja, Rain, Massingham, Eve, McFarland, Tim and McKenzie, Simon (2020, 09 09). Are autonomous weapons systems prohibited? GameChanger

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Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • McFarland, T. and Hill, S.D. (1995). A comparison of fuzzy and computed-torque control of a robot arm. 8th International Conference on Industrial and Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems (IEA/AIE-95), Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 6-8 June, 1995. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Gordon and Breach Publishers.

  • Tim McFarland and Simon D Hill (1995). A comparison of fuzzy and gain-scheduling control of a robot arm. National Conference of the Australian Robot Association, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 5-7 July 1995.

Other Outputs