Diane Desierto

Diane Desierto

Professor of Law and Global Affairs
Faculty Director, LL.M. in International Human Rights Law

Office: 2161 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574-631-8544
Email: ddesiert@nd.edu
Staff Assistant: Beth Smith
CV: View

Diane A. Desierto joined the Law School in January 2021 as Professor of Law and LL.M. Faculty Director, with a joint appointment at the Keough School of Global Affairs. Desierto teaches, publishes, and practices in the areas of international law and human rights, international economic law and development, international arbitration, maritime security, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Law, and comparative public law. At Notre Dame, Desierto is a Faculty Fellow at the Klau Institute for Civil Human Rights, Kellogg Institute of International Studies, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, Pulte Institute for Global Development, and Nanovic Institute of European Studies. She is also Co-Principal Investigator of the Notre Dame Reparations Design and Compliance Lab.

Desierto is a Member and former Chair-Rapporteur of the Expert Group of the United Nations Working Group on the Right to Development, Resource Expert for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), former Director of Studies and Faculty of the Hague Academy of International Law, President of the Friends of the Hague Academy Foundation, and the Philippines Focal Point for the International Criminal Court Bar Association. She is active as international counsel at matters successfully litigated at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Philippine Supreme Court and Southeast Asian agencies, and was appointed by the Philippine Supreme Court as Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the Philippines Judicial Academy. Desierto is a Member of the Editorial Boards of the European Journal of International Law (and Editor of its leading international law blog EJIL:Talk!), Journal of World Investment and Trade, and the Global Community Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence, and the Kluwer Law monograph series on Human Society and International Law, and also serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of international journals such as International Law Studies, the Revista Chilena de Derecho, and the Indonesian Journal of International and Comparative Law. Desierto previously taught as tenure-track/tenured law faculty at the University of the Philippines, Peking University School of Transnational Law in China, and the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law. She is a recipient of faculty fellowships awarded by Stanford University's Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) and the Stanford Center for Human Rights and International Justice, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, the Humboldt-Potsdam-Berlin Senior Fellowship, the East-West Center in Honolulu, the Grotius Fellowship at University of Michigan Law School, and the National University of Singapore's Asian Law Institute Fellowship. Desierto has served Visiting Professor appointments at the University of Paris-Nanterre X Faculty of Law, University of the Philippines College of Law Graduate Program at Bonifacio Global City, the University of Navarre Faculty of Law in Spain, and Universidad Panamericana Faculty of Law in Mexico City. 

Desierto holds JSD and LLM degrees from Yale Law School, as well as JD cum laude class salutatorian and BSc Economics summa cum laude class valedictorian degrees from the University of the Philippines, and was a former Yale Law clerk at the International Court of Justice for H.E. Judges Bruno Simma and Bernardo Sepulveda-Amor. She authored and/or edited several books, such as Necessity and National Emergency Clauses: Sovereignty in Modern Treaty Interpretation (Martinus Nijhoff, 2012, recipient of the Ambrose Gherini Prize in International Law at Yale Law), Public Policy in International Economic Law: The ICESCR in Trade, Investment and Finance (Oxford University Press, 2015), ASEAN Law and Regional Integration: Governance and the Rule of Law in Southeast Asia's Single Market (with D. Cohen, Routledge, 2020), The International Legal System: Cases and Materials (8th Edition, with M.E. O'Connell, N. Roht-Arriaza, and D. Bradlow, 2022), as well as, to date, around 180 law review articles, book chapters, essays, and book reviews with leading international law journals and publishers in the United States, Europe, and Asia. She is a member of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration Academic Council, the UNCITRAL Academic Forum on Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform, the 2019 Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration Drafting Team, Co-Chair of the Oxford Investment Claims Summer Academy, and has been recognized repeatedly by Who's Who Legal as one of the Future Leaders in Arbitration. The 2020 ND Women Lead featured Desierto here.

Courses Taught

International Law
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
Human Rights Reparations
Human Rights, Sustainability, and the Global Commons
Directed Readings in International Arbitration, Investment Law, Racial Discrimination, Gender Discrimination, Climate Change


The World Bank Inspection Panel's 'Reparative' Spectrum: Case Studies and Data Trends on Reparation Design, 59 Texas International Law Journal 1 (2023, forthcoming).
The Right to Development as a New Foundation for International Economic Law, 31 Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law (2023), pp. 1-17.
Codifying the Right to Development in International Law, Chapter 3 in C. Focarelli (ed.), Human Society and International Law: Reflections on the Present and Future of International Law (Kluwer Law, 2023).
Economic Development Policy: Poverty Alleviation for Public Health Advancement, Chapter 11, pp. 283-307 in L. Gostin and B. Mason-Meier (eds.), Global Health Law and Policy: Ensuring Justice for a Healthier World (OUP, 2023, co-authored with E. Patterson).
Introduction: International Law and Inequalities, 33 European Journal of International Law 2 (2022, co-authored with A. van Aaken, I. Feichtner, J. Klabbers, D. Lustig, S. Nouwen, J.H. Weiler).
Treaties in the Philippine Constitutional System, 16 Vienna Journal of International Constitutional Law 1 (2022), pp. 27-134.

A Rights-Based Framework for Water Governance in a 21st Century World: Managing the Crisis of Water Security, 100-page law and policy analysis/desk study, co-authored with Marc Muller, Ellis Adams, Ray Offenheiser, Georges Enderle et al. (grant-funded by BHP).

Mary Ellen O'Connell, Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Daniel Bradlow, and Diane A. Desierto, The International Legal System: Cases and Materials (Foundation Press, 8th Edition, 2022).
Environmental Protection in Investor-State Arbitration: From Defenses to Counterclaims, pp. 325-349 in E. Sobenes, S. Mead, B. Samson (eds.), The Environment through the Lens of International Courts and Tribunals (Springer, 2022).

Diane A. Desierto and Ilaria Schnyder von Wartensee, The Right to Development, Integral Human Development, and Integral Ecology in the Amazon SynodThe International Journal of Human Rights (January 2021).

Diane A. Desierto, "The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Southeast Asia's Regional Security", Chapter 52 in Robin Geiss and Nils Melzer (eds.), Oxford Handbook of the International Law of Global Security (OUP, 2021).

Diane A. Desierto, The Complexities of Democracy, Development, and Human Rights in China's Belt and Road Initiative35 Connecticut Journal of International Law 3 (Spring 2019-2020), pp. 301-362.

Diane A. Desierto, China's Maritime Law Enforcement Activities in the South China Sea96 International Law Studies 257 (2020).

Diane A. Desierto, Shifting Sands in the International Economic System: Arbitrage in International Economic Law and Human Rights49 Georgetown Journal of International Law 3 (2018), pp. 1019-1116.

Diane A. Desierto, "Due Diligence and World Bank Project Financing", Chapter 20, in A. Peters, H. Krieger, L. Kreuzer (eds.), Due Diligence in the International Legal Order (Oxford University Press, December 2020).

Diane A. Desierto and Frederic Sourgens, "Investment Law and Decarbonization", Chapter 6 in T. Oyewunmi, P. Crossley, K. Talus, F. Sourgens (eds.), Decarbonisation and Energy Law (Hart Publishing, 2020).