CIEL offers one ad-honorem fellowship each year, the Louis B. Sohn Fellowship in Human Rights and Environment, for public interest lawyers that have had significant on the ground experience working on human rights issues. The LBS Fellowship will cover the cost of attending a strategic meeting on human rights and the environment.
Louis B. Sohn Fellowship Recipients:
- 2015 – Spring 2016: Miriam Azu (Ghana)
- 2012 – 2013: Katja Bratrschovsky (Austria)
- 2011: Angelica Zamora (Colombia)
- 2010: Anu Lohani (Nepal)
- 2009: Ana Paula Parente (Brazil)
- 2008: Victoria Ochanda (Kenya)
- 2007: Linda Dumba (Namibia)
- 2006 – 2007: Windu Kisworo (Indonesia)
- 2004 – 2005: Adebukola Osuntogun (Nigeria)
Louis B. Sohn Fellowship Application Information
To apply for the Louis B. Sohn Fellowship, please send a letter, resume, and writing sample the address listed below. In addition, please indicate in your cover letter that you would like to be considered for the Sohn Fellowship. You should also send an additional essay that describes your interest and background in human rights and the environment, and how you think that legal instruments can or should be used to protect human rights and the environment (maximum of 500 words). CIEL does not sponsor fellows for visas of any kind. You must have authorization to work in the United States in order to apply for CIEL’s Louis B. Sohn Fellowship.
Center for International Environmental Law
Attention Intern Coordinator
1350 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 1100
Washington, D.C. 20036 USA
You may also email your materials to: email@example.com (Please, no calls)
About Louis B. Sohn
The Sohn Fellowship is named after Louis B. Sohn, the renowned international law teacher, scholar, practitioner, and governmental advisor. Professor Sohn has been a giant in the fields of both international human rights law and international environmental law, and he was a firm believer in the inter-connection of all branches of international law. Professor Sohn, who taught at the law schools at Harvard University, the University of Georgia, and George Washington University, was the first recipient of CIEL’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Development of International Environmental Law.
Miriam Azu is a lawyer and human rights activist. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, where she was also a founding member of The Gavel, the official student-run newsletter of the Faculty of Law. She also participated in research that led to the first prison decongestion project in Ghana. After her undergraduate studies, Miriam interned at the Supreme Court of Ghana. She thereafter enrolled at the Ghana School of Law, graduated with a Barrister-at-Law diploma, and was called to the Ghana Bar in 2010. She practiced as a lawyer out of the offices of Amua-Sekyi & Co., a prominent law firm in Ghana, providing consultancy and litigation services to individual and corporate clients in commercial, land, torts, contract, human rights, criminal and family law matters. She was also a volunteer attorney at the Legal Aid Scheme in Ghana’s Western Region, where she offered free mediation and legal representation services (mostly to children and indigent women) in custody and matrimonial property rights disputes.
A DAAD scholar, Miriam obtained her first Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, where she focused her studies on human rights, gender and sexuality studies, governance and democratisation in Africa. Miriam enrolled in the school’s human rights clinic, where she was research assistant to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (Professor Christof Heyns). She also completed an externship at the Department of Political Affairs, African Union Commission, Ethiopia. She has published articles on Female Genital Mutilation and the Rights of Women, and Lessons from Ghana and Kenya on Why Presidential Election Petitions Usually Fail. Miriam participated in the 22nd session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and Ghana’s Side Event at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Miriam has a second Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from Columbia University in the City of New York, where her main academic interests were extractives investment, sustainable development, international environmental law and finance. She graduated, cum laude, as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and is also a recipient of the Parker School Certificate for Achievement in International and Comparative Law. After graduation, Miriam was awarded a Columbia Law School Postgraduate Public Interest Law Fellowship to work at CIEL.
Ms. Bratrschovsky received an LLM from Harvard Law School in 2012 and an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2011. She was actively involved with the Harvard Environmental Law Review and the Environmental Society as well as with the International Human Rights Clinic. Besides studying, she worked as a Harvard Water Research Fellow for the Water Security Initiative.
Ms. Bratrschovsky earned her primary law degree in her hometown, at the University of Vienna, as a Magister Iuris (2002), and spent a year as an Erasmus student in The Netherlands (2001). Her research and work experience include positions as a research and teaching assistant at the Public Law Institute of the University of Vienna and legal and policy advisors at the Austrian Federal Administration and the European Commission in Brussels. Environmental, natural resource, energy, and water issues have been the central areas of focus of her professional career. Ms. Bratrschovsky’s personal interests include flamenco dancing and hiking.
Maria Angélica Zamora Prieto is a Colombian human rights lawyer. She received her LL.M. from the Washington College of Law at American University in 2011, where she focused her studies on International Law, rule of law, human rights and gender issues. Ms. Zamora was one of three recipients of the International Legal Studies Program Alumni Fund Scholarship from the Washington College of Law.
Ms. Zamora has been committed to research and advocacy on human rights in Colombia since her years as a law student. In 2003, Ms. Zamora joined the Project to Recover Historical Memory: Colombia Nunca Más and then the Lawyers’ Collective “José Alvear Restrepo.”
Ms. Lohani is a 2010 LL.M. graduate of The George Washington University Law School, Washington D.C. She received her LL.M. in International and Comparative Law focusing her studies on International Trade Law, Environmental Law and Human Rights. She is a recipient of the Thomas Buergenthal scholarship that GW Law awards to its international students annually.
Ms. Lohani received her first law degree B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) from National Law School of India University, Bangalore, India in 2008. As part of her internships while in Law School, Ms. Lohani worked with the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal as also High Court lawyers in Delhi and Bombay in India.
Prior to joining GW Law in 2009, Ms. Lohani worked in her country Nepal as a Human Rights lawyer at a leading women’s rights organization- Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD) coordinating the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Shadow Report for Nepal. In her role as Program Officer, she travelled to rural parts of Nepal collecting agenda of women to be included in the Shadow Report. She was active in running an umbrella network of more than fifty non-governmental organizations in the country that work on various aspects of women’s human rights.
Ana Paula Parente is a Brazilian attorney who worked for the Brazilian Public Attorney’s Office as a legal assistant at the Environmental Law Center, where she was involved in all steps of environmental litigation. As a Louis B. Sohn fellow in Human Rights and Environment, Mrs. Parente worked with the Human Rights and Environment Program and conducted research in the impacts of climate change on the full enjoyment of human rights, and the linkages between the right to development and the Clean Development Mechanism. She also helped to draft the Year-in-Review 2009 on Human Rights and the Environment for the Yearbook of International Environmental Law and the Compendium on Human Rights and the Environment to be published by UNEP.
Before starting her fellowship at CIEL, Ms. Parente received an LL.M in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School (2010), as a result of a scholarship granted by the University of Seville, where she pursued a Master in Constitutional Law (2008) and presented a thesis about “The Constitutional Right to a Healthy Environment.”
Victoria Ochanda received an LL.B. from the University of Nairobi and a diploma from Kenya School of Law. At the Kenya Human Rights Commission, she researched and implemented advocacy strategies in addition to conducting fact-finding missions in areas where human rights violations had been reported. She worked with Odhiambo and Odhiambo Advocates, a prominent law firm in Nakuru, Kenya providing pro bono services to women and as a program coordinator at an organization advocating for women’s and children’s human rights.
Victoria received her LL.M. at the Georgetown University Law Center (Washington, D.C.) where she was a Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Fellow. While there, she interned at the O’Neil Institute of Global and National Health Law where she was part of a team contracted by UNAIDS to draft a legal and regulatory self-assessment tool for Sub-Saharan Africa on scaling up male circumcision. The tool was piloted in Swaziland and is currently being used for that purpose.
At CIEL, Victoria participated in drafting a “Submission of The Maldives to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights”. She also participated in researching and drafting two memoranda on “The Right of Access to Information in the European Human Rights Court” and “Access to Information Article 19 of the ICCPR Jurisprudence”.
Linda Dumba is a Namibian lawyer who worked as a project lawyer for the Land Environment and Development Project of the Legal Assistance Center. Among other things, Ms. Dumba litigated on behalf of women and children discriminated against by customary law and practices, and she organized and conducted human rights capacity building workshops with various stakeholder groups on policies and the implementation of court decisions on women’s rights to property and inheritance.
Just prior to starting her fellowship at CIEL, Ms. Dumba graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, and was a recipient of the 2006-2007 Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Fellowship. At CIEL, Ms. Dumba conducted research on a number of topics, including on a potential request to the World Bank Inspection Panel that highlighted violations of the World Bank’s Gender and Development Policy as a result of the Integrated Growth Poles Project in Madagascar. Ms. Dumba also conducted research and drafted policy notes on transparency and public participation in the newly established African Court of Human and Peoples Rights and the European Court of Human Rights, and worked towards the development of a case to the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights by looking at the legal status of communal land holding system of the pastoralist Mursi people of the Southern Nations, Nationalities Region of Ethiopia.
Windu Kisworo completed an LL.M degree at the University of Melbourne, Australia. In addition, Mr. Kisworo has continued his work as a public interest lawyer at the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), an Indonesian-based non-governmental organization, which specializes on environmental law by promoting good governance and sustainable development.
Before joining CIEL as a fellow, his duties at the Indonesian Centre for Environmental Law involved a broad range of activities related to environmental law reform. Furthermore, since the promotion of sustainable development and the enforcement of environmental law in Indonesia requires the creation and/or promotion of good governance, Mr. Kisworo was also involved in various legal reform activities, including the promotion of “access to information” in Indonesia. In expanding his international network, Mr. Kisworo also became a member of Environmental Alliances Worldwide (E-LAW), which gives public interest lawyers and scientists around the world the skills and resources they need to protect the environment through law.
At CIEL, Mr. Kisworo has conducted research in the area of human rights, particularly, on the “Promotion of Trans National Corporation’s Accountability on Human Rights in Indonesia.” He also conducted research on the utilization of the World Bank Inspection Panel by analyzing some of World Bank’s safeguard policies.
Ade Osuntogun obtained her LL.B degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a B.L degree from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos. She pursued her Masters in International Law and Business at the Stetson University College of Law, Florida and interned at the Ocean Conservancy. She has written extensively on human rights and environmental issues in Nigeria ranging from the Niger Delta situation to human rights abuses in the nation and the attendant social consequences. At CIEL, Ms. Osuntogun focused on Community-Based Property Rights in Nigeria. As part of the fellowship, Ade also visited our Environmental Justice Project partners in the Philippines, where she participated in the Philippine Forum on Environmental Justice.