Senior Fellow, Melbourne Law School
Vasuki Nesiah is a legal scholar with a focus on public international law. Her main areas of research include the law and politics of international human rights and humanitarianism, with a particular focus on transitional justice. She has published widely on the history and politics of human rights, humanitarianism, international criminal law, international feminisms and colonial legal history. These continue to be areas of research and writing but the primary focus of her current research is reparations. A volume which she co-edited with Luis Eslava and Michael Fakhri, A Global History of Bandung and Critical Traditions in International Law will be published by Cambridge University Press later this year. This work reflects her continued interest in critical approaches to international law that find their intellectual and political home in the global south and in the grappling with decolonization.
She is one of the founding members of the Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) and has continued as an active participant in this global network of scholars for over two decades. Nesiah teaches human rights, law and social theory, and the politics of war and memory at NYU. She also continues as core faculty in Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP); In this capacity, she has taught for six years in the IGLP summer and winter workshops in Cambridge, Doha, Capetown, Madrid and Bangkok. Currently, she is also a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School where she taught a course on human rights, gender and development in a visiting capacity. Prior to joining Gallatin, Professor Nesiah taught in the International Relations and Gender Studies concentrations at Brown University where she also served as Director of International Affairs. Formerly, she taught at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
She serves on the international editorial committees of the journals Feminist Legal Studies and the London Review of International Law and on the International Advisory Board of the Institute of International Law and the Humanities at the University of Melbourne; she is also an Associate Fellow with the Asia Society in New York. Before entering the academy full time, Professor Nesiah spent over seven years in practice at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), where she worked on law and policy issues in the field of post-conflict human rights for over seven years. Originally from Sri Lanka, she earned her BA in Philosophy and Government at Cornell University, was a visiting student in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program at Oxford University, and earned her JD and SJD, an interdisciplinary doctorate in public international law, at Harvard Law School. She was awarded a fellowship for a post-doctoral program in human rights at Columbia Law School.