Andrew Carswell

Andrew is the founder of the International Rule of Law Initiative, a consultant on the law of armed conflict and a Fellow of the Unversity of Ottawa's Human Rights Research and Education Centre. He was employed by the International Committee of the Red Cross from 2006 to 2020, working in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the US and Russia as a delegate to national armed forces and, in some contexts, non-state armed groups. He was three times director of ICRC's senior-most annual course for national armed forces, SWIRMO. He also served as the ICRC's representative to Canada from 2015-18.

A lawyer, former military officer and prosecutor with deployed peacekeeping experience, Andrew's career has been dedicated to improving respect for the laws of war. This has involved translating international humanitarian law treaties and customary law into military tactics, techniques and procedures. It has also involved humanitarian diplomacy: engaging with parties to armed conflict regarding their conduct of hostilities with a view to protecting vulnerable populations. Now, he is working with member states to transform the working methodology of the UN regarding international peace and security—and to prevent war itself. He lectures widely on these subjects.



Rebecca Barber

Rebecca is a PhD scholar with the TC Beirne School of Law and the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, University of Queensland, Australia.  Her research focuses on the legal competence of the UN General Assembly in matters of international peace and security, particularly in conflict-related humanitarian crises. Prior to undertaking her PhD she had a career of more than 15 years with international humanitarian NGOs, managing human rights and legal assistance programs, as well as multi-sector humanitarian response programs, in a series of humanitarian crisis in South Asia (Afghanistan and Pakistan), Southeast Asia and Africa.  She has also worked as a humanitarian advocacy advisor with Oxfam and Save the Children, and lectured and developed units for the masters in humanitarian assistance program at Deakin University.  Her writing on international peace and security law, human rights and humanitarian action has been published in leading international law journals, books, foreign policy forums and mainstream media.  She is a member of the international humanitarian law advisory committee for the Australian Red Cross, is a certified lawyer, and has masters degrees in international development and international law.

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Michael Ramsden

Michael is a professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and a barrister door tenant at 25 Bedford Row, London. Michael has published extensively in the fields of comparative public law, international institutional law and the powers of the UN General Assembly in international security and international justice. His works on the General Assembly’s powers include ‘Uniting for Peace in the Age of International Justice’; ‘Uniting Against Impunity: The UN General Assembly as Catalyst for Action at the ICC’; ‘“Uniting for Peace” and Humanitarian Intervention:  The Authorising Function of the UN General Assembly’; and ‘Uniting for MH17’. His latest book, International Justice in the United Nations General Assembly, is forthcoming by Edward Elgar as part of the ACUNS Series on the UN System. Michael has held various consultancies and worked in the Appeals Division of the International Criminal Court and Nuon Chea’s defence team at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Michael also serves on the advisory board of the Universal Rights Group and has held visiting research positions at the University of Oxford and British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He has advanced degrees in international law and international relations from the University of Cambridge and University of California, Berkeley.


Dr. Walter Dorn

Walter is Professor of Defence Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) and the Canadian Forces College (CFC). He teaches officers of rank major to brigadier-general from Canada and about 20 other countries. He specializes in arms control, peace operations, just war theory, international criminal law, international verification, compliance and enforcement, and the United Nations.


As an "operational professor" he participates in field missions and assists international organizations. For instance, he was a UN Electoral Officer for the 1999 referendum in East Timor and a Visiting Professional with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2010. There he worked on case selection policy, evidence gathering technologies, and the concept of plausible deniability. He also served several times as a consultant with the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations, including on the Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping. In 2020, during a sabbatical, Dr. Dorn is again with the UN as a "Technology Innovation Expert" to explore technologies for testing, piloting and employing in UN peace operations. 

Dr. Dorn seeks to promote international peace and security through teaching, research and service, including field work.


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Taylor Bain

Taylor is a law student at the University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law. She is volunteering with IRLI Communications and State Positions Research.

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Claire-Marie Beyet

Claire-Marie holds a Masters Degree in Human Rights from Lille Catholic University and currently interns for a European agency. She is volunteering with IRLI Communications, State Positions Research, Legal Research, and Group Initiatives Research.

Sahara Douglas

Sahara is a law student at the University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law. In addition to being Volunteer Coordinator, Sahara is volunteering with IRLI State Positions Research, Legal Research, and Group Initiatives Research.

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Caitlin Hanak

Caitlin is a law student at the University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law. She is volunteering with IRLI conducting Legal Research. 

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Blake Van Santen

Blake is a graduate from Queen's Law and clerked at the Federal Court of Appeal. He is volunteering with IRLI Group Initiatives Research and Legal Research.