Maria Alejandra joined the JSD program at Cornell Law School in 2021. Maria is from Colombia and specializes in human rights and public international law. She obtained her LL.M with Distinction at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2020. She also holds an LLB and a BA in International Relations from Universidad del Norte (Colombia).
Before joining Cornell, Maria was an associate and practiced law at a law firm for three years. She held different research positions in which she conducted projects in human rights, transitional justice, peace, and post-conflict studies. Maria received the Young Researcher Fellowship from the Colombian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation in 2017. During this fellowship, she explored the role of the land restitution jurisdiction on the evolution of property rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Colombia. She is currently a member of a tight-knit foundation where she provides legal counsel to communities in northern rural Colombia.
Her current research explores the relationship between case law, human rights, and climate change. She seeks to unfold the hidden effects of climate litigation in the plight of climate change, especially how a human rights-based approach to climate litigation has reshaped climate NGOs’ behavior and their impact on the international arena.
Cornell Law School Graduate Fellowship (2021)
COLFUTURO’s Scholarship-Loan Program Beneficiary to study the LLM at the LSE (2019)
Silver Medal for Academic Excellence (BA in International Relations) (September 2016)
Silver Medal for Academic Excellence (LLB) Universidad del Norte (March 2016)
Latin America Scholarships: Undergraduate Students – Santander Universities Award. Exchange Program at Tecnologico de Monterrey, campus Monterrey, Mexico (Fall 2015)
First National Competition of Academic Writings in Honor of Professor Luis Alberto Gomez Araujo. First Place (May 2015)
International Law & Climate Change
International Human Rights Law
Public International Law
Peace & Conflict Studies
Brian Cox joined the J.S.D. program in 2021 after serving as an adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School. Brian is also a visiting scholar at Queen’s Law in Ontario and is a member of the executive committee for the Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict of the American Society of International Law. Before transitioning to academia, Brian retired in 2018 after 22 years of service in the U.S. Army.
Brian has taught Law and Ethics of Armed Conflict, Contemporary Challenges in International Law and U.S. Foreign Policy, and Comparative Military Justice: Theory and Practice seminars. He has also taught International Law: Use of Force as a contract instructor with the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario and Canadian Commercial Law for Laurentian University at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario. During his JSD studies, Brian has served as a general editor for the Cornell International Law Journal.
While in the military, Brian served as an airborne infantry soldier, combat camera operator, airborne infantry officer, and for seven years as an Army judge advocate. His combat deployments include Iraq from 2003-2004 as a combat camera operator and Afghanistan from 2013-2014 as an operational law advisor and then chief of international and operational law for Regional Command-East. Brian also served as a military prosecutor, federal prosecutor, brigade judge advocate, administrative law attorney, legal assistance attorney, and military magistrate while he was a judge advocate. His military awards, decorations, and qualifications include the Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, NATO Medal, Basic and Advanced Collateral Damage Estimation Certification, Weapons Law and the Legal Review of Weapons Certification, Joint Firepower Certification, Joint Intermediate Target Development Certification, Intelligence Law Certification, and Special Victim Unit Investigator Certification. During his military career, Brian was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, 101st Airborne Division, and the 10th Mountain Division, among other assignments.
In addition to his J.S.D. dissertation research, Brian is currently completing a project that conducts a critical assessment of the U.S. military investigation and lessons “learned” following the attack in 2015 on the Médecins Sans Frontières trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Along with his dissertation and this monograph manuscript, Brian’s main ongoing main writing projects involve topics such as developing a holistic approach to the UN Charter jus ad bellum construct, assessing emerging discourse involving the payment of compensation for incidental damage caused in armed conflict, exploring comparative state practice involving prosecution of military members suspected of committing serious violations of the law of armed conflict, developing solutions to ongoing challenges to achieving consensus regarding limitations on emerging technology in warfare, and examining the divergence between official and public narratives following attacks that result in civilian casualties in armed conflict.
The working title of Brian’s dissertation is Peace, War, and the Space Between: Clarifying the Connections Between Armed Conflict and Human Rights in Theory and Practice. After engaging in an in-depth assessment of the historical and conceptual foundations of both bodies of law, the project compares the sovereign/belligerent framework developed by CLS Dean Jens David Ohlin with existing models to demonstrate the conceptual viability of the former. With the sovereign/belligerent framework emerging as the preferred model in theory, the project then applies the framework to selected contemporary transnational security challenges to demonstrate the model’s practical feasibility.
– International Criminal Law
– Law Involving Armed Conflict
– National Security Law
– Comparative Military Justice
Articles and Essays
Recklessness, Intent, and War Crimes: Refining the Legal Standard and Clarifying the Role of International Criminal Tribunals as a Source of Customary International Law, GEORGETOWN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, Volume 52, Issue 1 (2020)
The Risk of Obsolescence: Reframing the Contemporary Use of Force Model to Achieve a More Holistic Application of the UN Charter Jus Ad Bellum Construct, 58 CANADIAN YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (November 2021)
Cross-platform online collaboration in recognition of 5th anniversary of attack on MSF trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan (October 3, 2020) (available here)
Answers to MSF’s Questions in Response to the U.S. Military Investigation into the Kunduz Attack: An Insider’s Perspective, HARVARD INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL online
The Attack on the MSF Trauma Center in Kunduz and the Limitations of a Risk-based Approach to War Crimes Characterization (Parts 1 & 2), OPINIO JURIS
Five Years On: Military Accountability and the Attack on the MSF Trauma Center in Kunduz,
Military Justice Reform, Accountability, and the Legitimacy Imperative: The Kunduz Example, LAWFIRE
A Detailed Assessment of the Sexual Assault Prevalence Statistics at the Center of the Military Justice Reform Movement, CORNELL LAW FACULTY WORKING PAPERS 127 (2021)
Measuring the Effectiveness of the Proposal to Divest Military Commanders of Disposition Authority for Sexual Assault Cases: A Comparative Quantitative Analysis, CORNELL LAW FACULTY WORKING PAPERS 126 (2021)
Posts and Commentary
IDF Attack on Al Jalaa Tower: Criticisms Are Correct on Law, But Mistaken in Applying It (May 2021) (available here)
Balancing the U.S. Approach to the ICC (February 2021, available here)
Exploring Some Limitations to the ICC’s Ability to Charge US Officials with Contempt (August 2020) (available here)
The ICC Wants Justice But Has No Mandate (June 2020, available here)
ARTICLES OF WAR
Why Binding Limitations on Autonomous Weapons Will Remain Elusive (January 2022, available here)
GLOBAL MILITARY JUSTICE REFORM
Clarifying the Role of ICC Complementarity in Context of UK Overseas Operations Bill (April 2021, available here)
Lawful Orders, the Joint Chiefs Memo, and the Peaceful Transition of Political Power (January 2021, available here)
Is Donald Trump Unfit to Be Commander-in-Chief? A Military Justice Perspective (January 2021, available here)
Al-Zawahiri Strike, Article 51 Self-Defense, and Future Implications for the AUMF (August 2022, available here)
GAO Yemen Report Deficient in Applying International Law and U.S. Conventional Arms Transfer Policy (June 2022, available here)
Domestic and International Law Considerations Involved in Enforcing a No-Fly Zone Over Ukraine (March 2022, available here)
Congress Must Make Informed Decisions to Prevent Risk of Systemic Military Justice Failure (November 2021, available here)
Congress Must Learn That Military Justice Reform and Changing Military Culture Are Two Separate Issues (September 2021, available here)
Summarizing the Detailed Assessment of the Sexual Assault Prevalence Statistics at the Center of the Military Justice Reform Movement (July 2021, available here)
Measuring the Effectiveness of the Proposal to Divest Military Commanders of Disposition Authority for Sexual Assault Cases: A Summary (June 2021, available here)
In Backing Future Autonomous Weapons Ban, the ICRC Appears Intent on Repeating Past Mistakes (May 2021, available here)
Active-duty Troops Did Not Violate the UCMJ or DoD Policy Merely by Attending the “Save America Rally” (February 2021, available here)
Civil Suits by Public Entities to Enforce Public Laws: Some Cautionary Notes (August 2020, available here)
THE LAW OF WAR: A DETAILED ASSESSMENT OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE LAW OF WAR MANUAL, THE REPORTER, U.S. Air Force Journal (July 2019, available here)
Mayar Darawsha is a J.S.D. candidate from Arrabah City, Israel. Before attending Cornell, Mayar obtained her LL.B. degree from Tel-Aviv University. During her LL.B. she worked as a teaching assistant with Professor Eliav Lieblich in Public International Law course for 4 consecutive terms. Mayar also worked as a corporate lawyer in Israel for two years at Herzog Fox & Ne’eman and Amit Pollak Matalon law firms. Mayar also served as an editor in the Cornell International Law Journal (ILJ). Mayar is fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, and English.
Mayar obtained two CALI Awards in Public International Law and Political Obligation courses.
Laws of Armed Conflict and the Use of Force
International Human Rights Law
Muna Ndulo (Chair)
Jens David Ohlin
Phone: (607) 262-4515
Santiago García Jaramillo is a J.S.D. candidate from Colombia. His research focuses on Moral-Political Philosophy, Constitutional Theory, and the Philosophy of Law. Santiago obtained his LL.M. from Yale University (2022); a LL.B. from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia, 2013), and a specialization degree in public law from the Universidad Externado de Colombia (2016). He was a law clerk at the Chamber of Justice Alejandro Linares-Cantillo at the Colombian Constitutional Court, from 2015 to 2021.
Santiago has been a Professor of Constitutional Law at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia) at undergraduate and graduate level since 2013; He has also been a professor of Constitutional Theory at Universidad de la Sabana (Bogotá, Colombia) and Universidad del Magdalena (Santa Marta, Colombia). He was a visiting research scholar at Cornell University (Spring, 2018 and 2019). Santiago served on the editorial board of the Yale International Law Journal (2021), and has served as peer reviewer on several journals on constitutional law and philosophy of law.
“Constitutionalism, Old Dilemmas, New Insights” (Assistant Editor with Alejandro Linares-Cantillo and Camilo Valdivieso-León), Oxford University Press, (2021).
“The Colombian Tale of Two Legal Revolutions” (co-author with Daniel Currea Moncada), 53 Cornell International Law Journal Online, 1 (2020).
“Judicial Review of Presidential Re- Election Amendments in Colombia” (Co-author, with Samuel Issacharoff and Vicente Benítez-Rojas) Analysis Decisions C-1040 of 2005 and C-141 of 2010, for Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL], Oxford International Public Law, (2020).
“Democratizing the Doctrine of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments: The Puzzle of Amending the Judiciary Branch” (co-author with Catalina Torres-Artunduaga) 14 (1) ICL Journal, 1, (2020).
“Colombian Constitutionalism: Challenging Judicial Supremacy through Pluralism”, 2 Int’l Comp., Policy & Ethics L. Rev. 317 (2019).
“Transforming the legislative: a pending task of Brazilian and Colombian constitutionalism”. (co-author with Camilo Valdivieso León) 5 Revista de Investigações Constitucionais, 43 (2018).
“Constitutional Replacement Theory: From Keeping the Supremacy and Integrity of the Constitution, to the Annihilation of the Legislative Power to Amend the Constitution” (co-author with Francisco Gnecco-Estrada), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, 133 Vniversitas, 59 (2016).
Phone: (631) 703-9031
Daniel Haefke joined the J.S.D. program at Cornell Law School in 2020. He specializes in comparative constitutional law. His dissertation explores the German constitutional fixation on dignity in its constitutional self-understanding and discourse from a comparative perspective.
His academic focus lies on questions of methodological debates within comparative law and the interdisciplinary study of law. Concerning the latter, he is particularly interested in the intersections of Law and Political Science, Law and Sociology as well as Law and Psychoanalysis. He is additionally thinking and writing about Constitutionalism, State Theory, Nation Studies, and Critical Theory.
Daniel holds an LL.M. from Cornell Law School, where he studied as a nominated candidate (tuition-waived nomination by the Humboldt University of Berlin). He previously studied law at the Humboldt University of Berlin where he passed the First State Examination. Before joining Cornell Law School, Daniel worked as a research assistant at White & Case LLP, as a tutor at Humboldt University, and as a pro bono legal advisor for refugees and migrants with the Refugee Law Clinic e.V.
Currently, he serves as the president of the Cornell Law School J.S.D. Association and as a coordinator for the Law as Science Initiative.
Mitchel Lasser (chair)
Ayesha Umana-Dajud is a Colombian J.S.D. candidate focusing on international criminal law and the democratization of international human rights law. In Colombia, Ayesha had an active role during the peace process implementation. She worked at the Presidency of the Colombian Peace Jurisdiction from 2019 to 2021. Before that, she taught human rights protection mechanisms for African descendant communities affected by the armed conflict as well as alternative mechanisms in conflict resolution for ex-FARC-EP guerrillas transitioning from armed to civilian life in 2017.She has also been a public defender in criminal law and has represented communities and public figures in public interest cases, including environmental law, freedom of speech, land restitution, and political rights issues. She also actively participated in the 2019 and 2021 social protests in Colombia. In 2015, she argued at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica at the Amicus Curia submitted by Panama’s Government. In 2017, she won the best defense statement at the International Criminal Court Moot Court in The Hague. Ayesha obtained her LL.M. from Cornell University (2022); an LL.B. (2017), and graduate degrees in procedural law (2018) from Universidad National de Colombia, and criminal law from Universidad Santo Tomas of Colombia (2020). During her LL.B., she was an exchange student at Freie Universitat Berlin where she focused on criminal law philosophy and German reunification (2015-16). Ayesha speaks four languages (Spanish, French, English, and German).At Cornell University, Ayesha has been a teaching assistant in the seminars ‘International Criminal Law’ and ‘Law and Social Change: Comparative Law in Africa’. She has been a research assistant for the Legal Information Institute, researching decisions of Inter-American Human Rights focused on gender-based issues, critical legal studies for the Democratic Governance & Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town, and Cameroon’s context for Cornell’s Death Penalty Center. Ayesha was part of the International Human Rights Clinic and participated in death penalty cases in Tanzania and the U.S. She also coached Cornell’s 2021-22 ICC Moot Court team in New York. Additionally, Ayesha was a student representative as the LL.M. Association president, a representative in the Law School student body (CLSA), speaker at the Law School commencement, and Degree Marshall.
Cornell Graduate Legal Studies Law Fellowship (2022)
Cornell Graduate Legal Studies Merit Based Fellowship (2021–22)
Colfuturo’s Scholarship-Loan Program Beneficiary to study the LL.M. at Cornell University (2021)
Scholarship for the best GPAs in the Law School graduate degree at Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2018)
Automatic Admission to postgraduate studies for best undergraduates’ GPAs at Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2017)
Scholarship for best high school graduates, automatic admission to graduate studies for the best 10% undergraduate seniors at Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2017)
Best defense statement at the International Criminal Moot Court in The Hague, Netherlands, 2017
Academic award for outstanding performance in international competition at Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2017)
Scholarship for Colombia’s best high school graduates to study at Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2012-17)
Muna Ndulo (chair)
International Criminal Law
International Human Rights
International Humanitarian Law
Phone: (607) 280-1179
LinkedIn : Ayesha Umaña Dajud
Kai Wang, from China, is a J.S.D. candidate at Cornell Law School. Kai’s academic interests lie at the intersection of financial regulation and financial technology (FinTech). His J.S.D. dissertation focuses on the implementation of anti-money laundering (AML) laws on decentralized finance (DeFi) for promoting financial integrity. The dissertation examines the challenges to the AML law by DeFi and offers suggestions on addressing the challenges.
He earned his LL.B. from Shanghai University and his LL.M. from Cornell Law School. Prior to his doctoral studies, he was an intern for legal affairs at the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). During his doctoral studies, he was an intern at the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI), as well as an intern at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Legal Department (LEG). He currently serves as an editor of the Cornell International Law Journal (ILJ). He is trilingual in English, Japanese, and Mandarin.
Dan Awrey (chair)