Current Students

The LL.M. in International Human Rights Law Class of 2023 is a stellar cohort of human rights jurists, private lawyers, state counsels, and human rights early-career researchers and professors from all over the world — Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Each member of the class represents exemplary diversity in legal training, religious and political beliefs, gender, economic circumstances, languages, ethnicity, and representation of human rights issues.

Every student in the current LL.M. class received a prestigious fellowship award. In addition to our own program awards to our students, the University of Notre Dame Office of the Provost (which awards the Riley Fellowships), the Klau Institute for Civil and Human Rights (which administers the Rita Cari Bahr Fellowships), the Fulbright Scholarship Program, and the South African Constitutional Court enabled all of the students in our program to enroll tuition-free for the 2022-23 academic year.

Meet our Class of 2023:

Farah Abdullah

Farah Khaleel Abdullah (Bahrain)

Farah Khaleel Abdullah is an early-career Bahrainian lawyer, with a Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) from the University of Bahrain (UOB), Bahrain in early 2019, ranking Excellent with First Class Honors following the completion of her graduation research paper titled “The Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court”. Immediately following her graduation, she worked in the field of tax consultancy and compliance at KPMG Bahrain, having on-hands experience with the initial implementation of Value Added Tax in Bahrain and the Gulf region. Farah also interned as a lawyer in a domestic law firm dealing mainly with commercial contracts and labor cases. She currently holds the position of Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Bahrain. During the course of her academic studies, she participated in the Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot and the Arabic Moot Court Competition for Criminal International Law. As an undergraduate student, she was a member of the Student Committee Affiliated with the Quality Assurance Office in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Farah is an active women’s crisis advocate volunteering with Shamsaha (formerly known as Women's Crisis Care International or WCCI) in her home country, providing 24/7 telephone and in-person support for victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Farah is a Fulbright Bahrain Scholarship recipient, and was also awarded a partial scholarship by Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Rushaan Booysen

Rushaan Booysen (South Africa)

Rushaan Booysen is a former Law Clerk to Justice Zukisa Tshiqi at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and Law Researcher at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture and Corruption, working with the present Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Rushaan is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, currently undertaking her pupillage at the Bisho Bar in East London, South Africa, and in the process of converting her admission from an attorney to an Advocate. She completed her Bachelor of Laws from the Nelson Mandela School of Law at the University of Fort Hare. While completing her LLB she participated in a Commonwealth Moot Court Competition on International Criminal Justice which consisted of two stages i.e., written phase and oral phase, following the written phase, she was elected to represent South Africa in the oral stage which took place in London, United Kingdom. After graduation, Rushaan commenced her article of clerkship at Squire, Smith & Laurie Inc where she assisted an array of clients including members from marginalized sections of society by assisting them in domestic violence disputes and family law matters, before joining Consolidated Employers Organisation as a Dispute Resolution Official dealing mainly with Labour Law, and subsequently, PSG Trust (Pty) Ltd as a Fiduciary Consultant where her main duties included drafting wills, estate administration and estate planning.

Rushaan is a recipient of the Constitutional Court of South Africa’s Franklin Thomas Fellowship, and was also awarded a partial scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Monserrat Camara Santos

Monserrat Jacqueline Cámara Santos (Mexico)

Monserrat Jacqueline Cámara Santos is an early-career Mexican human rights lawyer working as Vice-Principal at the Technical Secretary against Torture and Other Cruel and Inhuman Treatment in the Federal Public Defender’s Office of Mexico, where collaborated and led the design and implementation of national and international legal strategies to defend human rights survivors of torture, ensure the adequate investigation of torture and ill-treatment cases, the recognition of the legitimate interest of the Technical Secretary in the Amparo Trial, the creation of special investigation bodies of torture in multiple states of Mexico, and the operation of the National Registry on Torture. She earned her law degree from Universidad Marista de Merida in 2019, ranking first in her class, and garnered awards and recognition in national and international human rights moot competitions for excellence in oral and written advocacy. Monserrat worked as legal researcher for Professors Javier Dondé Matute and Jorge Carlos Peniche Baqueiro, collaborating on the draft of books, articles and courses about International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law, and Transitional Justice for the National Commission of Human Rights, universities and government in Mexico. She co-founded the initiative Actions for the Dignity, which seeks to promote the human rights of victims of gross human rights violations and gender violence in Mexico.

Monserrat was awarded a full scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.


Portia Ozioma Chigbu (Nigeria)

Portia Ozioma Chigbu is a Lecturer (teaching Children and Women’s Rights, Medical Jurisprudence, Evidence and Procedure, Family Law, Constitutional Law) at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), legal researcher, and an active Nigerian human rights lawyer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in law from University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), where she served as Chairman of the Judicial Council for the Law Students Association (LAWSA) and Director of Social Activities for Catholic Law Students Association (CALSAN), also volunteering actively for Uzommiri Study Centre. Portia cultivated her human rights work as a volunteer in Doctors’ Health Initiative and Lagos Food Bank where she participated in medical outreach and humanitarian assistance activities to IDP Camps and slum areas. Portia has also written and presented research on the protection of socioeconomic rights for women and girls, as well as third generation rights, including her recent work advocating for the adoption of human rights-based approaches as a solution to combating the rising cases of substance abuse among the Nigerian youth sector. Portia also serves as a Research Consultant for the Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL) to investigate harmful practices affecting women and girls in Nigeria, a volunteer for the Enugu State Panel of Judicial Inquiry set up as an aftermath of the ‘ENDSARS’ protest, facilitator for follow-up trainings for women changemakers titled ‘50/50 Action Women Groups’ in different states. She was also selected as a Youth Researcher for UNESCO where she and 7 other Nigerian youths represented the country and researched on the impact of COVID-19 on youths’ education in Nigeria. She also served as Rapporteur in the follow-up ‘Youth As Researcher’ (YAR) conference. At present, Portia is also working with the Legal Defense and Assistance Project (LEDAP) as a field researcher in assessing the extent of application of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in Enugu.

Portia was awarded a full scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Rose Higgins

Elizabeth Rose Higgins (Ireland)

Elizabeth Rose Higgins is an early-career Irish human rights lawyer, holding a Bachelor of Civil Law Degree with a minor in politics from University College Dublin. During the course of her studies, she received many academic honors, including a University Entrance Scholarship (2017), Choral Scholarship (2017-2021), the Brian Farrell Medal (2018), the Heinrich Schütz Medal (2020), and the Bank of Ireland Bronze Medal (2020). In 2021 she graduated top of her class and received both the Peter Mair and Tom Garvin Awards from the School of Politics and International Relations. A passionate advocate for human rights and a keen volunteer, Rose has worked with such organizations as The HOPE Foundation, Kairos Community Trust, the Irish Red Cross, the European Solidarity Corps, Fáilte Refugees, the Abolish Direct Provision Campaign, Solèy Haiti, and the Special Olympics. Upon graduation, Rose took up a position with the Irish Refugee Council, supporting the organization’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Her role involved supporting emergency applications for Join Family visas by Irish residents, liaising with government authorities to facilitate extractions, and providing integration and resettlement supports to newly arrived refugees. Rose’s research interests include international humanitarian law, refugee law, migration, development, and structural injustice. During her undergraduate studies she completed a dissertation in the field of political theory examining the human rights obligations of individuals in the context of structural injustice. The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs awarded Rose the Iveagh Fellowship in 2021, which she will take up after completion of her LLM in International Human Rights Law at Notre Dame Law School.

Rose was awarded a Fulbright Ireland Scholarship, the George Moore Scholarship from The Ireland Funds’ George Moore Scholars Program, and also awarded partial scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Caren Kalafatich

Caren Kalafatich (Argentina)

Caren Kalafatich is an Argentinean law professor at the National University of La Plata, and an active human rights lawyer at Usuarios y Consumidores Unidos specializing in class actions for human rights violations, where she successfully litigated historic class action cases with landmark human rights social impacts, such as; 1) as obtaining injunctive relief and reimbursement for 9 million Argentineans impacted by Argentine private banks’ illegal deductions on payments of Emergency Family Income (EFI) during the COVID-19 pandemic; 2) obtaining an injunction for 600,000 families in Santa Fe province against illegal gas rate increases that severely affected low and moderate family incomes; 3) litigating mass damages to over 3000 Argentine infants and children due to violations of their right to health from commercial distribution of certain sunscreen products; among many others. She first served as Assistant Professor on Civil Procedure at the National University of La Plata, later becoming that University’s Head of Practical Works of Civil Procedure in 2021. As an exceptional student at Universidad Nacional del Litoral (her first law degree) and Universidad Nacional de la Plata (master of laws) in Argentina, Caren won the Argentine Association of Procedural Law’s paper competition with her work (“Procedural Protection for Vulnerable People”),graduated with outstanding marks in her procedural and remedial law courses., and presented her work at the Binational Conference of Procedural Law in Brazil. She was a scholarship recipient at the Justice Studies Center of the Americas’ Inter-American Training Program on Civil Justice Reform, a lecturer on public interest law and class actions at their Regional NGOs’ Network for Justice Democratization, and awarded the best proposal on Reforms for Procedural Law in Latin America with her research on access to justice for families affected by overindebtedness. Caren continues to publish her research and practices strategic human rights litigation in these areas.

Caren was awarded the Fulbright Argentina Scholarship, the DKG International Educators Foundation Fellowship, and a partial scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LLM Program.

Cecilia Kibada

Cecilia Kibada (Tanzania)

Cecilia Kibada is a Tanzanian human rights lawyer with over six years of experience in promoting and protecting women’s rights in private practice, international judicial clerkships, and in civil society advocacy. Cecilia holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law School of Tanzania and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from St. Augustine University of Tanzania. Following the injustice and undignified treatment towards her mother after the death of her father and other widows, she found her calling and decided to become a lawyer to defend the rights of others through an organization she founded-Kibada Widows’ Voice. This organization provides legal aid for widows in Tanzania. In addition to being the founder of Kibada Widows’ Voice, Cecilia also served legal internships at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. She received recognition for her outstanding contribution to promoting women’s rights in Tanzania as a recipient of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in 2019.

Cecilia was awarded a full scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Carlos Martinez Roca

Carlos Martínez Roca (Guatemala)

Carlos Martínez Roca is a Guatemalan human rights lawyer and advocate for mass atrocity victims in Guatemala. He holds a Bachelor of Legal and Social Sciences degree cum laude from Rafael Landívar University, in Guatemala, where he was also President of the University’s Law Students Association and represented the University in international moot court competitions and activities in Washington DC, Honduras, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. Since then, Carlos has also served as Assistant Professor at the same University, teaching Constitutional Law, International Human Rights Law, and International Humanitarian Law. Carlos works in the areas of transitional justice, international criminal law, integral reparations, economic social and cultural rights litigation, business and human rights, and human rights in international investment arbitration proceedings. He recently worked on the national reparations program and precautionary measures for evicted and displaced indigenous communities in El Petén, the northern part of Guatemala. As Head of the International Department at Bufete de Juridico Derechos Hermanos (BDH), one of Guatemala’s leading human rights organizations, Carlos represented and handled matters before international tribunals and participated in international proceedings, such as at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, UN treaty bodies and committees, and Special Rapporteurs. He was one of the legal counsels in the Guatemalan genocide prosecution involving General Rios Montt; the CREOMPAZ case, the largest case of forced disappearances in Latin America; and also represented local communities impacted by foreign investment in an investment arbitration case brought by foreign investors against Guatemala at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Carlos is a 2022 summer recipient of the Global Exchange Fellowship from the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, and was awarded a full scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Faisal Yamil Meneses

Faisal Yamil Meneses (Venezuela)

Faisal Yamil Meneses is a Venezuelan human rights lawyer and Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, with specific practice and research interests in human rights in transitional justice and refugee law. He earned his law degree summa cum laude from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas in 2020. While in law school, he chaired the student body, headed the university’s delegation at the Latin American Model United Nations, and participated in more than three moot court competitions in Venezuela, Switzerland and the US as oralist and coach. Faisal has also participated in a Human Rights Implementation program at the University of Lucerne in Switzerland during summer of 2017. Thereafter, he started his internships at Consultores Jurídicos: Ayala, Dillon, Fernández y Chavero, where he became an Associate after his graduation. At the law firm he litigated cases before the Human Rights Systems alongside the former president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Professor Carlos Ayala Corao, defended persecuted Venezuelan political leaders, and represented victims from other countries such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Suriname. Apart from human rights litigation at the Inter-American system, Faisal worked as National Coordinator for vulnerable groups and individuals of the Presidential Commission for Human Rights of the Interim Government of Venezuela, and Advisor and Researcher for leading human rights non-governmental organizations, Centro de Justicia y Paz (CEPAZ) and the Transitional Justice Exchange Group of Venezuela.

Faisal was awarded a full scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Jonathan Pabillore

Jonathan Pabillore (Philippines)

Jonathan Pabillore is an Associate Solicitor at the Office of the Solicitor General of the Republic of the Philippines, where he works on international humanitarian law, human rights and antiterrorism issues, family law, and criminal litigation. He previously worked as a Court Attorney (equivalent to a Law Clerk) for the Philippines’ Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City (southern Philippines), chambers of Justice Atal-Paño, as well as previously working as Consultant for the Philippines Constitutional Commission on Human Rights, providing legal assistance to then Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana and drafting legal opinions on human rights and law reform issues. Jonathan has also worked as an advocate at ImagineLaw, a non-governmental organization in the Philippines focused on public health, and drafted policy guidelines and recommendations for food manufacturers, state regulators, and legislators. Jonathan earned his Juris Doctor from the University of the Philippines, where he was a finalist for the 2013 National Moot Court Competition for International Humanitarian Law, and was part of the first Philippine team to the 2014 Price Monroe Moot Court Competition on Freedom of Expression at the University of Oxford.

Jonathan was awarded a full scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Pavithra Rajendran

Pavithra Rajendran (Sri Lanka)

Pavithra Rajendran is a Lecturer attached to the Department of Public and International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. She graduated with a Second Class Upper Division in her Bachelor of Laws degree at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka which is the only faculty of law in Sri Lanka. She also holds an LL.M degree from her alma mater, focusing on Criminal Justice, Gender Justice, and Women’s Rights Law, and Constitutional Law. In her dissertation, she proposed a rights-based approach to the criminal law of Sri Lanka (“Cumulative Provocation as a mitigatory defense in criminal liabilities: A model for Sri Lanka”). Pavithra is also a member of the executive researchers at the Centre for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP), Sri Lanka, a leading environmental law research institute affiliated with the University of Colombo, while also serving as an Academic Coordinator at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR), where she had begun her career as a researcher. Pavithra has published and presented several research papers in national and regional forums. One of her works titled, “The Law Relating to the Protection of a Witness in Sri Lanka: A Comparative Study with India and England” ranked within the top 15 regional texts, in the book named, “Global thoughts and opinions on the criminal law vis a vis criminal justice system” (ISBN No: 978-81-941524-5-3, The Law Learners, India.) Pavithra collaborates with different national, regional, and international organizations such as Centre for Equality and Justice (CEJ), Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), National Peace Council (NPC), Helvetas Sri Lanka, Forum for Rural Income and Environmental Development Service (FRIENDS), and International Youth Alliance for Peace, now widening her research areas to span criminal law, gender justice, minority rights, environmental law, international humanitarian law, transitional justice, victimology, law and religion, trafficking in persons, and human rights law.

Pavithra received the Fulbright Sri Lanka Scholarship, and was also awarded a partial scholarship by Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Ewa Rejman

Ewa Rejman (Poland)

Ewa Rejman is a Polish human rights lawyer who previously worked at the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, focusing on work at the Second, Third, and Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission for Social Development, and the Commission on Population and Development. She received her master’s degree from the University of Wrocław (Poland) in 2021 with her thesis concerning the relationship between freedom of conscience and “new human rights.” During her studies, she spent a semester abroad at the University of Bologna (Italy). In the past she served as a Chapter Coordinator for the World Youth Alliance in Poland and worked as a journalist for the Polish edition of Aleteia website publishing more than 200 articles in total. In addition to that she worked as an intern at the Institute of Justice in Poland and later as a legal analyst at the Higher Academy of Justice System. She is particularly interested in pursuing law and bioethics, religious freedom, and children’s rights.

Ewa was awarded a full scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Ana Rivero

Ana Clara Rivero (Argentina)

Ana Clara Rivero is an Argentinean human rights lawyer, who obtained her law degree from University of Buenos Aires in 2017, with an orientation in Criminal Law and International Public Law. While in law school, Ana participated in the International Moot Court Competition before the International Criminal Court, as well as the Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Competition. In 2018, she started working as a law clerk at the Justice System of Argentina. Today, she works at the Superior Court of Justice of the City of Buenos Aires, focusing on the review of the constitutionality of criminal cases handled by lower courts. She is also a junior lecturer and a researcher at University of Buenos Aires and at Police Academy of the City of Buenos Aires.

Ana is a Fulbright Argentina Scholarship recipient from the 2022-2023 Fulbright Student Program, and awarded a partial scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.

Josemaría Rodríguez Conca

Josemaría Rodríguez Conca (Chile)

Josemaría Rodríguez Conca is a Chilean human rights lawyer, formerly from the Chilean Undersecretariat of Human Rights and serving thereafter as the Head of the Department of Human Rights Protection Systems at the Chilean Ministry of Justice of the Government of Chile. Prior to this appointment, he worked at the Chilean Ministry of International Relations in the Directorate of International Economics Relations. Josemaria received bachelor’s degree in law from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 2012, a Postgraduate Diploma in International Studies from the same University, and also holds a Master of Science in International Relations degree from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. Josemaria first worked at the Human Rights Office of the Corporación de Asistencia Judicial Metropolitana and was sworn in as a lawyer, by the Supreme Court of Chile, in 2013. Later, in his positions within the Chilean government, Josemaria participated in litigation representing the State of Chile at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as well as supervising Chile’s submission of various periodic reports to the United Nations Human Rights treaty bodies. Josemaria has also served as teaching assistant in the course Fundamentals Protection of Human Rights at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Josemaria was awarded a tuition and partial living stipend scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program, and is a recipient of the Rita Cari Bahr Fellowship.

Yin Yin Win

Yin Yin Win (Myanmar)

Yin Yin Win was Professor and Head of the Department of Law at Taunggyi University, Myanmar (Burma) in 2016, and thereafter full Professor at the University of Yangon in 2021, focusing her teaching and research on environmental law, human rights law, and intellectual property law in Myanmar, until the Myanmar military junta ordered the mass arrests of academics during the military’s violent February 2021 coup that seized control after Aung Saan Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won the Myanmar general elections. Yin Yin previously served in 2012 as Head of the Department of Law at Myitkyina University, Myanmar (Burma) and Associate Professor at the Department of Law at the University of Yangon, and was an Executive Council Member of the Asian Society of International Law in 2019. Yin Yin holds a Phd (2009) from the University of Yangon in Myanmar, a Master of Laws (2006) degree from Niigata University in Japan, and her Bachelor of Laws (1995) and Master of Laws (2000) also from the University of Yangon. Yin Yin has published extensively in Myanmar, including textbooks in international law and international institutions, and spearheaded improvements to environmental law teaching in Myanmar. Prior to the Myanmar military junta’s violent overthrow of the democratically elected government in 2021, Yin Yin also provided legal advice for the legal drafting committee of local governments in Kachin State and Shan State, Myanmar (Burma). After fleeing arrest and persecution in Myanmar as a refugee and crossing the border to Thailand, Yin Yin served as a Visiting Scholar at Brooklyn Law School in the United States from August 2021 to July 2022.

Yin Yin was awarded a full scholarship under Notre Dame Law School’s Human Rights LL.M. Program.