Sarah Nouwen is a Professor of International Law at the European University Institute in Florence, where she is also a Co-Director of the Academy of European Law. She is on leave from the University of Cambridge, where she served for several years as Co-Deputy Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, and from Pembroke College. She is currently an Editor-in- Chief of the European Journal of International Law.
Her research interests lie on the intersections of law and politics, war and peace and justice and the rule of law. Building on her experience in diplomacy and peace negotiations, her research focuses on how international law plays out in concrete situations. It combines doctrinal analysis and theory with empirical research and draws on law, politics, and anthropology.
Prior to joining the Cambridge Law Faculty, Sarah worked for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New York, The Hague and Khartoum. In 2010-2011 she served as Senior Legal Advisor to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel in Sudan, consisting of three former Presidents who played a key role in the negotiations on an independent South Sudan and in seeking resolutions for the conflict in Darfur.
She holds an LLB and LLM (Utrecht University, with specialisations done in at the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape), an MPhil in International Relations (Cantab) and a PhD in Law (Cantab) and is the author of the monograph Complementarity in the Line of Fire: The Catalysing Effect of the International Criminal Court in Uganda and Sudan. Her article `“As You Set out for Ithaka”: Practical, Epistemological, Ethical, and Existential Questions about Socio-Legal Empirical Research in Conflict’ was awarded with the Leiden Journal of International Law Prize.