LL.M. Class of 2015
Srishti Agnihotri (India)
Ms. Agnihotri completed her law degree in 2012 at the Indian Law Society (ILS) Law College, in Pune, India. In the course of her education she volunteered with a State Human Rights Commission and non-governmental organizations, where she conducted research on domestic violence, juvenile justice, public interest litigation and crimes committed in the name of ‘honour’ in South Asia. She was also one of the founding members of the Gender Studies Cell in ILS Law College, a student initiative aimed at spreading awareness on gender issues. From June 2012 to March 2014, she worked as a Law Clerk and Legal Research Assistant for Justice H. L Gokhale in the Supreme Court of India. She recently completed a 3 year course conducted by the National Law School of India, Bangalore and the Ford Foundation on “Mainstreaming Human Rights Lawyering,” which aimed at developing 20 selected human rights lawyers into community leaders, in addition to buttressing their legal skills.
Lorena Bazay Dulanto (Peru)
Ms. Bazay obtained her law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), representing her school at the Jean Pictet international humanitarian law competition in 2013. After graduation, she worked at PUCP’s Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (IDEHPUCP) where her research focused on various international law topics, including the crime of aggression, multinational corporations and human rights, and the right to water. She was also a Teaching Assistant for several public international law courses at the PUCP faculty of law. She has been involved in human rights projects focused on training civil society actors on human rights and improving human rights education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was also an Outreach Intern for the Americas, Asia and the Pacific at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court in New York City. Ms. Bazay is a 2014-15 Rita Bahr Scholar.
Achille Bledoua (Ivory Coast)
Mr. Bledoua obtained a postgraduate degree in Private Law at Catholic University of West Africa (Abidjan). During and since the Ivorian post-election crisis of 2010, he worked on behalf of the internally displaced persons of Abobo (Abidjan). His interest in post-conflict law issues led him to devote two years of voluntary work with the Ivorian League of Human Rights (LIDHO), an observatory organization which regularly publishes on the situation of human rights. Since July 2012, he has worked as a legal adviser managing the cases of crisis-related victims. In addition, he is a law lecturer in the Ivory Academy Group (GIA) and the Ivorian Training Center of Accountancy (CIFEC). Mr. Bledoua is the recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious 2014-2015 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Augustine Hti San (Burma/Myanmar)
Augustine Hti San graduated from the Yangon University of Distance Education in 2006, majoring in Law. He attended Mekong Legal Advocacy Institute training with EarthRights International (ERI) and has obtained diplomas in both International Law and International Relations. He completed the Human Rights Programme in 2011 at the International Summer School at the University of Oslo. He served as Programme Officer for Norwegian People’s Aid in Myanmar from 2008 until 2014, when he joined ERI as Operations Manager for ERI Myanmar Office. At ERI he developed and led ERI Myanmar program activities including external relationships with international and local organizations, CBOs and relevant authorities, organized trainings for public interest lawyers and managed the Myanmar office under the direction of Myanmar Program Director. Because of his interest in land rights, Mr. San is a member of the Myanmar land rights network Land Core Group.
Arnold Kwesiga (Uganda)
Mr. Kwesiga obtained his Bachelor of Laws Degree from Makerere University School of Law in 2013. He also holds a Diploma in Law from the Law Development Center, Kampala (2008). Mr. Kwesiga has worked with the Refugee Law Project since 2010, during which time his passion for forced migration and gender and the law issues originated. His interest in transitional justice has greatly informed his work with male victims of sexual violence. Mr. Kwesiga is a member of the Makerere University Public Interest Law Clinic, through which he continues to engage on matters of social justice especially for underprivileged communities. Mr. Kwesiga has also previously carried out legal research for the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law.
Michelle Langlois (Canada)
Ms. Langlois received her LL.B. from the University of Québec in Montréal (UQAM), where she coordinated the International Clinic for the Defense of Human Rights (CIDDHU). During her studies, Ms. Langlois co-wrote and supervised the drafting of shadow reports on Cambodia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Apart from participating in various conferences in the fields of human rights and clinical legal education, Ms. Langlois has volunteered with the Extrajudicial Killings unit of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and the University of Phayao in Thailand for the opening of their legal clinic. Ms. Langlois also holds a B.A. in International Relations and International Law and a certificate in Asian Studies. She is a member of the Québec Bar.
Messina Manirakiza (Burundi)
Ms. Manirakiza earned her LL.B. with distinction from National University of Rwanda in 2009 and her LL.M. in International Economic and Business Law from University of Groningen, where she was an Eric Bleumink Fund fellow during the academic year 2013-2014. Her previous professional experience includes working as an intern for the American Bar Association in Burundi in the Former Child Soldiers Reintegration program. Between 2009 and 2011, she worked at the Catholic National Justice and Peace Commission (Burundi), an organization which belongs to the Burundian National Catholic’s Bishop Conference. During this time, she was project manager of the national program of sensitization against sexual and gender based violence and of the regional program entitled “Reducing Gender Based Violence in the Great Lakes Region.” She has also worked as a legal advisor at law firms in Rwanda and Burundi in 2012 and 2013.
Kasiva Mulli (Kenya)
Ms. Mulli earned her law degree from Moi University, Kenya in 2006 and a diploma in law from the Kenya School of Law in 2008. She is a transitional justice practitioner working in areas of constitutional reform, victim’s rights and gender justice. She previously worked for the Foundation for Women’s Rights in Kenya, where she researched on women’s issues related to Kenya’s constitutional reform agenda. In 2011, she joined the International Centre for Policy and Conflict, under the Kenya Transitional Justice Network, where she implemented a transitional justice program. Before joining the L.L.M. program, Ms. Mulli was the Team Leader for the gender justice department at the Justice and Reconciliation Project in Gulu, Northern Uganda where she focused on empowering women survivors of the war in Northern Uganda and facilitating their participation in the justice and reconciliation processes.
Blessing Nyamaropa (Zimbabwe)
Mr. Nyamaropa earned his law degree from the University of Zimbabwe in 2005. Following graduation, he worked at a leading law firm where he developed a strong interest in human rights work by defending human rights defenders arrested for doing their legitimate work. In 2009, Mr. Nyamaropa joined Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, a local NGO whose aims and objectives are to protect and defend human rights through a sustainable program of strategic litigation, education, and the strengthening of participation and collaboration by key stakeholders to influence a culture of tolerance and democracy in Zimbabwe. In 2012, Mr. Nyamaropa was awarded the overall human rights defender of the year award by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, a local human rights organization, in recognition of his work of defending the marginalized in Zimbabwe. He is currently involved in human rights training, public interest litigation, lobbying and advocacy, and defending human rights defenders.
Lisepa Paeniu (Tuvalu)
Ms. Paeniu received her LL.B. from the University of the South Pacific in 2013. In her four years of tertiary studies she debated as the School of Governance, Development and International Affairs team leader and competed in University of Waikato Pan Pacific Moot Competition. She also presented a research paper at the Law and Culture Conference at the University of Auckland. In 2013, Ms. Paeniu attended the UNESCO Youth Forum as Tuvalu's delegate and in 2014 she attended the UNESCO Experts on Sustainable Development meeting as the Small Island State's youth representative. She is currently a State Counsel in the Republic of Nauru with a focus on prosecution and legal drafting and has a strong interest in advocating for issues that affect youth and Pacific Island nations. Ms. Paeniu is the recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious 2014-2015 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Fabiana Nunez del Prado Nieto (Peru)
Ms. Núñez del Prado obtained her law degree summa cum laude from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) in 2012. Since 2006, she has worked at criminal law firms in Peru and at the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights of the PUCP, participating in diverse projects related to international law, human rights, democracy and governance in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, the Civil Transparency Association, the European Union, the International Organization for Migration, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Oxford University. She was a representative of her university at the Jean Pictet International Humanitarian Law Competition and interned in the Legal Advisory Section of the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court.
Ryan Jeremiah D. Quan (Philippines)
Mr. Quan obtained his law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law (ALS) in 2008. He completed his undergraduate degrees (Development Studies and Legal Management) at De La Salle University – Manila (DLSU). In 2009, he joined the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), a university-based NGO. His work in the AHRC is focused on research, training, and law and policy reform on human rights and issues of women, children, indigenous peoples, and the environment. For five years, he directed AHRC’s Internship Program, which exposed law students to human rights lawyering and advocacy. He has published works on paralegal education, environmental issues and human trafficking. In 2012, he was part of a team that submitted a shadow report for the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and attended the review in Geneva. Mr. Quan is a faculty member of the ALS and DLSU.
Maria Florencia Reggiardo (Argentina)
Ms. Reggiardo obtained her law degree from the University of Buenos Aires in 2011, specializing in Public International Law. Over the last three years, she interned and worked for the Centre for Legal and Social Studies (CELS), a prominent human rights NGO working to strengthen the democratic system in Argentina. At CELS, she worked for the social protest program, assisted with cases before the Inter-American System and interned in the legal clinic. In 2012, she began to volunteer as a lawyer in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, representing vulnerable citizens and informing them of their legal rights. In 2013, she completed a Professional Visit at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica where she worked on matters related to the rights to a fair trial, judicial protection and the right to be presumed innocent.
Yuri Saldarriaga Gonzalez (Colombia)
Ms. Yuri Saldarriaga received her law degree in 2010 from the Surcolombiana University in Neiva, Colombia. She has worked as an intern and volunteer in national and international human rights organizations such as the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) in Washington D.C. During 2011, she worked as a legal advisor on enforced disappearance issues at the Ombudsman’s Office of Colombia. From 2012 to 2014, Ms. Saldarriaga worked for the Colombian Government in the Ministry of the Interior, where she collaborated in the design of public policies on human rights and in the implementation of cautionary and provisional measures of the Inter-American System. In 2013, she was awarded a scholarship from the Åbo Akademi University (Finland). Ms. Saldarriaga is the recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious 2014-2015 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Fabian Sánchez Matus (Mexico)
Mr. Sánchez earned his law degree from the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM) in 2005 and a certificate in human rights and democracy from the University of Chile in 2007. For eight years, he served as a lawyer and Executive Director of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, one of Mexico’s premier human rights NGOs. In 2009 he founded “i(dh)eas”, an NGO focused on strategic human rights litigation, serving as Executive Director until March 2013. Mr. Sánchez received a Humphrey Fellowship from the U.S. Department of State and was hosted by American University Washington College of Law from August 2013 to June 2014. He is a frequent presenter, panelist and lecturer at conferences, workshops and seminars on human rights in México and abroad. Mr. Sánchez is a 2014-15 Rita Bahr Scholar.
Xiao Xiao (China)
Ms. Xiao earned her LL.B. degree (with honors) in 2013 from Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE), China and is concurrently pursuing an LL.M. specializing in criminal procedure law at China University of Political Science and Law. She volunteered at the SWUFE Legal Aid Center for three years and has served as a group leader providing pro bono assistance to ethnic minorities in Sichuan, China. She also interned at the Criminal Tribunal of Supreme People's Court of China, where she assisted in reviewing death sentences. Her primary interest is the human rights situation within the criminal justice system in China. Her article "Procedural Justice in High Profile Criminal Cases" about the human rights of mentally vulnerable adult and juvenile detainees was published by Guanghua Law Review.
Aida Ziganshina (Russia)
Ms. Ziganshina obtained her law degrees from Kazan Federal University (Russia) and Groningen University (Netherlands), graduating with honors. She has taken part in various law moot courts, including Jessup, ICC, Jean Pictet, L. Brown, and F. Martens, as well as Model UN and OIC conferences. She worked for one year as a junior lawyer with a law firm, focusing on litigation in investment law. Her main spheres of research are international humanitarian law and human rights in armed conflict. She participated in the program of International Committee of the Red Cross on spreading knowledge of international humanitarian law in Russia. Ms. Ziganshina is an alumna of the Future Leaders Exchange (Flex), Erasmus Mundus Aurora, and Oxford Russia Fund programs, and is a recipient of the Russian Federation President’s Best Student Award. She promoted sharia studies and Islamic banking at her university, and has published numerous papers on Islamic law in armed conflict. Ms. Ziganshina is the recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious 2014-2015 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.