The Department of Law
Alison Anitawaru Cole joins the Department of Law as Senior Lecturer, working closely with the Human Rights Clinic in the Experiential Learning Department. Ms Cole will contribute to the Faculty of Law’s practitioner-based research through her experience working in climate litigation and war crimes investigations with the United Nations. She will begin her work at HKU co-teaching the course entitled Human Rights in Practice.
Whilst working as a legal practitioner, Alison also contemporaneously worked as an adjunct professor at New York University Law School and most recently at Victoria University Wellington in her home country of New Zealand. She has written a wide variety of academic and media publications, including front-page coverage for The Guardian on international criminal law. Alison holds a first-class honours BA in law from Cambridge University, and participated in the European Erasmus exchange at Utrecht University. She obtained her LLM Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School and is currently completing a PhD at Amsterdam University. Alison is a registered New York attorney, and is also admitted to the Lincoln’s Inns of Court in London.
Alison is one of the few people in the world who has worked at all the United Nations international criminal tribunals, covering a range of responsibilities. She first worked in prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, before transferring to investigations at the International Criminal Court and at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. She has also worked for the appeals judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and for the Registry at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Following these positions with the UN tribunals, Alison worked on policy development as the Open Society Justice Initiative in New York, where she developed human rights and international justice strategies with local partners around the world. Most recently she worked as the human rights advisor on the national inquiry into allegations of war crimes regarding New Zealand troops. Her current focus is on litigation for climate change solutions in partnership with practitioners and academics in the Pacific and South East Asia through the student-led organisation the Asia Pacific Solidarity Network.