Transitional Justice Leadership Program

Each year, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) selects a small number of incoming NYU Law LLM students to take part in the Transitional Justice Leadership Program. Developed in consultation with prominent figures in the transitional justice field, the program provides an opportunity for LLM students to engage through coursework, scholarship, and internships with CHRGJ’s Transitional Justice Project, which brings together teaching, documentation, research, and convenings on topics such as criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, institutional reform, and reparations programs in countries undergoing a transition to democracy in the aftermath of conflict or of authoritarianism. The Transitional Justice Project is led by Professor Pablo de Greiff, who served as UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence from May 2012 through May 2018.

“The Transitional Justice Scholars Program offered me an unmatched opportunity to develop my expertise in this vibrant field and to move my career toward the next stages.”
Jorge Carlos Peniche Baqueiro, Transitional Justice Scholar '16-17

Program Components

* Students not selected for the program may still register for the course through the normal registration process; however, as with all NYU Law courses, enrollment for those outside the program is not guaranteed.

Application Instructions

The Transitional Justice Leadership Program will commence in fall 2022 and continue through the academic year. All interested LLM students at NYU Law are encouraged to apply. Applications are due by noon on Monday August 15, 2022. Selected candidates will be notified no later than early-September 2022 and the program schedule will be confirmed at this time.

To apply, please submit:

  1. Cover letter detailing your interest in the program, including relevant background or experience where applicable
  2. CV
  3. Relevant writing sample

These should be combined into a single PDF attachment in the above order and e-mailed to Lauren Stackpoole, CHRGJ Director of Operations and Academic Programs, [], with the subject line “Transitional Justice Leadership Program Application 2022-23.”


Past Transitional Justice Scholars

Natalie DruceNatalie Druce holds a Bachelor of Laws (with honors) and Bachelor of International Studies (with distinction) from the University of New South Wales and traditional LLM from NYU Law. Prior to commencing her LLM, Natalie worked as a solicitor in the disputes practice at Herbert Smith Freehills and as a Judicial Clerk to the Honourable Justice Margaret Beazley AO, then President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. During law school, Natalie focused on international human rights and anti-discrimination law. She was a student intern in the UNSW Human Rights Clinic, where she co-authored a guide on migrant worker rights under international law. She currently sits on the legal advisory committee of the International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) and co-leads a Sydney-based organization that facilitates legal education workshops for young people at risk of homelessness. Natalie developed a particular interest in transitional justice while interning in the Governance and Legal team at the United Nations Global Compact, where one of her projects involved coordinating a webinar on applying a gender lens to responsible business practices in conflict-affected areas. She hopes to explore how transitional justice practices can be used to conceptualize and respond to the specific harms perpetrated against minority groups, including Indigenous communities.

Doris MatuDoris Matu graduated from Strathmore Law School with a First Class Honors LLB degree. She is a trained mediator and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch). She has also been trained in the Advocates Training Program at the Kenya School of Law and is admitted to the Roll of Advocates in Kenya. During her undergraduate studies at Strathmore Law School, her dissertation thesis entitled, ‘Walking the Tight Rope: Balancing the Property Rights of Individuals with the Right to Housing of Informal Settlers’ was nominated by the faculty as one of the best from the pioneer graduating class and was published in a special issue of the Strathmore Law Review. Doris also wrote and published a paper titled, ‘Improving Access to Justice in Kenya through Horizontal Application of the Bill of Rights and Judicial Review’. In her research, she has been able to look introspectively (Kenya’s landscape) into the area of human rights violations by various actors and how the courts and the laws have tried to address the issues arising. As part of the Transitional Justice Leadership Program, Doris is keen on delving more intensely into the area of Transitional Justice through the course and various modes of scholarship available in the program to identify ways in which human rights violations can be addressed more comprehensively. At NYU School of Law, Doris pursued her LLM in International Legal Studies and is a recipient of the prestigious Dean’s Graduate Award.

Daniela Pedraza MorenoDaniela Pedraza Moreno is a 2020 graduate from the LLM in International Legal Studies from NYU Law, where she was a Transitional Justice Scholar and a recipient of the Public Interest award. She also holds an LL.B. from Universidad del Rosario (Bogotá, Colombia), and a BA in international relations from the same university.Daniela has engaged with international civil society organizations working on the protection and empowerment of vulnerable populations. Through her work at the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), she performed participatory research on the links between climate change and migration in the Dry Corridor of Central America and advocated for policy negotiations within UN processes from a gender perspective.During her LLM studies, Daniela was granted the NY Women’s Bar Association Foundation Fellowship which allowed her to work with the organization Her Justice providing legal assistance to domestic violence survivors with their family and immigration cases. Furthermore, she worked with the Global Justice Clinic project on corporate accountability.

Chew Fei PhangChew Fei Phang holds a LLB from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom and an LLM from NYU School of Law. Her interest in human rights developed when she assisted with substantive research at the Bristol Human Rights Implementation Centre for the African Commission and Court on Human and People’s Rights. After graduating from law school, Chew Fei was selected for an internship with United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Supreme Court Chamber). Thereafter, she interned at the International Bar Association (North America Office) in Washington, D.C. where she worked with U.S. Senate staffers, research institutes and human rights NGOs to develop a concept paper on North Korean human rights abuses. This culminated in a conference with speakers from the U.S. State Department, U.S. Senate and the South Korean Embassy. After being admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore, Chew Fei worked as a commercial litigator in Singapore but made a career switch to human rights work full-time by taking up a Research and Advocacy Fellowship at Human Rights Now (HRN), a Tokyo-based international NGO with UN consultative status. At HRN she worked on business and human rights and the protection of human rights defenders, and had helped to teach human rights at the Myanmar Bar Association in Yangon.

Tanishtha VaidTanishtha Vaid holds a BA LLB from the Gujarat National Law University (India) and an LLM from NYU School of Law. During her undergraduate degree, she took part in the ICC Moot Court Competition, 2018, where she was awarded the Best Defense Counsel Team, Best Defense Counsel Memorial and 1st Runner-up Best Defense Counsel Award. She has also served as a Research Assistant at the International Law Commission and is currently assisting Human Rights Watch in their efforts to bring the former Gambian dictator – Yahya Jammeh, to justice. As a member of the UN Diplomacy Clinic, she is serving as an advisor to the Permanent Mission of Maldives to the United Nations. A qualified advocate with the Bar Council of India, Tanishtha has used her early experience to make strides in the field of transitional justice. In previously assisting organizations such as the International Crimes Tribunal-Bangladesh, she has used her expertise to streamline the application of transitional justice mechanisms. She is also widely published in the subject of transitional justice and has been one of the youngest presenters at the American Society of International Law’s Midyear Research Forum.


Julie BlochJulie Bloch holds a JD from Cornell Law School with a specialization in International Legal Affairs and a concentration in Public Law. She was the recipient of the Freeman Award for Civil-Human Rights and received multiple academic awards in courses such as International Criminal Law and Law and Social Change: Comparative Law in Africa. During her studies, she was a Notes Editor for Cornell’s International Law Journal and a student advocate in the Cornell International Human Rights Clinic.

Her work experience focuses on global and transitional justice as well as the need for fostering accountability on a regional and international scale. Julie has worked as a legal clerk for the Magistrat de Liaison at the French Embassy where she navigated the variations between common and civil law in criminal prosecutions. She worked with the Freedom of Information and Expression practice group of Open Society Justice Initiative on administrative and constitutional law cases involving government accountability, access to information in areas of public interest, lack of transparency, and corruption. Most recently, she was an associate with the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide where her work focused on wrongful capital convictions and the problem of a flawed international criminal justice system. She worked to promote the access to justice of capital defendants and contributed to a foreign national’s clemency petition.

Julie is currently a candidate for the International Legal Studies LLM at NYU School of Law and is a student advocate in the Global Justice Clinic.

Estefania GiacconeEstefania Giaccone graduated in the top 3% from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and in the framework of her studies at University, she participated in a Human Rights clinic at an NGO called Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia. In the year 2015, she was selected to do an internship in the “Center for the Justice and International Law” (CEJIL), in Washington DC, where she had the chance to research and work in cases brought to the Inter-American Human Rights system. After her graduation in 2016, she has done several courses in order to get new knowledge about the Human Rights current situation like the Seminar entitled: “The forced disappearance of people within International Law” tutored by Mr.Olivier de Frouville.

Because of her involvement in Human Rights, the American University Washington College of Law chose her to participate as Judge at the 22nd Edition of the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition in 2017.

Carla LeivaCarla Leiva completed her law degree at Universidad Diego Portales, where she graduated with honors and ranked in the top 5 percent of her class. She has worked in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) since 2013, when she was awarded the IACHR Rómulo Gallegos fellowship. She had held different responsibilities within the IACHR office, including working in the Admissibility Section and in the Registry Section. From 2011 to 2013, Carla worked as a consultant lawyer for the Human Rights Program of the Chilean Ministry of Interior, as lead counsel in several transitional justice cases related to the dictatorship. During her university years, she worked as a teaching assistant in courses related to Human Rights and International Law, Constitutional Law, and Political Institutions at Universidad Diego Portales, Universidad Adolfo Ibañez and Universidad Andrés Bello. She also worked as a Researcher Assistant of Professor Lidia Casas in issues related to Sexual and Reproductive Rights. Carla is also the co-author of the book “Jurisprudence Digest of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (January 1984 to February 2012)”.

She has worked at the Argentinean Judiciary Branch since the year 2013 for the Judge Osvaldo Otheguy. She is also a researcher at UBA in an UBACyT project directed by PhD Andrea Gastron, a former Fulbright Scholar. Moreover, Estefania has served as a Teaching Assistant at UBA in the subject “Advanced Constitutional Law” with PhD Marcelo López Alfonsin. She has also participated in many investigations at the same University and has a large number of publications regarding enforced disappearance in Argentina. In the year 2017, she has been granted a Fulbright Scholarship in order to pursue an LLM at the United States.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Estefania will complete a Traditional LLM at New York University School of Law, specializing in human rights, transitional justice and constitutional law.

S. Priya Morley earned her LLB and BCL (common law and civil law degrees) from the bilingual Faculty of Law at McGill University. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of British Columbia.

Before starting her LLM in International Legal Studies at New York University School of Law, Priya was a litigator at WeirFoulds LLP in Toronto. She practiced human rights, public law, and civil litigation, and worked on a number of test cases under Ontario’s Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She previously completed a judicial clerkship at the Divisional Court (Superior Court of Justice of Ontario), which hears appeals and judicial reviews from administrative bodies.

Priya’s interest in transitional justice comes from her work with various civil society organizations on sexual violence, women’s and children’s rights, and human rights education. During law school, she worked with the Equality Effect in Meru, Kenya on the landmark “160 Girls” claim. This constitutional challenge, informed by international human rights law, obtained legal remedies ordering the state to enforce existing constitutional and human rights protections against sexual violence. Priya also worked on cases of gender-based violence during and after conflict while she was a legal trainee in the Gender and Human Rights Program of the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin. Recently, she conducted research on citizenship and identity for the Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI) in Mexico City.

Priya is proficient in French and Spanish. She is admitted to practice in Ontario and British Columbia.

Cláudio Cerqueira B. Netto previously studied at Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro State University), where he earned an LLB and a master’s degree in International Law. His interest in transitional justice grew during his time at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), where he worked with cases on the Inter-American System of Human Rights, such as Gomes Lund et al. v. Brazil (Guerrilha do Araguaia). This case brought justice to the victims of torture and forced disappearances in the context of the military dictatorship in Brazil. His work consisted in drafting a petition regarding monitoring compliance with judgment. Cláudio has worked as a consultant for the O`Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, as an intern at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, besides experience in public and private sectors. His master’s degree thesis was awarded with prize Prêmio Academy 2017, and will be published as a book in Brazil. He is a member of the Comparative Law Commission at the Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (Brazilian Bar) Rio de Janeiro section. Cláudio has published articles in international journals, such as Anuario Mexicano de Derecho Internacional and Revista del Tribunal Permanente de Revisión del Mercosur, among others.


Tutku Bektas holds a BA in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford,  where she was the only recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Scholarship for academic excellence. During her studies, she served as the undergraduate President of Exeter College and the Vice President of the largest charity in Oxford, which was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in her tenure.

Prior to pursuing an LLM in International Legal Studies, Tutku undertook her Bar training in London as an Astbury Scholar of Middle Temple. She completed legal placements at the Bar, where she drafted a communication to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); an experience which affirmed her desire to work for international organizations to promote human rights in countries affected by political chaos and terrorism.

Her academic interests center on topics that entail legal, moral and political dimensions of the application of human rights. Having previously served as a conference rapporteur for the Franco-British Council and spoke at `Magna Carta Rights’ conference in the University of Francois-Rabelais, she appreciates legal scholarship as a powerful medium for addressing human rights violations and looks forward to contributing to scholarship in the field of transitional justice.

Michaela Bolton studied law and philosophy before obtaining her LLB degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. During her university years, she participated in various community service initiatives in disempowered South African communities. This exposure contributed to her keen interest in transitional justice, and in the law’s ability to deliver a society from a past of systemic human rights abuses, to a reality of unity and dignity. Her undergraduate dissertation debated the limitations of truth commissions in post-conflict societies, and the law’s relationship with forgiveness. Michaela is an admitted attorney in South Africa, and has worked in the litigation departments of a major commercial law firm in Johannesburg. She is currently enrolled in New York University School of Law’s LLM program, and hopes to return to practice as an attorney in South Africa’s public interest law sector.

Paola Molano holds an LLB from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where she graduated in the top 10 percent of her cohort. Paola has worked on issues regarding women’s rights, LGBTI rights, and transitional justice, both at civil society organizations and for the Colombian government. She has participated in research on women’s participation in state agencies, sexual and reproductive rights, and standards of protection of LGBTI population. Paola has also participated as amicus curiae before the Colombian Constitutional Court and other international courts, on issues regarding reproductive health issues, indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples’ rights, protection of victims of sexual violence during the armed conflict, among other constitutional topics.

Most recently, Paola worked for the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace (Presidency of the Republic) as a government adviser in relation to the peace talks and the final peace agreement with the FARC. She worked first on gender mainstreaming as part of the Government delegation at the Gender Subcommittee at the peace talks table. Subsequently, she served as advisor on transitional justice and constitutional law, mainly on the implementation of the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and No Repetition. Paola has also worked as an adjunct professor at Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá.

Kaitlin Owens received her JD from the University of Toronto, where she was awarded the Angus MacMurchy Gold Medal as well as the Gallant Ho Prize for ranking first overall in her graduating class.

During her studies, she worked extensively with the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto. Following law school, Kaitlin clerked for three judges at the Ontario Court of Appeal, the province’s highest court. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2016, and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. After completing her clerkship, Kaitlin worked as an Assistant Crown Attorney, prosecuting criminal cases at the Ontario Court of Justice.

As a Hauser Global Scholar, Kaitlin will complete an LLM in International Legal Studies at New York University, specializing in international human rights law, transitional justice, and international criminal law. She is also the recipient of the 2017 John P. Humphrey Fellowship in International Human Rights Law.

Duru Yavan received her undergraduate degree from Galatasaray University in Istanbul in 2014. She continued her studies with an International Human Rights Law LLM program at Istanbul Bilgi University. In addition to her studies in Istanbul, she studied as an exchange student in Montpellier Université I for one semester. After completing law school she was admitted to the Istanbul Bar Association in 2015 as an Attorney-at-Law in Turkey. Thereafter she worked as a project assistant at the Legal Studies Program of Truth Justice and Memory Center (Hakikat Adalet ve Hafıza Merkezi), an independent human rights organization focusing, inter alia, on transitional justice in Turkey. There, she collected and analyzed judicial data about human rights violations, most notably enforced disappearances committed by state officials against the Kurds in the 1990s. She also worked within the same organization at Perpetrators Not-Unknown Project (Faili Belli) as a trial observer. She also worked for seven months at Kadir Has University, Law Faculty, Turkey as a teaching and research assistant at the Public International Law Department. Her aspiration is to focus on transitional justice with an interdisciplinary approach and to contribute to peace processes, starting with her home country.


 Claudia Henfry holds an LLB (Honors) and BA (Honors) from the University of Western Australia, where she developed a particular interest in international human rights law and transitional justice. As part of her honors dissertation she analyzed the use of amnesties as part of transitional justice measures. Prior to graduating, Claudia completed an internship at the UN’s Office of Legal Affairs in New York. She is admitted to practice in Western Australia, and has worked as a judge’s associate at the Supreme Court of Western Australia and in the litigation department of a national commercial law firm. After graduating from NYU this year she will be complete a summer internship at the International Law Commission in Geneva.

Emilio Gallardo Cornejo graduated magna cum laude from the Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo (UEES) in Ecuador, where he was awarded a scholarship and Dean’s List and President’s List awards for academic excellence. He completed his first Master Degree in Constitutional Law at UEES, in which his legal thesis regarding judicial proceedings for fundamental rights protection was published by the University in 2014. In 2016 he was awarded with the Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a Master Degree in the United States. Since 2011, he has been working at an Ecuadorian law firm, primarily in the areas of corporate law, civil law, and constitutional law. He has litigated at different court levels in Ecuador, including the Constitutional Court. Additionally, he was legal advisor of the Chamber of Industries of Guayaquil from 2011 to 2015, and, from 2014 to 2016 he was de Legal Director of the Ecuadorian Association of Young Entrepreneurs. Before coming to NYU to pursue his LLM in International Legal Studies, he was the Academic Coordinator of the Business Law Master’s of the UEES and lecturer in the same University.  Currently, his studies at NYU, where he was awarded with the Dean’s Graduate scholarship, focus on international human rights and international economic law.

Jorge Carlos Peniche Baqueiro is a 2016-2017 Transitional Justice Scholar as well as a a 2016-2017 CHRGJ Human Rights Scholar as well as. As a student scholar, Jorge assists the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence and  Director of the Project on Transitional Justice,Pablo de Greiff, and the Mandate’s Research Officer, Danica Damplo. Jorge is pursuing an LLM in International Legal Studies.

Jorge graduated with honors from Universidad Marista de Mérida School of Law (Mexico) with a dissertation on the universal jurisdiction doctrine from a prosecutorial policy perspective and was granted a special mention for having ranked as the student with the best academic performance in the Law Schools’ history. During his university years, Jorge obtained first place in the first National Moot Court Competition on Adversarial Litigation Skills convened in the context of Mexico’s transition to a new criminal justice system. Prior to attending NYU School of Law, Jorge worked as research fellow in the National Institute of Criminal Sciences and served as advisor for the Director General of Constitutional Affairs at the Mexican Office of the Attorney General. There, he primarily focused on litigation before the Supreme Court of Justice and consultancy in international criminal law and human rights. He has published on the role of Latin-American constitutional courts as guarantors of conventional obligations in the domestic setting.

Jorge has been also selected as a NYU International Law and Human Rights Fellow for 2016-2017. His academic interest aims for bridging different standpoints on the impunity phenomenon’s study, from legal theory and constitutional adjudication in times of transition to the development of mechanisms to prosecute atrocity crimes.

María Francisca Gallegos-Anda Naranjo graduated top of her class at the Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo (UEES) in Ecuador, where she was conferred the prestigious Dean’s List award for academic excellence. During her university years, she participated in the International Arbitration Team and the National Arbitration Team of the UEES as a member and coach, respectively. She also interned in top law firms in Guayaquil-Ecuador, which formed her administrative and civil law background. From 2012 to 2014, she was Teacher Assistant for the Constitutional Law II: Constitutional Theory course; was the Senior In-House Lawyer for a social housing development project; and a practitioner in the Department of Crimes against People and Constitutional Guarantees at the District Attorney’s Office of Guayas. In 2015, she was hired by the largest telecommunications corporation in Ecuador as the Senior Lawyer as a legal coordinator and strategist for litigious procedures nationwide. Currently, María Francisca is a candidate for LLM in International Legal Studies at NYU, with a particular interest on international economic law and civil rights.

Sherin Shefik is a legal adviser at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She previously worked at the Office of the Co-Prosecutors for the UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia; at the Home Office as a legal adviser and counter-terrorist policy adviser; as a pupil barrister at 11KBW; and at a human rights NGO in London. As the 2016 recipient of Fulbright’s international law award and a Hauser Global scholar, Sherin is currently pursuing a Masters in International Legal Studies at New York University School of Law.


Nasser Al-Reshaid holds an LL.M. (Honors) from Kuwait University, and an LL.B. (1st Class Honors) from the University of Sharjah, UAE. He also completed a 2-year Judicial and Legal Studies Program (1st class honors). Working as a prosecutor, he focused on international legal cooperation, and prosecuted crimes including: terrorism and its financing, money laundering, sexual violence, and other violent crimes. During this period, he became a member of the Kuwaiti National Council for Human Rights, and was appointed to prepare and present Kuwait’s National Report on Human Rights as part of the Universal Periodic Review to the UN Human Rights Council, the League of Arab States Charter on Human Rights Report, and the Civil and Political Rights’ Report. He is a trainer of IHL for the ICRC and has supervised a number of national parliamentary and municipality elections.

Gallia Daor earned her LL.B. (magna cum laude) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Gallia clerked for Justice Esther Hayut of the Supreme Court of Israel and interned with the Trial Chambers of the International Criminal Court in the Hague. During her studies, Gallia was a member of the editorial board of the Faculty’s law review, and participated in several international programs dedicated to worldwide examination of human rights. Gallia has also served as research assistant, focusing mainly on criminal and constitutional law and LGBT rights.

Jessica Griffiths holds a B.A. in English and Spanish (with distinction) and an LL.B. from the University of Cape Town. Her interest in transitional justice first developed when she wrote her thesis on the inefficacy of criminal prosecutions of heads of state as the sole mechanism of transitional justice. She completed her articles of clerkship and was admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa, spending considerable time working in the pro bono department, focusing on human rights, access to justice, access to information, land claims and access to housing. From July 2013 to June 2014, she served as a law clerk to Justice Jafta of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Asta Hill holds an LLB (Honors) and Bachelor of International Studies from the University of Adelaide. For her LLB she was awarded a University Medal for outstanding academic merit. Whilst studying, Asta interned with a number of government and non-government organizations, and was a student editor of the law journal “Adelaide Law Review”. Upon graduating, she worked as a Professor’s research assistant and tutor at the University of Adelaide, and as secretary of South Australia’s Advocacy and Justice Unit. Thereafter, Asta served as an Associate to a Justice of the South Australian Supreme Court. Asta’s long held interest in transitional justice intensified during her internships with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague and the Legal Resources Centre (Constitutional Litigation Unit) in Johannesburg, where she learnt about contrasting approaches to redressing human rights abuses.

Harry Hobbs holds a B.A. and an LL.B. (Honors) from the Australian National University, Australia. He is admitted to practice in New South Wales and has worked as the Legal Research Officer at the High Court of Australia, a Legal and Policy Adviser at the Australian Capital Territory Human Rights Commission and a Sessional Tutor in Public International Law and Australian Constitutional Law. He has interned at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), been published in domestic and international law journals, and has lectured undergraduate Genocide Studies classes in Australia.

Jorge Martinez Paoletti holds a Law and Political Science degree from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Highest GPA Award in 2005 class) and an LL.M. from American University Washington College of Law (Highest GPA Award and Outstanding Graduate Award in 2008 class). His professional experience includes civil and commercial litigation, international human rights litigation and humanitarian work on the field. Since January 2011, Jorge has worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a Field Delegate and Head of Office, leading field teams in the protection and assistance of victims of the ongoing Colombian armed conflict.

Hugh Pennicook holds a BA in Asian Studies and an LLB (Honors) from the Australian National University where he was awarded the Australian Capital Territory Human Rights Commission Prize for International Law of Human Rights. His interest in transitional justice grew during his time at the Australian Agency for International Development and Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade where he worked on a range of programs focusing on governance, peacebuilding and statebuilding in fragile and conflict affected states. Hugh’s honors thesis looked at the recognition of indigenous customary law in Australia and he is interested in examining the way in which traditional legal practices may be utilized to enhance the relevance, legitimacy and efficacy of transitional justice mechanisms for local populations.

Marcela Prieto Rudolphy graduated with honors from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile’s Law Faculty and was granted the prestigious Montenegro y Tocornal award for being the best student of her graduating class. During her university years, she also worked as an assistant teacher and researcher in Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law. In 2011, she worked at the Human Rights Office of the Chilean Legal Aid Agency, under the supervision of human rights advocate Nelson Caucoto. From 2012 to 2014, Marcela worked as a consultant lawyer for the Human Rights Program of the Chilean Ministry of Interior, as lead counsel in several transitional justice cases related to Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship. She also served as assistant counsel in the case regarding former President of Chile Eduardo Frei’s murder in 1981. Marcela’s academic interests comprise a variety of topics, including transitional justice, international human rights law and animal rights.

Menaka Tennekoon completed her legal studies at Sri Lanka Law College and was admitted to the Bar as an Attorney in Sri Lanka in 2003. After spending the first three years of her career in litigation and corporate law, she joined the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in 2006, as Legal Officer for the Sri Lanka office overseeing its tsunami operations. In 2009, Menaka relocated to Geneva/Kuala Lumpur where she served as the Regional Legal Officer for IFRC’s overall tsunami operations covering 14 counties. While in Kuala Lumpur, she was appointed Legal Officer for the Asia Pacific Region after which Menaka was relocated to IFRC Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland as Senior Legal Officer.

Esther Theyskens completed her LL.B. and LL.M. (magna cum laude) at Ghent University in Belgium. She has always been passionate about human rights, particularly transitional justice, and received a Fulbright scholarship to further pursue this interest at NYU. During her LL.M., she studied as an exchange student at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, where she gained firsthand experience working on ongoing, post-apartheid transitional justice issues. She volunteered in a township and completed a legal internship with People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP), an NGO devoted to the human rights of refugees in Cape Town. In Tanzania, she served as an intern with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.


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 ( 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.


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.


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