Alex Conte – Director of International Law and Protection Programmes
Dr Alex Conte is supervising ICJ’s International Law and Protection Programmes. Dr Conte is a New Zealand-trained lawyer. He was a criminal law barrister for almost ten years, following which he entered academia as a professor of international law. Alex Conte has acted as a consultant to the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He has led and participated in the training of judges, diplomats, practitioners, trial observers and university undergraduate and postgraduate students and has been a key-note speaker at a number of conferences throughout the world. He holds undergraduate, masters and PhD degrees in law and was the 2004 New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Fellow.
Ilaria Vena – Associate Legal Adviser, Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
Ilaria Vena is Articling Lawyer at the Milan Bar, Italy. She studied law and specialized in international law and human rights at the universities of Milan, Barcelona, and Geneva. Ilaria has been working for ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and the Global Security and Rule of Law Programme since 2010. Before joining the ICJ, Ilaria worked as a consultant for a consultancy firm specialized on civil and professional responsibility and as a legal intern for a law firm in Milan.
Laurens studied law, with a focus on EU external relations and human rights, and history, specializing in modern European history, at Maastricht University (the Netherlands), Universiteit Gent (Belgium) and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany). Before joining ICJ staff in July 2012, Laurens worked as a legal intern in the CIJL and as an intern in the European Parliament’s Human Rights Unit in Brussels.
Sandra Ratjen – Senior Legal Adviser, Economic, Social & Cultural Rights
Sandra Ratjen studied law and political sciences at the universities of Grenoble, France and Heidelberg, Germany. Before joining the ICJ, she worked for more than 10 years for FIAN International, an international NGO specialized on the right to adequate food, first as programme officer and later as the Advocacy and International Policies Coordinator.
Carlos Lopez – Senior Legal Adviser, Business and Human Rights
Carlos Lopez joined the ICJ in January 2008 to lead the programme on Business and Human Rights. Carlos worked at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for six years in various capacities and posts, including the Rule of Law and Democracy, Economic and social rights and the right to development. Before, he worked for the ICJ (1998-1999), the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva (2000) and for several international human rights organizations as well as national human rights NGOs in his country, Peru. He holds a PhD and Masters in public international law (Graduate Institute of International Studies-Geneva University) and a Diploma on sociology studies. He obtained his law degree at the Catholic University of Peru.
Allison Jernow – Senior Legal Adviser, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Alli Jernow is an American-trained lawyer. Prior to joining the ICJ, she spent seven years as a federal prosecutor specializing in civil rights crimes. She then worked as a consultant for a number of international organizations, including the International Labour Organization and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. She has written and taught extensively on issues of criminal justice and human rights, hate crimes, victims’ rights, human trafficking and police abuse. She holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a law degree from New York University, where she was a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholar and graduated summa cum laude.
Leah Hoctor – Legal Adviser, Women’s Human Rights
Leah Hoctor joined the ICJ in January 2006 to support the work of the ICJ Expert Legal Panel on Corporate Complicity in International Crimes, coordinating the Panel process and drafting one volume of the Panel’s report. In June 2007 she took on new responsibilities working in support of the ICJ Secretary-General. In early 2009 she developed the new ICJ programme of work on women’s human rights. Before joining the ICJ Leah worked with the Human Rights Unit of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. She studied law at University College Dublin, Ireland, and international human rights law at the University of Lund, Sweden.