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Oriel DPhil Student at International Court of Justice

Lara Ibrahim — who is completing her DPhil at the Faculty of Law — is to take part in the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) 2023–24 Judicial Fellows programme. Her DPhil focuses on the extraterritorial obligations of states to prevent human rights violations occurring due to the detrimental consequences of climate change.

During the programme, Lara will be based at the seat of the ICJ in The Hague, the Netherlands, working with Judge Julia Sebutinde on a wide range of international disputes submitted to the Court.

She says that working at the ICJ has long been an ambition, adding that the opportunity to interact with public international law in a less academic setting also appealed to her. “I wanted the opportunity to delve deeper into my understanding of it in practice,” she said, “and to further my understanding of the work of the Court and how it functions as the U.N.’s primary judicial organ on a day-to-day basis.”

Lara secured the opportunity through a two-stage competitive process. Stage one involved obtaining a nomination from the Faculty of Law here at Oxford. Lara was then selected from a pool of nominees put forward for the programme by universities from around the world.

Only fifteen participants were selected.

Lara will begin working for the ICJ on a full-time basis from September this year, and the fellowship is set to last ten months. She will formerly suspend her DPhil during this time. However, she anticipates that the experience — not least the opportunity to discuss her project with other Judicial Fellows — will be greatly enriching to her research.

She will be returning to Oriel, to continue her DPhil, in June 2024.