Priya Pillai profilepic.jpg

international lawyer & consultant

I am a lawyer and international law specialist, with expertise in the areas of international justice, international human rights, transitional justice, peace and conflict, and humanitarian issues.

I have worked at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) headquarters in Geneva on legal issues in the humanitarian sphere, at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on trials in the aftermath of the Balkans conflict, and with various civil society organizations on implementation of international law (human rights, rule of law and transitional justice). I have been involved in different aspects of peace and transitional justice initiatives, in South and South-East Asia, and I write and advocate on these issues regularly. I consult on various aspects of international law, for organizations such as Amnesty International, WHO and the IFRC.

I hold a PhD in international law and transitional justice from the Graduate Institute of International & Development Studies, Geneva. My doctoral dissertation, on the feasibility of truth commissions in India, covers an assessment of prosecutions and amnesties in international law, powers of truth commissions, the ‘right to truth’ in international and domestic law, international and domestic commissions of inquiry, and peoples’ tribunals.

I obtained an LL.M from New York University and a law degree from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. 

After New Delhi, The Hague, New York, Bangalore and Geneva, I currently call Manila, the Philippines, home.


  • Worked on trials and appeals as a lawyer in Chambers at the ICTY.

  • Negotiated with governments to establish IFRC offices globally.

  • Advocacy for the 31st International Conference of Red Cross & Red Crescent.

  • Contributed to transitional justice initiatives in South & South-East Asia.

  • Legal advocacy on the Convention against Torture & the Genocide Convention.

  • Publications in newspapers, magazines & legal fora.


  • Operational experience of humanitarian contexts, human rights issues, and expertise in transitional justice - connecting the silos!

  • Working with multiple stakeholders (legal, government & civil society).

  • In-depth international and comparative legal research, with the ability to 'translate' for diverse legal & non-legal audiences.

  • Legal training.

  • Advocacy & communication strategies.