J.S.D. Alumni


Sonia Boulos (Israel)
Ms. Boulos joined the J.S.D. program in 2008. She is a Palestinian lawyer and citizen of Israel. She earned her LL.B. from Haifa University (2000) and her LLM. in International Human Rights Law, magna cum laude, from the Notre Dame Law School (2002). Prior to obtaining her LL.M., she completed her internship at Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. After graduating from Notre Dame, Sonia joined the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). As a staff attorney she worked on filing Supreme Court petitions, interfaced with governmental authorities, participated in parliamentary committee hearings, and prepared expert position papers on a range of issues. Thematically, Sonia’s work concentrated on the areas of equal rights for women, as well as advancing the right to free speech and political rights of the Palestinian minority in Israel, and promoting respect for international humanitarian law. In addition to her work at ACRI, Sonia served as a board member for KAYAN-Feminist Organizatiom, ILAM-Media Center for Palestinians in Israel and The Working Group for Equality in Personal Status Law.


Rose Nakayi (Uganda)
Ms. Nakayi joined the J.S.D. program in 2008. She earned an LL.M. from the University of Cambridge (U.K) and an LL.B. (JD equivalent) from Makerere University, Uganda (MUK). Since 2001 she has been a staff member at MUK’s Faculty of Law, Human Rights and Peace Center (HURIPEC). At MUK, she was involved in a range of activities including: teaching, research, outreach and monitoring various aspects of human rights and governance in Uganda. Ms. Nakayi was coordinator of the programme on Human Rights and Democratization in Africa at Makerere, and more recently, the Uganda Coalition for the International Criminal Court, at the Human Rights Network – Uganda (HURINET). She took part in the International Center for Transitional Justice fellowship program in Cape Town, where she developed a keen interest in Transitional Justice. She has consulted on indigenous peoples’ land rights and the human rights issues surrounding citizenship and identity struggles in Uganda, for the Forest Peoples’ Land rights in England and the East African Center for Constitutional Development, respectively. Her JSD research area is Transitional Justice and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, with a regional focus on Africa.


Mirakmal Niyazmatov (Uzbekistan)
Mr. Niyazmatov joined the J.S.D. program in 2008. He earned his Bachelor of Laws from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in 2004 (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) and his LL.M. from Notre Dame Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights in 2007. During his university studies, he extensively participated and coached several teams for various regional and international competitions on international law, including the Jessup Moot Court Competition and the Jean Pictet Competition on International Humanitarian Law. He interned at the International Committee of the Red Cross working on the ratification/implementation of the Rome Statute of the ICC and worked as a Human Rights Assistant at the United Nations Development Program in Uzbekistan. After obtaining his LL.M., he interned for six month at the Amnesty International UN Office in New York. Mirakmal’s main fields of interest/research lie in the areas of freedom of expression, treaty interpretation, implementation of international law norms, definition of torture, and the admissibility of evidence obtained by coercion.


Simon M. Weldehaimanot (Eritrea)
Mr. Weldehaimanot joined the J.S.D. program in 2009. He earned his LL.B. in 2003 from the University of Asmara. He then worked as a lawyer for a governmental department. In 2006, Simon obtained his LL.M. in human rights and democratization in Africa from the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.  After earning his LL.M., Simon worked for 18 months as a TMF Human Rights Fellow at the Center for Human Rights Studies at Columbia University. As a fellow, Simon worked for two human rights organizations, the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (in Banjul, the Gambia) and the International Center for Transitional Justice (New York office).  Before beginning work on his J.S.D., Simon also interned at the International Criminal Court. Simon’s areas of focus are the African human rights system and the legal framework of the African Union, international human rights law and international criminal law. Simon’s doctoral study focuses on devolution of power as related to the right to self-determination, accommodation of minorities, good governance and democracy with specific focus on his country, Eritrea.


Soledad Bertelsen (Chile/ Spain)
Ms. Bertelsen earned her LL.B. from the Universidad de los Andes (Santiago de Chile) in 2008 and her LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2011. Ms. Bertelsen has worked as an intern at the Human Rights Office (Judicial Service Commission, Government of Chile) and taught “Introduction to Human Rights” at the Universidad de los Andes Law School. She has also collaborated with CLADH (Centro Latinoamericano de Derechos Humanos), a Latin-American NGO. Her doctoral studies focus on the role of domestic jurisdictions in the interpretation of international human rights instruments, with special attention to the European and Inter-American systems.


Pablo Gonzalez Dominguez (Mexico)
Mr. Gonzalez earned his LL.B. from Universidad Panamericana in 2009 (Aguascalientes, Mexico), and his LL.M. with Certification in International Human Rights Law from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2011 (Washington, D.C.). While studying his first law degree Pablo studied a Specialization in Advanced Social, Economic and Political Studies by the Phoenix Institute in 2007 (Notre Dame, Indiana). In Notre Dame he has worked as Research Assistant at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in projects focused on comparative constitutional studies, international law, and human rights. During the last year and a half he was a Visiting Scholar at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (San José, Costa Rica), and at the Legal Research Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico). His doctoral studies focus on the implementation of international human rights norms and standards by municipal judiciaries, with a regional focus on Latin America.

andres lopez

Andres Lopez (Colombia)
Mr. López earned his LL.B from the Universidad del Rosario in 2009 (Bogotá, Colombia) and his LL.M. in International Legal Studies with certification in International Human Rights Law from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2013. After his first law degree Andrés studied a Specialization in Administrative Law in Colombia at the Universidad del Rosario, graduating in 2011. Mr. López worked in a boutique Law firm in Bogotá where he devoted himself to research and litigation in Colombian administrative and constitutional law. He also worked at the International Legal Affairs Office of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he collaborated in the treaty negotiation and ratification process, and taught “International Public Law” at the Universidad del Rosario Law School. His doctoral studies focus on the relationship between business and human rights as a mechanism of poverty reduction in developing countries.