Gayathree Devi Kalliyat Thazhathuveetil

I graduated with first class honours from Gujarat National Law University, India in 2018. I wish to explore how international law can act as a catalyst for improving human rights protection and enforcement in conflict-prone zones.

In my undergraduate years, I set out on a path of academic endeavours in the realm of international law through international law moots and research assistantships. Having worked on themes such as jus cogens norms, immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction and State succession at the International Law Commission, I understood the potential of international law to protect human rights.

At the same time, I grew conscious of a gap between the law and State actions, and my work on the ongoing Uyghur conflict in China reinforced my concern that international law suffers from the vice of self-enforcement. I turned to the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) programme at the University of Oxford to suitably equip myself with the skill-set required to address this enforcement gap in international law.

It has been my dream to engage in scholarly research on improving access to justice for human rights abuse victims through international law. I am extremely grateful to Mr. Sarosh Zaiwalla and the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development for awarding me a scholarship to realize this dream. As a woman, I am also incredibly proud to join the cohort at Somerville College and inherit its empowering legacy of women leaders.