Human Rights LL.M. Alumni
Class of 2019
Laura Ante Hurtado (Colombia)
Laura Ante Hurtado obtained her law degree from the Universidad Libre in Cali, Colombia, where she received an award for academic excellence in the Law Faculty. Since graduation, she has been working for the Judicial Branch of Colombia, specifically in the Criminal Jurisdiction. Her interest is to deepen her knowledge to advocate for new judicial practices in Colombia, and to be more reflective about how administering justice can be a process that brings about social justice, reconciliation, and the rebuilding of society in a post-conflict situation.
Gastón Federico Blasi (Argentina)
Gastón Federico Blasi obtained his law degree from the University of Buenos Aires in 2004. He received a scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in European law from the Facoltà di Giurisprudenza, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre during in 2005. He also received a scholarship from the European Commission to obtain a Master of Arts in Bioethics from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Radboud Universiteit Nigmejen (The Netherlands) and Università di Padova (Italy) in 2008. He worked as a legal intern at the International Criminal Court and taught constitutional law and human rights law courses in both Argentina and Italy. Since 2013, Mr. Blasi has worked as Chief Assistant for the Criminal Public Defender’s Office of Buenos Aires.
Ligia María del Valle Vega (Guatemala)
Ligia María del Valle Vega obtained her law degree cum laude from the Rafael Landivar University in 2011, where she received the Loyola Award (the highest honor that the University gives to a student) and the Mention of Excellence Landivariana (recognition of academic excellence and outstanding student in the law school). She became involved in human rights in 2010, when she joined a team that represented victims before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She also worked as an environmental law consultant in the USAID Justice and Security Program in Guatemala. Since 2015, she has been a Legal Officer at the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). Ms. del Valle is a 2018-2019 Rita Bahr Scholar.
Alimata Diarra (Mali)
Alimata Diarra studied law at the University of Law in Mali and studied fundamental human rights at the University of Nantes (France). She has over 10 years of experience working in the law and human rights field, most recently serving as a Human Rights Officer with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Prior to joining the United Nations, she served as jurist in a Malian law firm, and as a Senior Child Protection Officer at the NGO Islamic Relief Worldwide – Mali. Ms. Diarra has extensive experience in monitoring, investigation, and documentation of human rights violation and abuses in post-conflict settings. In particular, she assisted women and girls who were victims of rape, forced marriage, and sexual slavery during the conflict in northern Mali. She is an alumna of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). She is a 2018-2019 Riley Fellow.
Iuliia Emtseva (Kyrgyzstan)
Iuliia Emtseva obtained her law degree at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Bishkek in 2015, specializing in international and business law. During her studies, she was an intern at different national courts, including the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic. After graduation, Ms. Emtseva worked as a teaching and research assistant at the law faculty of her alma mater while also working as a monitor for a project of the American Bar Association. She received a scholarship to complete the Regional Master’s Program on Human Rights and Democratization in the Caucasus, spending one semester in Yerevan, Armenia and a second semester in Kyiv, Ukraine. During her Master’s studies, she served as a trainee at the National Committee of the Red Cross in Kyiv. Since November 2017, Ms. Emtseva has managed the educational programs for Russian entrepreneurs at OPORA RUSSIA, a Russian NGO.
Luwie Ganeshathasan (Sri Lanka)
Luwie Ganeshathasan, LL.B. (University of Colombo) is an Attorney at Law and works as a Researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Sri Lanka. Since January 2012, he has supported public interest litigation on issues of constitutional law, administrative law, and human rights law, filed and handled by CPA. He has contributed to CPA’s efforts to raise awareness on issues relating to constitutional reform, electoral system reform, and legal reform by co-authoring several research papers, policy briefs and advocacy documents and by conducting training workshops for civil society activists across Sri Lanka. Since January 2013, Mr. Ganeshathasan has also worked as a Junior Counsel in the Chambers of Geoffrey Alagaratnam, President's Counsel, working mainly on issues relating to labour law.
Brother Nirmal Francis Gomes, C.S.C. (Bangladesh)
Nirmal Francis Gomes is a religious brother in the Congregation of Holy Cross. He completed his B.A. at Notre Dame College, Bangladesh, obtained his LL.B. from Southern University, Chittagong, Bangladesh in 2007 and earned membership in the Bangladesh Bar association in 2012. He also completed his Masters of Education at the University of Dhaka in 2003 and has been teaching and administering schools and colleges for 21 years. Before coming to Notre Dame, he served as the Acting Principal of St. Philip’s High School and College for seven years and advocated for the educational rights and human dignity of the indigenous people of the Catholic Diocese of Dinajpur. Bro. Nirmal was convener and member of the Justice and Peace Commission of the St. Joseph Province of Bangladesh for six years, while also serving as a member of the congregational (national) Justice and Peace Commission. He continues to serve as a member of the Justice and Peace Commission for the entire worldwide Congregation of Holy Cross. Through his work, Bro. Nirmal participated in the congregation's international convention in Rome in 2014 and in the Justice Craft workshops at St. Mary’s College in Indiana in 2015.
Ray-Yun Hong (Taiwan)
Ray-Yun Hong earned both her law degree and her LL.M. from the National Taiwan University in 2012 and 2018, respectively. Her academic focus has been on the legal history of East Asia, especially Taiwan’s democratic development. With her passions for feminism, she also went to Hokkaido University as a one-year exchange student to explore gender-related issues in Japan. After the “2014 Sunflower Movement” in Taiwan, Ms. Hong participated in the NGO Civil Movement for Constitutional Reform and assisted with a series of public events, including managing grassroots forums for civilians and serving as a grassroots leader in the national constitutional promotions forum.
Elizabeth Jiménez Mora (Costa Rica)
Elizabeth Jiménez Mora earned her law degree from Universidad de Costa Rica in 2017. She participated and coached in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition, as well as the ICC Moot Court Competition. She worked at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as a legal assistant from 2014 until 2018, and was researcher for Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito from 2013 until 2018. During that time, she worked on cases dealing with gender equality, non-discrimination, deprivation of liberty, protection for vulnerable populations, labor rights and others human rights issues. In 2016, Ms. Mora was a legal assistant to Víctor Rodríguez, the former member of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations. She was president of the Costa Rican Association of International Law from 2017 to 2018.
Tonny Raymond Kirabira (Uganda)
Tonny Raymond Kirabira obtained his LL.B. degree in Law with Honors at Uganda Christian University, in 2012. He was admitted to the Ugandan bar upon acquiring a diploma in legal practice from Law Development Centre in 2014. In 2017, he was a recipient of the prestigious VLIR-UOS scholarship under the Sustainable Development and Human Rights Law post-graduate program at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. Currently, Mr. Kirabira’s work focuses on the promotion and defense of freedom of expression, digital media, intellectual property, and media rights. He regularly pens newspaper articles on social and topical issues. He is also a member of the Uganda Law Society and East Africa Law Society.
Anisa Metalla (Albania)
Anisa Metalla received her law degree from the University of Tirana in 2009, where she also received her Master’s degree in Civil Law. She started her career working for the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Albania. After taking the Bar Exam, she began working as a lawyer for Tirana Legal Aid Society, where she has been practicing human rights litigation and managing many projects on legal aid and access to justice, rule of law, and human rights issues. She has been a senior lawyer for many years and her latest cases are currently under review by the European Court of Human Rights. Ms. Metalla is the recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious 2018-2019 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Mary Pergola Parent (United States)
Mary Pergola Parent earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Theatre from the University of Notre Dame. She worked for years in the Television News and Film Industries. Intrigued by documentaries and news stories of injustice, she pursued a law degree and earned her J.D., magna cum laude from Ave Maria School of Law. Currently, Mary teaches Law and Film: Images of Justice in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. She explores the competing concepts of justice in movies, documentaries and newscasts. Her work explores jurisprudential themes, and the fictional portrayal of civil rights, human dignity, and murder. She spotlights the various perspectives of what is considered crime and punishment in different societies and cultures around the world.
Martina Rapido Ragozzino (Italy)
Martina Rapido Ragozzino received her law degree summa cum laude at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in 2015. During law school, she participated in international Moot Court competitions and interned at the Public Interest Legal Clinic. As an undergraduate, she was a researcher for the human rights area of the think-tank Asuntos del Sur and assistant for the Ecuadorian vice chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of Child. After graduation, she became junior associate at the Rosero & Alban law firm, working on cases related to constitutional, criminal, and human rights law. Ms. Rapido also worked as project coordinator for her alma mater developing projects with international organizations for the defense, promotion, and investigation of human rights matters, while also directing the Freedom of Expression Investigation Group. Ms. Rapido is a 2018-2019 Rita Bahr Scholar.
José Saldaña (Peru)
José Saldaña obtained his law degree (2012) and a Master in Political Science (2014) from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP. Since then, he has worked as a law professor and researcher in human rights concerning natural resources and indigenous peoples. Mr. Saldaña leads an interdisciplinary research team on criminalization of Peruvian land defenders in several regions, for which he won a two-year grant. Some of his recent articles published in peer-reviewed journals include “The Violence of Law though the Criminalization of Protests against the Conga Mining Project” (2016) and “Criminalizing Discourses on Indigenous Otherness during the Baguazo” (2018). In addition, he has advised the National Congress of Peru in legal matters as well as the Constitutional Tribunal. Mr. Saldaña has also worked in the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance – IDEA. Mr. Saldaña is a 2018-2019 Rita Bahr Scholar.
Ruslan Sharipov (Russia)
Ruslan Sharipov obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from Kazan Federal University (Russia), graduating with honors. His academic interests include international humanitarian law and human rights law. During his studies, he took part in various law moot court competitions, including the Jessup, Jean Pictet, ICC in the Hague, ICC in Nuremberg, ECHR, and F. Martens competitions. He assisted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to spread knowledge of international humanitarian law among students in Russia. For the last two years, he has worked as an assistant attorney, focusing on criminal law litigation. Mr. Shraripov is a scholar of the Sverker Åström Foundation (Stockholm, Sweden) and the Oxford Russia Fund programs, as well as a recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious 2018-2019 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Nataliia Voitseshyna (Ukraine)
Nataliia Voitseshyna obtained her law degree from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. While in law school, she participated in multiple moot court competitions and completed a fellowship at the Kyiv office of the Solidarity Center. Later she presided over the Moot Court Society of the Law Faculty. In 2016, Nataliia interned with the British law firm Global Rights Compliance, working on their war crimes strategy in Ukraine. Thereafter, she held a consultancy position at the Prosecutor’s Office for Crimea in Ukraine. Most recently, Ms. Voitseshyna was a lawyer at the NGO Regional Center for Human Rights, where she handled cases on human rights violations in the occupied Crimea before the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations human rights system. She is a 2018-2019 Riley Fellow.
Lady Nancy Zuluaga Jaramillo (Colombia)
Ms. Zuluaga obtained her LL.B. from the University of Medellin in 2010, from which she also holds a diploma in Administrative Law. After graduating, she worked for the University of Medellin as a lecturer on human rights and humanitarian law, and as a study group coordinator on human rights violations in Colombia. From 2014 to 2016 she worked as a staff attorney at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), where she litigated cases before the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS), mainly related to human rights violations in Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica. In 2018, she became a researcher for the Seminar on Transnational Enterprises and Gross Human Violations at the University of Buenos Aires. Ms. Zuluaga is also a Ph.D. student at the University of Buenos Aires, where her thesis focuses on human rights violations and toxic industries. She is a 2018-2019 Riley Fellow.