Gayathree Devi Kalliyat Thazhathuveetil

I wish to explore how international law can act as a catalyst for improving human rights protection and enforcement in conflict-prone zones. My research specifically focuses on how international courts protect human rights in secessionist territories.

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 was conscious of a gap between the law and the actions of State and non-State actors.

In my MPhil thesis, I focus on how international courts have approached the question of protecting human rights in secessionist territories across the world, for such territories complicate adjudication by pitting State actors against non-State actors claiming a right to self-determination.

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 immensely grateful to Mr Hemant Sahai,  for offering me this opportunity to pursue this research and I am proud to be the HSA Advocates Scholar this year. I am also grateful to the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development for helping me 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.

Awards and Previous Qualifications:

BA, LLB (Hons), Gujarat National Law University (July 2018)

Bachelor of Civil Law, University of Oxford (July 2019)

Awarded Archibald Jackson Prize for securing a Distinction on the BCL

Awarded Winter Williams Prize in International Economic Law for best performance in the International Economic Law paper on the BCL.

Awarded Law Faculty Prize in International Law and Armed Conflict for best performance in the International Law and Armed Conflict paper on the BCL.

Ratanshaw Bomanji Zaiwalla Law Scholarship 2018

Winner and Best Speaker, Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot 2019

Winner and Best Speaker, Blackstone Human Rights Moot 2019


Academic Activities:

External Relations Manager, Oxford Transitional Justice Research (2018-19)

Internships & Research Officer, Oxford Pro Bono Publico (2018-19)

Treasurer, Oxford South Asian Society (2019)

Moderated a Panel Discussion on Careers in Legal Research and Academia in collaboration with Oxford Lawyers Without Borders (June 2019)

Completed Non-Credit Course on Police Use of Force Legislation and Jurisprudence (February 2019)

Attended Workshop on Accountability for Human Rights Violations in Migration Control organized by Department of International Development, University of Oxford (November 2018)