Transitional Justice Leadership Program

The Transitional Justice Leadership Program, developed in consultation with prominent figures in the transitional justice field, provides an opportunity for LLMs to engage with CHRGJ’s Transitional Justice Program through coursework, scholarship, and internships. The Transitional Justice Program is led by NYU School of Law Senior Fellow Pablo de Greiff, who concurrently serves as the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence. It 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.

Coursework

Each year a group of incoming LLM students is selected to take part in the leadership program. As Transitional Justice Scholars, they are guaranteed enrollment in a one- to two-semester seminar on transitional justice that comprises the classroom component of the program. On years when the course is only one semester, CHRGJ organizes for the program a series of public seminars featuring leading voices in the field and arranges opportunities for Transitional Justice Scholars to meet with the experts to discuss ideas, writings, and career advice.

“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

Scholarship

Because CHRGJ views scholarship as vital to preparing students for careers in transitional justice, Transitional Justice Scholars are expected to develop original works of legal scholarship to submit to the annual International Law and Human Rights Emerging Scholarship Conference, a forum that provides students with the unique opportunity to receive detailed feedback from experts and peers in order to prepare work of publishable quality. CHRGJ faculty and staff are available to offer guidance with these projects.

Internships & Research Opportunities

Transitional Justice Scholars also receive guidance in obtaining academic-year internships and research opportunities with human rights organizations, such as the International Center for Transitional Justice and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice itself, as part of its companion Human Rights Student Scholars program. As scholars look to their time after law school, CHRGJ can also offer advice on internships in a variety of transitional justice institutions, such as truth commissions, courts, reparations programs, and local human rights organizations in countries throughout the world. Funding from NYU to pursue these opportunities is available through competitive application to the International Law and Human Rights Student Fellowship Program.

2017-2018 Transitional Justice Scholars
Tutku Bektas
Transitional Justice Scholar
Michaela Bolton
Transitional Justice Scholar
Paola Molano
Transitional Justice Scholar
Kaitlin Owens
Transitional Justice Scholar
Duru Yavan
Transitional Justice Scholar
Past Transitional Justice Scholars
2016-2017

 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.

2015-2016
2014-2015

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.

2013-2014

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.

2012-2013

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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