Meet the team of female international lawyers behind WILNET.

Executive Directors

Dr Gail Lythgoe

Dr Gail Lythgoe is a Lecturer in International Law at the University of Manchester and co-director of the Manchester International Law Centre. She completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow on the topic of the territoriality of international law and global governance. Her research interests include public international law, legal theory, international organisations, and critical geography. She has studied law at the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Singapore (National University of Singapore) and was a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany. Gail is Assistant Review Editor of the European Journal of International Law and Associate Editor of EJIL:Talk!

Dr Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi

Dr Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi is Lecturer in International Law and Security at the University of Manchester, the Managing Editor of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law and an Associate Fellow at the T.M.C. Asser Institute and the International Center for Counter-Terrorism.She is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War. Rebecca holds a PhD from the European University Institute and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Her work reflects on counterterrorism and, more precisely, on our evolving legal and policy capacity to deal with security threats, where new forms of non-state transnational risk, counter-risk strategy and technology are in play. Her research interests and expertise are in public international law, international humanitarian law, human rights law and (international and European) criminal law, which altogether allow to explore counterterrorism policies in a comprehensive manner.

Board Members

Mariela Apostolaki

Mariela is a PhD researcher in The University of Manchester and her research focuses on international organisations. She holds an LLB in law form the University of Athens and an LLM in Public International Law from the University of Amsterdam.

Isil Aral

Isil started her PhD at The University of Manchester in 2015 and works on revolutions and changes of government in public international law. She graduated from Galatasaray University in 2010 and completed her LLM in human rights law at the London School of Economics. After being called to the Istanbul Bar in 2012, she practiced criminal law for three years at Bayraktar Law Firm.

Cara Banerji-Parker

Cara is a PhD researcher at the University of Manchester. Her research focuses on land and natural resources in public international law. She holds an LLB in Law from the University of Leeds (2008-2011) and an LLM in Public International Law from the London School of Economics (2011-12).

Carina Calabria

Carina is a PhD candidate at The University of Manchester. She has degrees in International Relations and Social Communications and a LLM (UnB, Brazil). She is a researcher of the project “The Sociology of the Transnational Constitution”, led by Professor Christopher Thornhill and funded by the European Research Council.

Olga Chetverikova

Olga is a PhD Candidate at the University of Manchester. She holds LLM in International Law from Oxford Brookes University. Her research focuses primarily on International Economic Law.

Sara De Vido

Sara De Vido teaches International Law, EU law and international business law at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. She is vice-director of the Centre for Human Rights (Cestudir) at Ca’ Foscari and a vice-coordinator of the first cycle degree programme called PISE (Philosophy, International Studies and Economics) at Ca’ Foscari. She is also a member of the board of editors of the Italian journal “Deportate, esuli, profughe” (Deported women, women in exile, internally displaced women). Sara has spent several research periods abroad, including The University of Manchester in Autumn 2015, the University of Kobe and Hitotsubashi (Tokyo) in 2014 and 2016. She teaches in Italian, English and French. In June 2017, she was consultant for the Council of Europe on the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Her main interests of research are: the fight against transnational criminality and women’s rights under international law.

Cecilia Flores

Cecilia is a Research Associate at The University of Manchester working on the project ‘Food Fraud: A Supply Network Integrated Systems Analysis’, a project funded by the ESRC and the Food Standards Agency. She holds a PhD in International Economic Law and an LLM in International Business Law from The University of Manchester. Her PhD thesis constructs an eclectic theoretical perspective towards good governance as a means of shedding light on an institutional reform of international economic institutions, with a particular focus on the WTO and the IMF. Cecilia’s research interests lie in the interrelation and co-evolution of international, national and sub-national law, particularly in relation to trade, food integrity and food sovereignty. Her publications explore theoretical approaches to, and the specialisation and fragmentation of, international economic law, as well as food fraud. She qualified as a lawyer in Mexico (2001) and practised in various law firms before entering into academia. As development editor of the Manchester Journal of International Economic Law, she regularly contributes to reviewing trade decisions.

Petra Larsen

Petra is a PhD Candidate at the University of Manchester since September 2016. Her research within International Law/Law of the Sea focuses on liability aspects of the developing legal framework on commercial exploitation of deep sea minerals. Petra holds an LLM in Law from the University of Gothenburg which includes a Master year at Radbound University (the Netherlands) within International and European law. She additionally holds a BA in global studies and languages and has experience as a bilateral relations generalist having been a trainee at the Swedish Embassies in Riga and the Hague. At Manchester University Petra is a Teaching Assistant on the EU Law course and alongside WILNET also an active member of the Manchester International Law Centre (MILC). Through the Swedish Embassies, MILC and WILNET she has worked on several international conferences ans was in 2018 a member of the Organising Committee for the 14th European Society of International Law Annual Conference.

Mercy Oke-Chinda

Mercy is currently undertaking a PhD research in international Human Rights Law at the University of Manchester. Her particular research interest is  exploring how the instrumentality of the law could be appropriated in addressing the challenges faced by women/girls in internally displaced persons’ camps in Nigeria. She obtained a Master of Laws degree from Queen Mary University of London and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Rivers State University. Mercy is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Mercy has a postgraduate degree in Mass Communication and worked as a journalist for sixteen years before proceeding to lecture at the Faculty of Law, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.  At various stages of her career, she served as Press secretary to the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Special Assistant to the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice (both in her state). Mercy had a stint in private legal practice which also entailed offering pro bono representations and legal advice to indigent women.

Elizabeth O’Loughlin

Elizabeth is a PhD researcher at The University of Manchester’s School of Law, where she works on the European Research Council funded project ‘A Sociology of the Transnational Constitution’. She holds an LLB in Law from the University of Leeds (2009-2012), and an LLM by research in European, Comparative and International Law from the European University Institute (2012-2013). She teaches public law and property law at the University of Leeds School of Law.

Maria Smirnova

Maria is a Research Associate at The University of Manchester where her research covers the area of transnational constitutional law in the context of the most recent institutional transformation in the Russian legal system. The impact of international human rights law on the transformation of the Russian judicial system is of particular interest. As a member of European Association of Education Law and Policy (Antwerp) she also focuses on international standards of the right to education and their implementation. Her publications in this area cover such topics as linguistic diversity in education, fighting poverty through education, corruption in education, religious rights and the right to education and in more general terms, the justiciability of the right to education.