- Head of Department, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo (2018-2021).
- Member of the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR, 2019-2022).
Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (2016-2022).
Academic background and work experience
I hold a bachelor’s degree in law (LL.B, 2000, cum laude) from Tirana University School of Law, Albania, and a Master’s degree (LL.M, 2002, honorary mention) and a PhD degree (2008) in International Law from Utrecht University School of Law, the Netherlands. My PhD research, carried out at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (Utrecht University) from September 2003 to September 2007, focused on the contribution of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to interpreting and developing rules and principles of international human rights and humanitarian law.
In my career I have combined effectively academic work and the practice of international law. During the last 17 years I have done research, have published and have taught in the areas of international human rights, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and public international law at different universities in the Netherlands, Albania, China, the US, and Norway. In the period 2015-2018, I led the Master program on the Theory and Practice of Human Rights at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights.
My practice of international law includes working for the Defence at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for eight years (2004-2012) in two cases, namely Prosecutor v. Limaj et al and Prosecutor v. Haradinaj et al. From May 2008 to December 2012 I also acted as pro bono co-counsel before the ICTY for post-conviction matters on behalf of Mr Haradin Bala.
Throughout 2009 I acted as legal adviser and coordinator of the Albanian legal team in the Kosovo Declaration of Independence case before the ICJ.
I am a member of the Albanian Bar Association since 2006. With the help of US legal counsel, Professor Terry Gill and I have submitted amicus curiae briefs in the Hamdan case tried before US courts, namely the United States Court of Military Commission Review and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
I have advised a couple of States and NGOs on international law issues.
Main research interests and potential PhD supervision
I have co-supervised two PhD candidates at the University of Oslo, one of whom has successfully completed her PhD program. I'm open to discuss research proposals and eventually supervise PhD candidates at the University of Oslo, or as external PhD supervisor. Some selected topics I'm interested in include the role of international courts and tribunals in developing international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law; the protection of community interests in international law; operationalization of the responsibility to protect doctrine; transitional justice, especially in the Balkans.
Commissions of trust
- Head of the Faculty-nominated PhD assessment commissions at the University of Oslo for two PhD candidates (Yong Zhou and Sigrid Redse Johansen).
- External reviewer for the National Science Foundation (2018).
- External reviewer for the European Research Council (2019).
Teaching and supervision
I have taught courses and have supervised over 50 Master students in writing their Master theses at the Universities of Utrecht, Amsterdam, and Oslo. Currently, I am responsible for the following three courses at the UiO:
- JUR1730/JUS5730: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict);
- HUMR5132: Human Rights Law in Context;
- JUS5912: Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy in International Law.
I've been lecturing regularly in the following seven courses:
- JUS5540: Public International Law; HUMR5191: Human Rights Methodology: Research, Analysis and Thesis; JUS5134: The Right to Peace; JUS5570: International Criminal Law; JUS5503: Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism; HUMR 5502: Dealing with Diversity: Human Rights Approaches to Ethnic Conflict; ISSJF4711: Human Rights (UiO International Summer School).
Coaching of moot court teams
I have coached the first student teams of the University of Oslo participating in the ELSA Human Rights Moot Court, the Jean Pictet Competition and the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition. Over the years, I have coached or co-coached students for various moot court competitions, including Jessup, Telders, Jean Pictet, Frits Kalshoven, ELSA Human Rights Moot Court, and the ICC Moot Court. The 2015 UiO Telders team got 4th place out of 24 participating teams; the 2015 UiO team participating in the ELSA Human Rights Moot Court got 6th place out of the 16 finalist teams from all over Europe.
Academic reviewing and membership in editorial boards
I have served as external academic reviewer for Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Intersentia. Also, I have reviewed scholarly work for the SOAS Research Student Society’s Journal, the Human Rights and International Legal Discourse Journal, the Utrecht Law Review, the World Trade Review, International Journal of Law in Context, Leiden Journal of International Law, Nordic Journal of Human Rights, the Oslo Law Review, Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, and Ethics and International Affairs.
- Editor-in-chief (with Peris Jones, and subsequently with Johan Karlsson Schaffer) for the Nordic Journal of Human Rights, since 2018.
- Member of the Board of Advisors to the Editorial Board of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, (TMC Asser Institute, The Hague), since 2012.
- Member of the Editorial Board of the Utrecht Law Review (2005 – 2010).
Visits and stays abroad
In the period September-December 2010, I was a visiting scholar at the Peking University Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (PKU Center). During that period I taught a course on International Criminal Law at the PKU Center and also gave a number of guest lectures at other universities in China. Also I had the honor to serve as a judge in the national international humanitarian law competition organized by the ICRC, the Chinese Red Cross, and Renmin University (Beijing). In May 2014 I enjoyed a brief stay as visiting scholar at the Centre for Rights and Justice of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Awards and scholarships
- Second Prize for the 2008 Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award, awarded in December 2008, by Tilburg University and the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research for my PhD dissertation.
- Honorable mention for the G.J. Wiarda Prize 2008, awarded by the Utrecht University School of Law for an article on the International Court of Justice.
- UN Scholarship, International Law Seminar (7-25 July 2008).
- Partial Scholarship, Advanced Training Course in IHL for University Teachers (organized by the Geneva Academy and the ICRC, 23 to 28 August 2010).