2010 Fellows

Katy Gabel '12

[In the summer of 2010] I worked for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions at the NYU Law Project on Extrajudicial Executions. In my work, I learned how much research goes into one of the Special Rapporteur's missions and gained a new appreciation for what the team at NYU did to support his work. Beyond the mission work, I was impressed by the project's ongoing effort to tackle tricky and controversial areas of law related to illegal killings worldwide.

The Project on Extrajudicial Executions supports the work of the Special Rapporteur and is affiliated with the NYU Law Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. Most of my work involved conducting research on emerging legal issues, including, broadly, targeted killings, fact-finding, police accountability, elections and unlawful killings. I also researched and drafted allegation letters to governments in response to complaints received alleging extrajudicial executions. I also researched and wrote briefing notes on law and politics for the Rapporteur's mission to Ecuador in July.

One benefit of being affiliated with the center was attending seminars and guest lectures on international and human rights law by professors and practitioners. These lectures and seminars provided invaluable educational experience, especially for a first-year student with no formal legal education beyond the first-year doctrinal subjects.

My summer was challenging and intellectually stimulating. I learned some substantive international law, and got to practice firsthand the kind of work United Nations special rapporteurs undertake.