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Legal Aspects of Relief Operations

A Round Tables Workshop

May, 26 – 27, 2019,

University of Haifa

List of Participants (alphabetical order)


Rebecca Barber

Ms. Rebecca Barber is an associate lecturer with Deakin University’s Centre for Humanitarian Leadership.  She has over 15 years’ experience in humanitarian assistance, in roles that have focused primarily on protection, rule of law and human rights, and humanitarian policy and advocacy.  She has spent most of her career working with international NGOs, in both conflict and natural disaster contexts across Africa, Asia and the Pacific.  She has masters degrees in international development and international law, and has published on a wide range of issues across humanitarian assistance and international humanitarian and human rights law including the protection of civilians, humanitarian access, human rights in disasters, the responsibility to protect, and the role of the UN Security Council and General Assembly in responding to humanitarian crises.

Michal Ben Gal

Dr. Michal Ben Gal is a researcher and the Academic coordinator of the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions and the Israeli National Knowledge and Research Center for Emergency Readiness at the University of Haifa. Michal received her PhD from the University of Haifa (2004). She is a planner (Master of City and Regional Planning, from the Technion, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, 1998) and member in the Israel Planners Association, as well as a lawyer (LL.B. from the University of Haifa, Faculty of Law (2009), and admitted to the Israeli bar in December 2010). Her PhD thesis focused on the Potential of Framing Analysis for Environmental Conflict Management. Her main research interests include regulatory frameworks for emergency situations, and mitigation and facilitation of public and environmental conflicts.

Odeda Benin Goren

Dr. Odeda Benin-Goren is a Registered Nurse Certified in Emergency Nursing (CEN) with PhD. She has broad experience as a clinical nurse in the fields of Internal Medicine, Public Health, and Emergency Medicine. Odeda was among the pioneers that established the national Emergency Nursing Course for nurses to become CEN. As a CEN, she specializes in all types of Emergencies, including Mass Casualty Incidents (MCIs).

During the last decade, she specialized in the area of Disaster and Humanitarian response and works with government ministries and agencies worldwide.

Odeda is a United Nation Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) member under the UN-Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affair (OCHA). She is also a consultant of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of International Cooperation (MASHAV) at the Israeli Ministry of Froing Affair (MFA), in the areas of Emergency Medicine/nursing, Trauma, Intensive Care, Disaster Preparedness, and Risk Assessment.

Recently she was elected as the Chair of the Nursing Special Interesting Group (SIG) in the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM).

Ziv Bohrer

Dr. Ziv Bohrer is an assistant professor at Bar-Ilan University, Faculty of Law. His main areas of interest are International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law. He is, currently, researching the long (forgotten) pre-WWII history of International Criminal Law

Larry Bottinick

Mr. Larry Bottinick serves as the Senior Protection Officer for UNHCR Israel.  Prior duty stations include Indonesia, Guantanamo Bay, Czech Republic, Turkey, and several posts in Geneva, including conducting inspections and investigations.  I also served one year as an Ethics Officer for the UN Secretariat in NY.  I’m a U.S. educated lawyer (Georgetown Law, University of Michigan), raised in Washington D.C.   

Michal Bruck

Ms. Michal Bruck serves as the CEO of the NALA, an NGO that operates community health programs aiming to prevent neglected tropical diseases, including bilharzia, trachoma and intestinal parasites.

She has extensive humanitarian experience, both as NGO surge capacity and as part of the United Nations Logistics Cluster. Michal worked for 6 years at the World Food Programme, and has managed its Logistics Service Provision Project, aiming to provide services to the humanitarian community, as well as the FMIP, a joint United Nations/Government of Ethiopia program to improve the in-country humanitarian supply chain. She also served in multiple disaster response operations, from the Kosovo Crisis in 1998 to the West Africa Ebola Crisis in 2014. Michal provides consultancy services to international organizations such as UNICEF, UNHCR, and IFRC, WFP including the formulation of the Logistics Cluster Strategy.

She holds an MBA from the University of Geneva specializing on management in international organization, and an LLB from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


Dr. Stéphanie Cartier is a Legal Officer with the UN Office of Legal Affairs (OLA). Prior to joining OLA, she taught at Fordham University and collaborated with the Brandeis Institute for International Judges and the Project on International Courts and Tribunals. She also worked with human rights NGOs, the ILO and the WTO Appellate Body. Stephanie earned a B.C.L. and LL.B. from McGill, a Master’s from the GIISD, Geneva, and a Ph.D. from Maastricht University.

Sita Cacioppe

Dr. Sita Cacioppe has been working as a Medical team leader and Project team lead with a Medical INGO, after eight years experience,she is currently doing her MBA in Healthcare Innovation, so as to further utilities innovation tools within the humanitarian context.

Kevin Chang 1 Mr. Kevin Chang has almost two decades of professional experience serving as an advisor in international human rights law, justice sector reform and conflict mediation, majority of the time based in conflict and post-conflict settings. He has served the United Nations under peacekeeping, development and humanitarian mandates, most recently as a senior rule of law advisor to the UN in Myanmar, Ethiopia, Timor-Leste and South Sudan, the latter two as part of a UN peacekeeping mission. He has previously served the UN in Nepal, Pakistan and at Geneva Headquarters. Kevin has also worked for the Australian Government on numerous occasions, most recently as Director of Human Rights Policy in the Federal Attorney-General’s Department. Kevin holds degrees from the University of Sydney (JD, MA, GradDipIntLaw), the Australian National University (LLM, GradDipLegPrac) and Monash University (BSc). He is a Visiting Scholar in Peace and Conflict at the University of Sydney and a Lawyer of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory.
 Rosa da Costa

Ms. Rosa da Costa is a Human Rights lawyer with expertise and publications in a range of human rights areas. These include refugee law and internal displacement, women's rights, administration of justice, integration, humanitarian law and children's rights. She has worked with several UN agencies including UNHCR, OHCHR and Office of the Representative of Children in Armed Conflict, as well as with NGOs and the Canadian Government. During her career, Rosa has lived in several countries and participated in emergency operations and field missions to conflict and post-conflict settings such as Iraq, Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya.

Dafna Dror Shpoliansky

Ms. Dafna Dror-Shpoliansky is a legal counsel at the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, International Law Division, Human Rights Department (MOJ, Israel). Her practice focuses on advising on international human rights law aspects regarding legislative procedures and Supreme Court proceedings, as well as reporting to the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies.

Prior to joining the MOJ, Ms. Dror-Shpoliansky was a legal research extern at the Codification Division of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), New York. During her legal studies, Ms. Dror clerked at the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (UNICTR) in the Chambers Support Section.

Eyal Dror

Ltc. (Res.) Eyal Dror Served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces for the past 24 years in a variety of positions in the frontline as a coordination and liaison officer in the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and in the previous 3 years,  founded and served as the commander of the "Good Neighbor" unit – the Israeli aid to Syrian civilians in the Syria-Israel border area, which conducted over 700 humanitarian aid missions, and collaborated with more than 20 Israeli, Christians and Muslims NGO'S. 

Eyal is married +3, lives in Kibbutz Sde Nehemia.

Christie Edwards

Ms. Christie Edwards is an internationally recognized and published expert with over nineteen years of experience working on international humanitarian and human rights law, gender, international policy and advocacy, and international community development.

Currently, Christie serves as the Deputy Head of the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department of the OSCE Office of Democracy and Human Rights, addressing issues of racism, xenophobia, religious discrimination, and hate crimes.

Previously, as the Director of International Humanitarian Law at the American Red Cross, Christie lead the organization’s legal education, public, and youth outreach efforts on IHL, directly reaching over 60,000 people per year with a social reach of over 24 million. Finally, Christie serves as the Vice Chair of the International Organizations Interest Group of the American Society of International Law (ASIL).

She has published law review articles on forced contraception as a form of torture, the cultural context of sex trafficking in China, the use of gender budget analysis to achieve educational parity for women and girls, legal advocacy strategies for women's rights in Morocco, and ISIL’s use of forced contraception as a form of torture. She also speaks regularly for local and international conferences on international human rights and humanitarian law issues.

Itay Epshtain

Mr. Itay Epshtain is a Senior Humanitarian Law and Policy Consultant, a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, and Disaster Management Officer with Magen David Adom (MDA) National Disaster Response Team. 

Epshtain is a member of the European Society of International Law, and a member of the International Bar Association War Crimes Committee. Epshtain is a graduate of Harvard University Kennedy School of Government; M.A. International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid; holds diplomas in International Environmental Law, International Humanitarian Law; and advanced qualifications in the Law of Armed Conflict, International Disaster Relief Law, and in Human Rights and Forced Displacement. 

Yoni Eshpar

Mr. Yoni Eshpar has worked since 2014 as a Political Affairs Officer at the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO). Previously he was the director of the public department of the Israeli human rights organization Gisha, and a senior project director at the Economic Cooperation Foundation (ECF), dealing with humanitarian, economic and political issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During 2006-2010 he worked for the UK-based company Exclusive Analysis as a regional consultant and political risk analyst for Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Yoni has published dozens of articles and op-eds in leading newspapers and professional journals.

Ronit Gidron Zemach

Ms. Ronit Gidron Zemach is an attorney. She is the CEO of The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists for more than a decade. The Association works, mainly, to fight anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial – promoting human rights and protection against racism, xenophobia, and other related issues of international law. Previously, Ms. Gidron Zemach worked in one of the top three law firms in Israel (Goldfarb, Seligman) as a commercial litigator in the Department of Communications and Media and in the Litigation Department. Her work included negotiating with the Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting, etc., providing counseling to customers and companies from various sectors regarding contents, information databases, and copyrights.  She holds a LL.B. from the School of Law, The College of Management Academic Studies, and a LL.M. from Fordham University and is a certified mediator.

Emanuela Chiara Gillard

Ms. Emanuela-Chiara Gillard is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Ethics Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC).  From 2007 to 2013 she was the Chief of the Protection of Civilians Section in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).  Prior to that Emanuela spent seven years at the International Committee of the Red Cross as a legal adviser.  She holds BA and LLM degrees from the University of Cambridge.  

Her research interests include international humanitarian law, with a particular focus on the protection of civilians and mechanisms for promoting compliance; the role of the Security Council in enhancing the protection of civilians; and principled humanitarian action.

Adi Hercowitz Amir

Dr. Adi Hercowitz-Amir is a sociologist focusing her research on the topics of public policy and public sentiments as regards to international migration. In the academic year 2018-2019 she is a post-doctoral scholar at the Haifa Center for German and European Studies (HCGES) at the University of Haifa. She completed her PhD at the Department of Sociology at the University of Haifa in the summer of 2017. Her dissertation focused on host states’ reception of asylum seekers and refugees, at both citizen and state levels and is entitled: “Hostile hosting? The Construction of Public opinion and public policy towards asylum seekers and refugees: the cases of Israel and Denmark”.

Danny Kahn

Mr. Danny Kahn has chaired NATAN-International Humanitarian Aid since 2015, a role to which he applied his International relations, International development and educational experience. Former senior officer at the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, he served for twenty years in international relations and was posted in Africa, Asia and Europe. He later served as Director of the International Development at the World ORT Geneva’ office. Danny Kahn comes from the world of informal education in Israel and France and was directly involved in the rescue of the Jewish communities in Muslim countries.

Ina Kubbe

Dr. Ina Kubbe is a Post-Doctoral Fellow working at the School of Political Science, Government and International Relations at Tel Aviv University, where she is mainly researching and teaching on the causes and consequences of corruption. Ina is also working as an international consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Education for Justice (E4J), where she develops university modules on anti-corruption, in particular in the field of “Corruption and Comparative Politics”, “Corruption and Gender”, “Corruption and Good Governance” and “Corruption and Human Rights”. 

Einav Levy

Mr. Einav Levy is the Founding Director of The Israeli School of Humanitarian Action and Lucien Research center for Humanitarian Action. He is a manager and entrepreneur with a profound experience in the interface between the Non-Profit sector and the business, governmental, social and academic sectors, and expertise in Humanitarian Action. Previously a COO of an organization, which promote development in Africa, a CEO of NGO dealing with International Humanitarian Action, and board member in few organizations including SID-Israel and NALA Foundation. Einav is a consultant of few Israeli Ministries on topics of managing people in emergencies,  systems on crisis and community resilience .

Expected to finish his Ph.D in Behavioral Medicine in the Liberal University of Brussels. His main academic work is focused on health and behavior among population at risk, Migrants and Minorities.

Jerry Locula

Mr. Jerry Locula is a Liberian and a Human Rights Activist. He is Former Human Rights Officer of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) where he worked for nearly six years monitoring, investigating and reporting on the human rights situations in the country, at the same time advocating with the government for the protection and promotion of human rights. He was instrumental in documenting human rights and international humanitarian law violations in the civil war in South Sudan. Through his technical expertise, Jerry Locula assisted the State's Assembly in formulating and enacting "Girl Child Education Art" in Central Equatoria which consequently guaranteed the rights to girls to education. Prior, he worked with the Independent National Commission on Human Rights of the Republic of Liberia and the Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Programme of the Lutheran Church in Liberia as Human Rights Monitor and Director for Human Rights and Governance respectively. Currently, Jerry is Founder and CEO of the Locula Foundation; a nonprofit organization that is promoting social justice, human rights and empowering communities in Liberia. Jerry holds Master's in International Law and Human Rights from the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica. 

Itamar Mann

Dr. Itamar Mann is a law professor at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law. His research is in international law and political theory. He teaches  international law and a number of related courses, including an elective on law and terrorism, environmental law, and a clinical seminar on law and politics in the Mediterranean region.

Before moving to Haifa, Itamar was the national security law fellow and an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law Center, Washington DC. He holds an LLB from Tel Aviv University, and LLM and JSD degrees from Yale Law School.

Alongside teaching and research, Itamar provide pro-bono consultancy to several human rights organizations, and is a member of the legal action committee at GLAN (Global Legal Action Network). He has previously provided services to Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Justice Initiative on issues related to refugee and migration law in Europe.

Melissa Martins Casagrande

Prof. Dr. Melissa Martins Casagrande holds a joint appointment in the Schools of Law and International Relations at Universidade Positivo in Curitiba, Brazil where she currently leads a research project on Human Mobility. Melissa holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Law from Universidade Federal do Paraná (Brazil) and a Doctor of Civil Law degree from McGill University (Canada). Melissa also works as a legal advisor to public agencies and third sector organizations on International Refugee Law and International Humanitarian Law. 

Tanyah Murkes

Ms. Tanyah Murkes is the Director of Forum Dvorah - a non-partisan, non-profit NGO with an active network of professional women in an array of fields relating to Israel’s national security and foreign policy. 

Aninia Nadig

Ms. Aninia Nadig joined Sphere in 2008. She is Sphere’s Policy and Practice Manager. For the past two years, she was heavily involved in the revision of the Sphere Handbook 2018, overseeing the process during much of the second year. Prior to joining Sphere, Aninia was Country Analyst at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) where she was responsible for the Horn of Africa. Before that she worked in the Netherlands, focusing on Dutch and EU refugee and asylum policy issues with Dutch non-profit organisations. Prior to that, she did refugee status determination for the Swiss Federal Office for Refugees.
Aninia holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Lausanne and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands).

Ophelie Namiech

Ms. Ophelie Namiech has been working and studying in the fields of international law, diplomacy, human rights, international development and humanitarian assistance for the past 13 years. Her main area of interest and expertise is institutional development in conflict and post-conflict settings in security sector reform and gender, with a regional focus on Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. 

Ophelie holds a Master in International Law (LLM) from the University of Amsterdam as well as a Master of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) of Columbia University. She has 4+ years of experience at several United Nations Headquarters in the Hague, Geneva and New York combined with 8+ years of field experience in Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa – including 5+ years in South Sudan, Ophelie’s second home.

Magda Pacholska

Dr. Magda Pacholska is a Scientific Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law. She earned her Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her doctoral work concerning the United Nations’ responsibility for aiding and assisting human rights and IHL violations in the context of peacekeeping was conducted as part of the Human Rights under Pressure interdisciplinary research training group in cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin. She is an Expert Rapporteur with Oxford Reports on International Law, particularly on issues related to peace operations, international responsibility of international organizations, and international criminal law.

Frances Raday

Prof. Frances Raday is the Director of the Concord Center for International Human Rights Law at COLMAN, Professor Emerita Lieberman Chair for Labour Law, Hebrew University; Honorary Professor, University College London; and Doctor Honoris, University of Copenhagen.

Raday was appointed, between 2000 and 2018, as a UN independent human rights expert, first on the CEDAW Committee and subsequently as a Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights Council. She has litigated cutting-edge human rights cases, including on issues of women’s right to equality in political, economic and religious contexts; TU freedoms; migrant and Palestinian workers’ rights. She has submitted expert opinions to courts in the UK and Brazil, regarding the right to abortion, and, in the US, regarding inventor’s patent rights.

Ido Rosenzweig

Mr. Ido Rosenzweig is Director of International Organizstions at the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (IAJLJ). He also serves as the Director of Research (Terrorism, Belligerencies and Cyber) at the Minerva Center for the Study of Law under Extreme Conditions.

Ido is an international lawyer with expertise in international humanitarian law (laws of armed conflict) and international human rights law. He is a co-founder and chairman of ALMA - Association for the Promotion of International Humanitarian Law since 2010. 

Eli M. Salzberger

Prof. Eli M. Salzberger was the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa and the President of the European Association for Law and Economics.  He is the director of the Haifa Center for German and European Studies, the director of the Minerva Center for the Study of the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions and he is the co-director of the International Academy for Judges at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law.

Shadia Sbait

Ms. Shadia Sbait is Humanity Crew’s strategy and development advisor. With a Master degree in information management, Bachelor degree in economics, business, and resource development, Shadia has been active for the last 20 years in social-political activism and human rights. In Humanity Crew, her job is to overlook the strategy development of the organization, advise on long-term plans and projects, and support the team in applying to them. Through communicating directly with funders and philanthropists, Shadia is able to share Humanity Crew's vision and mission with relevant stakeholders around the world.

Pnina Sharvit Baruch

Col (ret.) Adv. Pnina Sharvit Baruch is a senior research fellow and the head of the program on law and national security at the Israel Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). She retired from the Israel Defense Forces in 2009 at the rank of Colonel after twenty years in the International Law Department, heading the Department from 2003. In this capacity she was responsible for advising the IDF and the GOI on issues relating to international law, including on the laws of armed conflict and counter-terrorism. She also served as a member of Israel's delegations to the negotiations with the Palestinians and with Syria. After 2009 she taught courses on public international law and on the legal aspects of the Israel – Arab conflict in the law faculty of the Tel-Aviv University.

Deborah F. Shmueli

Prof. Deborah F. Shmueli is a faculty member in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Haifa, Head of the National Knowledge and Research Center for Emergency Readiness (awarded in 2018), and a co-Principal Investigator (PI) of the Minerva Center for Law and Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa (awarded in 2013).