2012-2013 Transitional Justice Scholars

Celeste Cruz received her Bachelor of Arts, Major in Management Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines with Second Honors in 2003. After graduation, she was invited to join one of Asia’s most acclaimed law firms, SyCip Salazar Hernandez Gatmaitan, where she focused on corporate and labor law practices, participating in multi-national business transactions, learning in practical terms why good governance and prudent regulatory practices is crucial for her personal advocacy of women and children’s rights and human rights, in general. After three years in the private sector, she shifted to serve in the public sector, becoming a Director of the Philippine Senate’s Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures, where she helped institute reforms to protect her country’s ever-vulnerable coffers.  She also clerked for a Senator-Judge of the Philippine Senate, sitting as an Impeachment Court, during the country’s historical Impeachment Trial of the Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court.

Silvia Delgado graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana of Bogotá, Colombia, in 2008. While attending law school, she received a number of scholarships and academic awards. She was selected to represent her Law School in the Inter-American Human Rights Competition and the ELSA Moot Court on WTO Law. Silvia worked as an adviser at the Transitional Justice Office of the Ministry of Justice, where she participated in the drafting of the bill and the subsequent legislative process that culminated in the enactment of the Law on reparations for the victims of the internal armed conflict, also known as the “Victims and Land Restitution Law”. After the Victims’ Law became a reality in Colombia, she was chosen by the Transitional Justice Director of the Ministry of Justice to coordinate the drafting process of the Administrative Decree implementing the Law, a process that included meeting with victims from all around Colombia, in order to understand their real needs and expectations towards the reparations program created by the Law. She also helped to prepare the Ministry’s responses to several constitutional actions submitted against the Law before the Colombian Constitutional Court.

Johan Heymans holds an LLB from the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix in Namur (French speaking Belgium) and a Research Master of Laws degree from the Catholic University of Leuven (Flemish speaking Belgium) and the University of Tilburg (Netherlands). His focus has always been on International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, an interest which he developed by extensive traveling and by being involved in development projects in Bolivia and Guatemala. During his years in Leuven, he worked as a student research assistant at the university’s Institute of International Law and also won several prizes in international moot court competitions. In addition to his university studies, he obtained several certificates on International Criminal and Humanitarian Law from institutions such as the ICRC. Johan’s big hope and aspiration is to become more involved in the practical aspects of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law and in the latter’s relationship with Transitional Justice.

Eleanor Jenkins received her BA (Hons) and LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, where she was awarded The Dwight’s Prize for Student Placed First Overall in International Humanitarian Law and Edward Walter Outhwaite Prize for Top Ranked Student in Human Rights Law. After completing law school, Eleanor was admitted to practice in the State of Victoria and worked as a solicitor in commercial law. From 2010 until August 2012, Eleanor lived in Kenya, where she worked as an advisor in Handicap International’s Gender Based Violence Project, and as a research associate with International Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa Project.


Merryl Lawry-White is an English-qualified lawyer, educated at Cambridge and Nottingham.  Her interest in transitional justice stems from various periods of time living and working in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly as a VSO Volunteer in Rwanda and in Kenya during the referendum on the 2010 Constitution, and extensive travelling in Africa and Central America.  She has spent the last few years working in the the public international law and international arbitration department of a large, international law firm, where she was involved in advising public and private clients on international rights and obligations, including on transitional justice initiatives and mechanisms.  Merryl also led, co-ordinated and worked on numerous human rights pro bono projects.  Merryl has spoken on and co-published several articles in the field of international law and international arbitration.