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Michelle Reyes Milk

Senior Counsel, International Justice Program
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Michelle Reyes Milk is a senior counsel at the International Justice Program of Human Rights Watch. She is a Peruvian-American lawyer, specialized in International Law (ICL, IHL and IHRL). Prior to that, she has worked as a Consultant on International Justice issues for Women´s Initiatives for Gender Justice (The Hague, The Netherlands), No Peace Without Justice (Brussels, Belgium/Rome, Italy), and Due Process of Law Foundation (Washington DC, USA). 

From November 2012 until June 2020, Ms. Reyes Milk was the Regional Coordinator for the Americas at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), where she spearheaded the Coalition’s Secretariat´s actions in the Americas concerning ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute; working in the context of the Preliminary Examinations of Colombia and Venezuela, and contributing to other thematic aspects of the Coalition’s work. Prior to this role, between 2009 and 2012, Ms. Reyes Milk held the position of Outreach Liaison for the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, at the Coalition’s headquarters in New York, actively participating at the sessions of the New York Working Group of the ASP, and other relevant sessions within the UNGA Sixth Committee. 

Before joining CICC, Ms. Reyes Milk was the Legal Advisor to the Peruvian National Committee on International Humanitarian Law, where she worked on the implementation of IHL within the Peruvian legal system, and worked closely in drafting the implementing law of the Rome Statute for the ICC. Prior to that, Ms. Reyes Milk was a Legal Associate at the Institute of Democracy and Human Rights (IDEHPUCP) of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, tasked, inter alia, with the implementation of some of the recommendations adopted by the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, under the leadership of Dr. Salomón Lerner. Ms. Reyes Milk has been teaching International Criminal Law and Human Rights at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) since July 2012. 

Ms. Reyes Milk holds a Law Degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), obtaining her LLB after defending her thesis, “The Principle of Immunity of Serving Heads of State and its status upon the commission of crimes under international law”, graduating summa cum laude. She obtained her Master’s Degree on Fundamental Rights from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, in Madrid, Spain, graduating summa cum laude. She is also an alumna of the Salzburg Law School on International Criminal Law, and has taken advanced IHL courses at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy. She has authored a number of articles on Public International Law, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, and has offered numerous lectures across the Americas and beyond on said issues.