ILC Fellowship

One of the Law School’s long-standing international programs funds five to seven positions each summer with the UN International Law Commission (ILC).

International Law Commission, 2012–2016.

With support from the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice through the International Law and Human Rights Student Fellowship Program, the Institute for International Law and Justice operates a globally-unique summer internship program with members of the UN International Law Commission (ILC) in Geneva. The ILC shapes major projects of international law reform — for example, it produced the first draft of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that was ultimately adopted at the Rome Conference — but the ILC operates almost entirely outside the purview of the major NGOs and of transnational civil society in general. While just down the corridor of the Palais des Nations, hundreds of NGOs and scholars may be attending the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, the ILC proceeds in serene isolation. This internship program, the only ILC program of wide-scope operated by any university, has three aims:

  • to extend the range of people who know the work and methods of the ILC beyond the small cadre of government representatives and specialist scholars, in order eventually (as the interns go on into their varied careers) to widen the sources of ideas that influence the ILC’s work, and to bring its work into a wider ambit of impact and accountability
  • to build the expertise of an unusually diverse group of students by immersion in this specialist world of international law, enabling them to learn how apparently arcane issues addressed there tie in with central questions of law and policy, and helping to increase the number of public-interest oriented lawyers who are strongly engaged in international law and able to contribute to its future
  • to produce thoughtful scholarly work on questions facing the ILC or on the implications of the ILC’s work for real-world problems.

2016 Fellows – front row: Kali Montecalvo (Class of 2018), Nealofar Panjshiri (Class of 2018), Maanya Tandon (LLM 2016) and Ying Xiu (Alison) See (LL.M. 2016); Back row: Varindarjit Singh (LL.M. 2016) and Nathan Bishop (Class of 2018).

In more than two decades since its inception in 1995, far over a hundred students have participated in the program. Each was placed in a one-on-one internship with individual members of the ILC who are among the world’s leading international lawyers. A 2-credit preparatory course in the Spring before the internship, taught by NYU Law faculty, ensures students understand each ILC topic and the current state of work.

Students have worked regularly with such prominent figures as James Crawford, now of the International Court of Justice (the rapporteur responsible for the ILC’s draft ICC Statute and for finalizing the ILC’s seminal Draft Articles on State Responsibility in 2001), John Dugard (an eminent South African anti-apartheid lawyer who as Rapporteur has introduced important human rights-related dimensions to the Diplomatic Protection draft), Nabil Elaraby (a prominent Egyptian lawyer-diplomat who is now a judge of the International Court of Justice), Alain Pellet (one of the leading lawyers in ICJ cases, responsible for the ILC’s work on reservations to treaties), Robert Rosenstock (longtime legal adviser in the US Mission to the UN in New York), Bruno Simma (who brought Germany’s ICJ case against the US challenging imposition of the death penalty on foreign nationals who had not been told of their Vienna Convention right to contact their consulate), Hanqin Xue (the Legal Adviser in the Chinese Foreign Ministry, and one of the first women elected to the ILC in 2002), and Chusei Yamada (from Japan, arbitrator in the important Southern Bluefin Tuna case).

Students also worked with Paula Escarameia (one of the major players as Portugal’s representative in development of the International Criminal Court), Giorgio Gaja (rapporteur on the important topic of Responsibility of International Organizations), Martti Koskenniemi (a distinguished legal theoretician also engaged in practical work on fragmentation of international law an on international environmental issues), and Bill Mansfield (a very experienced diplomat and international environmental law expert.)

The opportunity to work closely with people of this stature has had a tremendous impact on many students’ choices of intellectual direction and issue areas, and in some cases has decided students on careers in international law. It has also taught the students a great deal about otherwise unperceived aspects of the law-making process, equipping them better to intervene in that process in the future. Many of the recent interns are still in Law School JD or JSD programs, almost all focused on international law and specific areas such as human rights, international criminal law, and environmental law.

Selected Comments from ILC Student Fellows

  • “I was interested in international law and this internship helped me to have a more realistic [view] of this kind of career. I am sure what I learned both in substance and how Commissioners work and interact with each other in the ILC [will] be useful in my future legal career.” Marzieh Tofighi Darian (LLM ’13)
  • “The ILC is a great opportunity to be involved with great international law professors, ambassadors, and ministers from all over. …and to mix of academic research with getting to know an aspect of the UN. Overall, I feel that I learned a great deal about the role of the ILC in the analysis of international law, and as a tool toward consensus on important and controversial issues in public international law.” Alexander Feldman (JD ’09)
  • “The internship at the ILC was a great way to learn about UN dynamics, to sharpen your research skills, and to practice critical thinking within the framework of international law. …This internship really solidified for me the desire to work in public international law. While the politics of the UN can be frustrating at times, the chance to observe great legal minds discussing and formulating international law was a sort of tangible affirmation of my interests. The work of the ILC really demonstrates the breadth of the debate necessary for the successful codification of international law — from seemingly irrelevant wording decisions, to scientific background and broad humanitarian and human rights implications.” Jennifer Wheeler (JD ’09)
  • “I would highly recommend this internship to students that are seriously interested in pursuing a career — either in practice or academically, in public international law. First, the fellowship provided a unique firsthand glimpse into multilateral negotiations over major questions of public international law by eminent scholars and diplomats. Second, the ILC’s study of discrete subjects of public international law facilitates an almost daily tutorial of major topics, which involve an overview of its treatment in the literature and the central issues of controversy, in addition to a mapping by the Commission as to how to handle such controversies.” Sharanjeet Parmar (LLM ’06)
  • “The internship at the ILC is highly recommended to who ever is interested in dedicating her career to public international law. I have made this choice prior to my experience in Geneva but this experience gave me a different perspective on the field of international law. The close interaction with great scholars in the field and experienced diplomats was different from the academic discussions I was used to. I learned about the special process of drafting: the delicate negotiations, at times held in a democratic fashion, at others in a stricter environment, have taught me an interesting lesson on the gravity of words in international documents. However, the commission not only provides a glance on the creation of black letter international law, but also an interesting lesson on the relations between law and politics.” Doreen Lustig (LLM ’06, JSD ’12)

Past Fellows

Nathan Bishop (JD class ’18) Shinya Murase (Japan)
Kali Montecalvo (JD class ’18) Hussein Hassouna (Egypt)
Nealofar Panjshiri (JD class ’18) Donald M. McRae (Canada)
Ying Xiu (Alison) See (LLM ’16) Mathias Forteau (France)
Varindarjit Singh (LLM ’16) Dire Tladi (South Africa)
Maanya Tandon (LLM ’16) Marie Jacobsson (Sweden)

Juergen Bering (LLM ’15) Georg Nolte (Germany)
Emily Buist-Catherwood (LLM ’15) Dire Tladi (South Africa)
Hendrik Denys (LLM ’15) Mathias Forteau (France)
Regina Hsu (JD class of 2017) Shinya Murase (Japan)
Andrew Larkin (JD class of 2017) Chris Peter (Tanzania)
Cristina Passoni (JD class of 2017) Marcelo Vázquez-Bermudez (Ecuador)
Daniel Peck (JD class of 2017) Mahmoud Hmoud (Jordan)
Kexin (Kitty) Zheng (JD class of 2017) Marie Jacobsson (Sweden)
Haley Anderson (LLM ’15) Pedro Comissário Afonso (Mozambique)

Umer Ali (JD ’16) Mathias Forteau (France)
Eric Brandon (JD ’16) Dire Tladi (South Africa)
Orfeas Chasapis-Tassinis (LLM ’14) Michael Wood (United Kingdom)
Megan Henry (JD ’16) Shinya Murase (Japan)
Matthias Lippold (LLM ’14) Georg Nolte (Germany)
Meredith Riley (JD ’16) Hussein Hassouna (Egypt)
Abby Zeith (LLM ’14) Marie Jacobsson (Sweden)

Aaron Kates Rose (JD ’15) Mahmoud Hmoud (Jordan)
Michael Lu (JD ’15) Shinya Murase (Japan)
Isha Mehmood (JD ’15) Kriangsak Kittichaisaree (Thailand)
Ian Murray (JD ’15) Mahmoud Hmoud (Jordan)
Anton Petrov (LLM ’13) Georg Nolte (Germany)
Chad Remus (JD ’15) Dire Tladi (South Africa)
Stephen Thompson (JD ’15) Eduardo Valencia-Ospina (Colombia)
Marzieh Tofighi Darian (LLM ’13) Marie Jacobsson (Sweden)

Sandrina Antohi (LLM ’12) Marie Jacobsson (Sweden)
Annemarie Hillman (JD ’14) Shinya Murase (Japan)
Julianne Marley (JD ’14) Georg Nolte (Germany)
Omri Sender (LLM ’12) Michael Wood (United Kingdom)
Madeline Snider (JD ’14) Eduardo Valencia-Ospina (Colombia)
Christel Tham (JD ’14) Georg Nolte (Germany)
Xiaozhu (Grace) Zhao (LLM ’12) Dire Tladi (South Africa)

Emma Dunlop (LLM ’11) Eduardo Valencia-Ospina (Colombia)
Maria Alejandra Etchegorry (LLM ’11) Alain Pellet (France)
Florencia Lebensohn (LLM ’11) Georg Nolte (Germany)
Trang (Mae) Nguyen (JD ’13) Donald M. McRae (Canada)
Bradley Nicholson (JD ’13) Christopher John Robert Dugard (South Africa)
Joseph Rome (JD ’12) Shinya Murase (Japan)
Carson Thomas (JD ’13) Marie Jacobsson (Sweden)

Carlos Arevalo (LLM ’10) Georg Nolte (Germany)
Matthew Gabbard (JD ’12) Paula Escarameia (Portugal) & Christopher John Robert Dugard (South Africa)
Joseph Jerome (JD ’11) Shinya Murase (Japan)
Sarah Koper (JD ’12) Marie Jacobsson (Sweden)
Veronica Lavista (LLM ’10) Donald M. McRae (Canada)
Shawn Sebastian (JD ’12) Eduardo Valencia-Ospina (Colombia)
Eran Sthoeger (LLM ’10) Michael Wood (United Kingdom)


Julian Arato, (JD ’11) Georg Nolte (Germany)
Davinia Abdul Aziz (LLM ’09) Marie Jacobsson (Sweden)
Fernando Lusa Bordin (LLM ‘09) Giorgio Gaja (Italy)
Benton Heath (JD’ 11) Eduardo Valencia-Ospina (Colombia)
Alexander Heckscher (JD ’11) Hanqin Xue (China)
Lea Newfarmer (JD ’11) Paula Escarameia (Portugal)
Rashmi Raman (LLM ‘09) Stephen Vasciannie (Jamaica)

Brian Abrams (JD ’10) Christopher John Robert Dugard (South Africa)
Caitlin Bell (JD ’10) Marie G. Jacobsson (Sweden)
Marco Benatar (LLM ’08) Alain Pellet (France)
Nadia Kalb (LLM ’08) Giorgio Gaja (Italy)
Joshua Kane (JD ’10) Donald M. McRae (Canada)
Chien-yu Liu (LLM ’08) Georg Nolte (Germany)
Yuan Zheng (LLM ’08) Paula Escarameia (Portugal)

Abra Bron (JD ’09) Donald M. McRae (Canada)
Naomi Burke (LLM ’07) Marie G. Jacobsson (Sweden)
Alexander Feldman: (JD ’09) Georg Nolte (Germany)
Céline Folsché (LLM ’07) Alain Pellet (France)
Luciana Ricart (LLM ’07) Christopher John Robert Dugard (South Africa)
Gerhard Thallinger (LLM ’07) Giorgio Gaja (Italy)
Jennifer Wheeler (JD ’09) Paula Escarameia (Portugal)

Amelie Baudot (JD ’08) William Mansfield (New Zealand)
Alexandra Khrebtukova (JD ’08) Martti Koskenniemi (Finland)
Doreen Lustig (LLM/JSD) John Dugard (South Africa)
Sharanjeet Parmar (LLM ‘06) Alain Pellet (France)
Quang Trinh (LLM ‘06) Giorgio Gaja (Italy)

Kevin Cunningham (JD ’07) Michael Matheson (USA)
Olivia Dixon (LLM ’05) Martti Koskenniemi (Finland)
David Fennelly (LLM ’05) Alain Pellet (France)
Tara Mikkilineni (JD ‘07) Bill Mansfield (New Zealand)
Chu Yun Juliana Nam (LLM ’05) Paula Escarameia (Portugal)
Alexandra Smithyman (LLM ’05) John Dugard (South Africa)
Antonios Tzanakopoulos (LLM ’05) Giorgio Gaja (Italy)

Emily Berkman (JD ’04) Bill Mansfield (New Zealand)
Monique Cofer (JD ’06) Paula Escarameia (Portugal)
Jenny Xiao Ling Huang (JD ’06) Hanqin Xue (China)
Joshua Parker (JD ’06) Michael Matheson (USA)
Peter Prows (JD ’05) Martti Koskenniemi (Finland)
Aleksandr Shapovalov (LLM ’04) John Dugard (South Africa)
Mark Toufayan (LLM ’04) Giorgio Gaja (Italy)

Yun Gu (LLM ’03) Hanqin Xue (China)
Rita Magnusen (JD ’05) Paula Escarameia (Portugal)
Cade Mosley (JD ’04, LLM ’05) Martti Koskenniemi (Finland)
Keil Mueller (JD ’05) Bill Mansfield (New Zealand)
Amanda Rawls (JD-PhD ’07) John Dugard (South Africa)
Ashika Singh (JD ’04) Giorgio Gaja (Italy)

Ben Grimes (JD ’03) Robert Rosenstock (USA)
Robert Dufresne (JD ’00, JSD ’01) Alain Pellet (France)
Gita Kothari (LLM ’02) Martti Koskenniemi (Finland)
Elina Kreditor (JD ’04) John Dugard (South Africa)
Hiroko Nakayama (JD (LLM ’02) Chusei Yamada (Japan)
Jared Wessel (JD ’04) Bruno Simma (Germany)
Demian West (JD ’04) Enrique Candioti (Argentina)
Inha Yoon (LLM ’02) Hanqin Xue (China)

Sergei Antonov (JD ’02) Bruno Simma (Germany)
Margo Kaplan (JD-MPP ’04) Robert Rosenstock (USA)
Lawrence Lee (JD ’03) John Dugard (South Africa)
Margaret Lewis (JD ’03) Bruno Simma (Germany)
Simon Olleson (LLM ’01) James Crawford (Australia)
Keiko Nakano (LLM ’01) Chusei Yamada (Japan)
Carrie Noteboom (JD ’03) Gerhard Hafner (Austria)

Sergei Antonov (JD ’02) Bruno Simma (Germany)
Eleanor Lumsden (JD ’02) Nabil Elaraby (Egypt)
Nathan Miller ( JD ’02) Robert Rosenstock (USA)
Priti Patel (JD ’02) John Dugard (South Africa)
Holly Pearson (JD ’02) Gerhard Hafner (Austria)
Jacqueline Peel (LLM ’00) James Crawford (Australia)
Michael Schoiswohl (LLM ’00) Alain Pellet (France)


Michele Ameri (JD ’00) Gerard Hafner (Austria)
Steve Bartels (JD ’00) Robert Rosenstock (USA)
Janet Carter ( JD ’01) Bruno Simma (Germany)
Yvan Desmet (LLM ’99) Nabil Elaraby (Egypt)
Tiffany McKinney ( JD ’01) John Dugard (South Africa)
Katherine Mogg (LLM ’99) Alain Pellet (France)
Sarah Pellet (LLM ’00) James Crawford (Australia)
Anna M. Pomykala (JD ’01) ILC Secretariat

Kristen Boon ( JD ’00) Roy Lee, UN Codification Department
Chad Breckinridge (JD ’00 ) Robert Rosenstock (USA)
Thomas Hilbink (JD ’99 ) James Crawford (Australia)
Jonathan Huston (PhD ’04) Gerard Hafner (Austria)
Anne Rubesame ( JD ’01) Bruno Simma (Germany)
Wiebke Ruckert ( LLM ’98 ) Alain Pellet (France)
Tanya Southerland (JD ’00) John Dugard (South Africa)

Seng Chee Ho (LLM ’98) John Dugard (South Africa)
Benoit Jacquemotte (JD ’99) Nabil Elaraby (Egypt) and Gerhard Hafner (Austria)
Lada Soljan (JD ’99) Bruno Simma (Germany)
Jordy Urstadt (JD ’99) James Crawford (Australia)
Jonathan Vessey (JD ’99) Robert Rosenstock (United States)

Elise Baudot (JD ’98) Andreas Jacovides (Cyprus) and Alberto Szekely (Mexico)
Sara Rakita ( JD ’98) James Crawford (Australia)

Scott Christensen (JD ’97) Andreas Jacovides (Cyprus)
Kristi Motley (JD ’99) Derek Bowett (UK) and James Crawford (Australia)