Principle Investigator

Kamari Clarke is a professor of Global and International Studies and Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University and currently serves as a technical advisor for the African Union Legal Counsel. She is one of the co-founders of the African Court Research Initiative (ACRI), funded by the Open Society Foundations and has published extensively on issues concerning international law, politics and social policy.

Specializing in international law and legal anthropology, she has held numerous fellowships and grants and has distinguished her career with eight books and over forty book chapters and articles and research excellence awards.She has conducted research on international legal and political issues and explores issues related to social and political theory, legal pluralism, and the interface between legal institutions and the related production of knowledge and power. She holds a B.A. from Concordia University in Political Science; a Masters in the Study of Law from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Research Associates

Tewodros Dawit is an Associate Legal Researcher for the African Court Research Initiative. He holds a LLB degree from Addis Ababa University and a LLM on Transnational Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention from the University of the Western Cape, while being in the process of finalizing a second LLM on international human rights law at the University of South Africa. Mr. Tewodros was an assistant judge at the Addis Ababa City Appellate Court and has worked at the Ethiopian Federal Justice and Legal Research and Training Institute as a researcher and senior legal researcher for over five years. Before joining JLSRI, he has interned with the Prosecution Division of the International Criminal Court. His research interests include international criminal law, human rights and justice sector reform.

Alysson Ford Ouoba is the Assistant Director of the War Crimes Research Office at American University’s Washington College of Law. In this capacity, she provides technical assistance to international/ized tribunals and civil society organizations on pressing issues of international criminal, humanitarian, and human rights law.

Before joining WCL, Ms. Ouoba was an associate in the Human Rights Practice Group at Cohen Milstein, where she represented survivors of forced labor, human trafficking, arbitrary detentions, torture, and other violations of international law. In addition to her legal experience, Ms. Ouoba also has years of experience in international development, particularly in Africa. She holds a B.A. from Harvard College; an M.Sc. from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies; and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Audace Gatavu is a research assistant for the holder of Gordon F. Henderson Chair in Human Rights at the University of Ottawa and a Research Associate at the African Court Research Initiative. In 2016, Audace earned a Master of Laws (LL.M) in International Human Rights Law (Cum Laude) from the University of Notre Dame Law School and received a Dean's Award for the “Accountability for Gross Violation of Human Rights” subject.

In recognition of his accomplishments at Notre Dame Law School, he received the Center for Civil and Human Rights Fellowship to conduct a research on peace process and accountability for human rights violation in Burundi at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre of the University of Ottawa. He also holds a bachelor’s Degree in Civil Law from the University of Burundi. Audace Gatavu was called to the Burundi Bar Association in 2012 as a human right lawyer and he extensively worked for local and international organizations in promoting and protecting human rights in Burundi.

Ermias Kassaye is a Legal Researcher for the African Court Research Initiative. He holds an LL.B. from Addis Ababa University School of Law and an LLM on Rule of Law for Development form Loyola University Chicago. His work has been focused on rule of law development with experience in legal research, projectcoordination and implementing project activities covering a range of rule of law thematic areas such as Justice mechanisms, international criminal law, and peace support operations. He has worked in the African Union Commission as a project coordinator on protection of civilians, before joining the African Court Research Initiative. In his current position, he provides research support to the co-collaborators of the project.

Research Interns

Fikiri Nzoyisenga is a Research Intern with the African Court Research Initiative and has more than seven years of experience in the area of human rights activism. Since his graduation for the University of Burundi Law School in 2011, he has been actively participating in the empowerment of vulnerable women and children and in the promotion and protection of their rights. He was among the 500 outstanding young leaders from Africa selected for the first cohort of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Program in 2014.

Through this program funded by the US State Department, he completed a Civic Leadership Track at the University of Delaware, USA. Fikiri is also a 2016 alumnus of the International Centre on Nonviolent Conflicts (ICNC) Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflicts (Tufts University, Boston, USA). The same year (2016), he received a Chevening Scholarship – one of the most prestigious scholarship program in the world – which allowed him to complete a Master’s Degree in International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law from Bangor University in the UK. He’s been recently selected as a member of the inaugural class of the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa — a program for young leaders from across Africa.

Tensae Berhane earned an MA Degree in Human Rights (2018) and also holds an MA in International Relations (2009) both from Addis Ababa University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Relations from the same University. He has assisted in research projects pertaining to the International Criminal Court, maritime piracy and soft power. He has been an intern with the ACRI project for three months where he gained invaluable research experience working with an extraordinarily gifted team of researchers.

Irene Nyakagere Thomas is a full-time doctoral candidate at the University of Stellenbosch enrolled
under the Faculty of Law Dean’s bursary program to pursue a study on the application of the principle of
complementarity between the African Court and the African Commission. She is also a Research Intern
at the African Court Research Initiative. In 2016, Irene graduated with a Master of Laws in International
Law (LL. M - IL) from Mzumbe University having finalized a dissertation on the extension of jurisdiction
of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights which offered her the opportunity to work at the
African Court and the Pan African Lawyers Union during her research study. Prior to that Irene obtained
a degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) from the University of Dar es Salaam. She also has experience in
international justice conference services earned through organizing events held by international
organization including the African Institute of International law as well as the Wayamo Foundation, a
partner of the African Group of Justice and Accountability.

William Vazquez was a research intern for the African Court Research Initiative in Spring 2018. He is currently
a third-year law student at the American University Washington College of Law, where he also works as a
student attorney in the International Human Rights Law Clinic. During his time at the Washington College of
Law, he has worked with the law school’s War Crimes Research Office, Center for Human Rights &
Humanitarian Law, and Disability Rights Law Clinic; drafted detailed memoranda to the Chairperson of the UN
Committee against Torture for its hearings with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Timor-Leste in 2017; and assisted
a member of the International Law Commission during part of its 70 th  session. Before law school, he graduated
from American University in 2015 with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Chinese Language and
spent a year teaching English at Confucius Temple Primary School in Nanjing, China.