Nicole Barrett, B.A. (Stanford University); M.I.A., cum laude (School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University); J.D., cum laude (Columbia Law School, Columbia University) is the former Executive Director of the Allard Prize Initiatives and Director of the International Justice and Human Rights Clinic at Allard School of Law. She was previously a Trial Lawyer and a Legal Officer for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague and a Senior Scholar in Residence at New York University Law School’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, where she directed clinical projects with international criminal courts and tribunals. From 2013-2014, Nicole was a member of the National Task Force on the Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada convened by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She has directed major projects on human trafficking prevention for the Canadian government and has presented on human trafficking, international criminal law, human rights and corruption in international fora. Nicole has testified before government ministers and international human rights bodies on gender discrimination and anti-human trafficking laws and practices in many countries.
Before moving to Vancouver in 2009, Nicole served as an international humanitarian law advisor for the defense of several Guantanamo detainees and monitored military commissions in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for Human Rights First. She began practicing law at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City in 2003, where she specialized in complex criminal litigation and was a member of the Human Rights Committee of the New York City Bar Association. From 2001-2003, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Gerard E. Lynch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (then U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York) and the Honorable John T. Noonan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Nicole was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar at Columbia Law School and Articles Editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. She received an Honors certificate from Columbia University's Harriman Institute for her graduate work on Eastern Europe and human rights. Before law school, Nicole directed programs to promote democratic reform in Eastern Europe for the Soros Foundations in both Prague and New York City.
Vannie Lau is the Research Associate at the IJHR Clinic. She completed her Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and her Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) at the University of Hong Kong. She was admitted to practice as a solicitor in Hong Kong in 2016. During her legal practice, she handled numerous claims representing victims of medical negligence and work injuries. Vannie also had the privilege to be engaged in Judicial Review cases against the decisions of various governmental departments and branches, as well as constitutionality of various laws and regulations. These cases have set new legal precedents and contributed to the development of jurisprudence.
Prior to joining the legal profession, Vannie worked as a researcher in an international human rights organization. In her spare time, she also devoted considerable efforts to advocating for the underprivileged and marginalized sectors of the society, including victims of human rights violations and persons who lacked means to gain access to the legal system. Vannie from time to time provided pro bono legal services to individuals, organizations, groups and gave talks in workshops and seminars to Non-Governmental Organizations on all aspects of her practice.