2013-2014 Transitional Justice Scholars

Yfat Barak-Cheney earned an LL.M (with honors) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she also received her L.L.B and a B.A in International Relations, receiving an award for outstanding international law student. Yfat clerked with the International Law Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and interned with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. During her studies, Yfat was a student editor of the international journal “Israel Law Review”, participated in a special transitional justice workshop which included a visit to Rwanda and was a team member and later coach for the ICRC international humanitarian law competition and the “Jean Pictet” international humanitarian law competition which she also coached in South Africa in 2012. She previously worked with the Ministry of Justice Unit for Combating Human Trafficking and in several NGO’s. Yfat is a co-founder of ALMA – Association for the Promotion of International Humanitarian Law in Israel. Yfat has researched issues of transitional justice and aspires to contribute to the practice of transitional justice in Israel and worldwide.

Sam Burke holds a BA (Hons) and LLB (Hons) from Monash University, Australia. He practiced as a solicitor for two years during which he advised numerous non-government organizations and individuals on human rights law, amongst other areas.  Sam then became a law clerk to a Judge of the Supreme Court of the State of Victoria, focusing on administrative law and the review of government decisions.  He has interned at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, been published in the Journal of International Criminal Justice and has lectured undergraduate students on peace-building and achieving justice in post-genocide Rwanda.


Beril Onder received her LL.B. from Galatasaray University in Istanbul (Turkey), where she received a number of scholarships, including the Turkish Education Foundation’s (TEV) prestigious Outstanding Success Scholarship. She was a member of the Galatasaray University’s Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court team, winner of the 2012 national rounds of the competition in Turkey. In addition to her studies in Istanbul, she studied as an exchange student in Université de Strasbourg (France) for one semester and participated to a summer school program on International Human Rights Law in London. Her aspiration is to focus on International Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice mechanisms to contribute to the protection and the promotion of human rights, starting with her home country.

Madhuri Sastry holds a B.A.LL.B (Hons) from Symbiosis Law School, India and an LL.M. (Hons) from the London School of Economics, United Kingdom. Her interest in transitional justice was grew during the year she spent in London. One of her research papers focused on the plight of the stateless Rohingya – a persecuted religious and ethnic minority in Myanmar- and the steps that should be taken by the newly elected civilian government to remedy the injustice done to them during military rule. On returning to India, Madhuri undertook an internship with the UN Refugee Agency in New Delhi, India. During this period, she worked closely with refugees from Afghanistan, Myanmar and Somalia. She has interviewed several refugees, and her stories have been published on the website (www.unhcr.org.in). She has also authored a handbook on international refugee law and its application in India. Madhuri was one of the Supervisors and Coordinators of an Urban Refugee Profiling Survey piloted by Joint IDP Profiling Service, Feinstein International Centre, and Development and Justice Initiative. The survey compared the experiences of refugees in New Delhi with neighboring Indians. She conducted extensive quantitative and qualitative data collection on the demographics of the refugee population, their migration, livelihood, education and other skills. She also contributed to drafting the report. Madhuri also worked as a teaching and research assistant to the International Law faculty of Jindal Global University, New Delhi.

Nawi Ukabiala studied International Affairs and Economics at George Washington University.  In 2011 he graduated summa cum laude and order of the coif from Drake University Law School with a special certificate in constitutional law and civil rights.  As a law student Nawi served on the Drake Law Review and as a research assistant to the Associate Dean.  He also received numerous scholarships and academic achievement awards.  As a participant in the Drake Law School Appellate Advocacy Clinic he argued criminal appeals before the Iowa Supreme Court and Iowa Court of Appeals.  After receiving his J.D. Nawi served as a judicial law clerk and as a research attorney for the Iowa Supreme Court where he was the primary staff person supporting the further review process, which is analogous to the certiorari process on the federal level.  Nawi’s forthcoming article discussing Wikileaks, national security, and the First Amendment will be published in the Federal Courts Law Review this month.  Nawi’s ultimate career goal is to work with a public international institution serving as a catalyst for consistent application of international human rights principles.