Diane Desierto – Keough School



Areas of expertise: International law, including international economic law; human rights; development; humanitarian law; comparative constitutional law and other public law; maritime safety


Diane A. Desierto holds a joint position at Keough School of Global Affairs and Notre Dame Law School, where she is Professor of Law and Head of the LLM Faculty. Desierto teaches, publishes and practices international law and human rights, international economic and development law, international arbitration, maritime security, law of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and comparative public law. She is a faculty member at Keough School’s Klau Center for Civil Human Rights, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, Pulte Institute for Global Development, and Nanovic Institute for European Studies. She is also the co-principal investigator of the Notre Dame Repair Design and Compliance Laboratory.

Desierto is a member of the Panel of Experts of the United Nations Working Group on the Right to Development, resource expert for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), former director of studies and professor at The Hague Academy of International Law, President of the Friends of The Hague Academy Foundation and Philippine Focal Point for the Bar Association of the International Criminal Court. She is active as an international advisor in successful cases before the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the Supreme Court of the Philippines and Southeast Asian agencies, and was appointed by the Supreme Court of the Philippines as Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the Judicial Academy of the Philippines. She sits on the editorial and / or scientific advisory committees of the European Journal of International Law (and editor of his blog on international law EJIL: Speak!), the Journal of World Investment and Trade, International law studies, and various Asian journals of international law.

Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Desierto taught as a permanent professor of law at the University of the Philippines, the Faculty of Transnational Law at Peking University in China, and the Richardson Faculty of Law at the University of ‘Hawaii. She is a scholarship recipient at the Center for Advanced Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Stanford Center for Human Rights and International Justice, the Max Planck Institute of Comparative Public Law. and International Law Scholarship in Heidelberg, the Humboldt-Potsdam-Berlin Senior Fellowship, the East-West Center in Honolulu, the University of Michigan Law School Grotius Scholarship and the University of Michigan Law Institute Scholarship ‘National University of Singapore. Desierto has been a visiting professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Paris-Nanterre X, the Graduate Program in Law at the University of the Philippines at Bonifacio Global City and at the Faculty of Law of the University of Navarre in Spain.

Desierto holds JSD and LLM degrees from Yale Law School, as well as JD cum laude salutatorian class and BSc Economics summa cum laude class major of promotion graduated from the University of the Philippines, and was a former Yale Law clerk at the International Court of Justice for Judges Bruno Simma and Bernardo Sepulveda-Amor. She has written and / or edited several books, such as National Necessity and Emergency Clauses: Sovereignty in Modern Treaty Interpretation (Martinus Nijhoff, 2012) winner of the Ambrose Gherini Prize for International Law at Yale Law), Public policies in international economic law: the ICESCR in trade, investment and finance (Oxford University Press, 2015), ASEAN Law and Regional Integration: Governance and Rule of Law in the Southeast Asian Single Market (with D. Cohen, Routledge, 2020), as well as to date, approximately 140 law journal articles, book chapters, essays and book reviews with leading international law journals and publishers in the United States, in Europe and Asia. She is a member of the Academic Council of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration, of the UNCITRAL Academic Forum on Investor-State Dispute Resolution Reform, of the Hague Rules 2019 Drafting Team on Corporate Arbitration and Human Rights, Co-Chair of the Oxford Investment Claims Summer Academy, and has been recognized on several occasions by Who’s Who Legal as one of the future leaders in arbitration. She was a featured faculty member in the 2020 Notre Dame Women’s leader functionality.

Recent work

The right to development, integral human development and integral ecology in the Amazon (International review of human rights)

“The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Southeast Asian Regional Security” Chapter 52 in Robin Geiss and Nils Melzer (eds.), Oxford Handbook of the International Law of Global Security (OUP, 2021).

ASEAN Law and Regional Integration: Governance and Rule of Law in the Southeast Asian Single Market (Routledge, 2020)

“The complexities of democracy, development and human rights in the Belt and Road Initiative in China. (Connecticut Journal of International Law)

“China’s Maritime Law Enforcement Activities in the South China Sea” (International law studies)

“Shifting sands in the international economic system: arbitration in international economic law and human rights” Georgetown Journal of International Law)

Diane A. Desierto, “Due Diligence and World Bank Project Financing”, chapter 20, in A. Peters, H. Krieger, L. Kreuzer (eds.), Due Diligence in the International Legal Order (Oxford University Press, December 2020) .

Diane A. Desierto and Frederic Sourgens, “Investment Law and Decarbonization”, chapter 6 in T. Oyewunmi, P. Crossley, K. Talus, F. Sourgens (eds.), Decarbonization and Energy Law (Hart Publishing, 2020).


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