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.
Matt Pollard – Senior Legal Adviser, UN Representative, Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
Matt Pollard joined the ICJ in August 2013. He worked for the international secretariat of Amnesty International in London from 2007 until 2013, first as legal adviser on counter-terrorism and human rights, then as a senior legal adviser. From 2004 until 2007 he was legal adviser to the Association for the Prevention of Torture, in Geneva. He previously practiced as a barrister and solicitor in British Columbia, Canada. He also holds a PhD and an LLM in international human rights law from the University of Essex.
Livio Zilli – Senior Legal Adviser, UN Representative, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
Livio joined the ICJ in September 2013. Until mid-2013 he was the Acting Head of the refugee and migrant rights team at the international secretariat of Amnesty International in London. Livio was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2007, and is an honorary member of Garden Court Chambers in London where he practised as a barrister until 2010 focussing on asylum and immigration, criminal and public law. Before going to the bar, Livio worked at the international secretariat of Amnesty International where, since the mid-90s, he was employed in various capacities, including as researcher until 2007. Livio holds an L.L.M. in international human rights law from the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
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 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.