DePaul University College of Law > About > Centers & Institutes > International Human Rights Law Institute > About Us > Staff


Denis Edwards, Director

Denis Edwards joined DePaul University College of Law as Director of the International Human Rights Law Institute and a visiting professor of law in August 2014.

Professor Edwards obtained an LLB with honors and the 1987 David Lowe Prize in Public Law from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He received an LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar. He was a lecturer in law at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow from 1990 to 1995, and at the JW Goethe University in Frankfurt and the University of Giessen in Germany in 1993. He was a visiting professor of law at Tulane Law School in academic year 1995-1996, and he was an associate professor of law at the City University of Hong Kong between 1996 and 2000. In academic year 2000-2001, he was a Human Rights Law Teaching Fellow at Columbia Law School in New York City. Since 2001, he has taught EU law with the University of London International Program, including in Hong Kong and Moscow. In 2012, 2013 and 2014 he taught EU Law at DePaul and also assisted in the DePaul Legal Clinic.

Professor Edwards is a barrister of the Middle Temple, which awarded him a Harmsworth Scholarship. In 2003 and 2004, he was a judicial assistant in both the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court of England and Wales. He is a member of the leading environmental law set of barristers’ chambers in London and also an Advocate in Scotland. His expertise includes EU law, international trade law, administrative law, constitutional law, human rights law, environmental law and education law. He has appeared in courts at all levels in the UK, including three cases in the UK Supreme Court, and in two cases heard by the European Court of Human Rights. Professor Edwards also has published a number of articles in leading law journals, including the American Journal of Comparative Law and the Journal of Environmental Law. He co-authored a book on judicial review, with a UK Supreme Court Justice, which is regarded as the leading work on administrative law in Scotland. He has also participated in a number of lawyer and judicial training programs in developing countries, including in the People’s Republic of China.

Elisabeth Ward, Executive Director

Elisabeth Ward-Herman has served as executive director of the International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI) at DePaul University College of Law since 2012. As executive director, Ward-Herman is responsible for the conceptualization, design and management of IHRLI’s international projects, experiential learning opportunities and scholarly research. As executive director, Ward-Herman has managed numerous international human rights projects around the world aimed at assisting vulnerable persons in accessing the international human rights law regime while simultaneously providing College of Law students with experiential learning opportunities. Prior to serving as executive director, she held the position of director of international projects at IHRLI, managing IHRLI’s U.S. Department of State grants in Iraq. These grants included the Legal Education Reform Project, the Women’s Leadership Project, the NGO Training Project, the Supporting Democracy in Iraq Project and the Building Gender Capacity Project. Prior to joining the IHRLI staff, Ward-Herman was selected as the IHRLI Senior Research Fellow in 2009, leading a research project focused on required legislative changes aimed at combating trafficking in Vietnam.

Prior to her tenure at IHRLI, Ward-Herman worked for several human rights oriented NGOs, focused on a variety of international human rights law issues. She primarily focused on issues of accountability in post-conflict settings, issues surrounding anti-trafficking efforts and issues surrounding the protection of the rights of women and children. Ward-Herman has been published in several international law publications on a variety of international human rights law topics, including inter-country adoption, trafficking and the United Nations human rights treaty body system. She has appeared before UN agencies, has authored numerous shadow reports, has worked with many domestic governmental agencies in foreign countries and has lead human rights trainings for legal professionals in a number of countries. In addition to her practical experience, Ward-Herman has developed and taught a variety of international human rights law courses currently offered at DePaul, including Women’s Human Rights, Children’s Human Rights, the International Human Rights Law Practicum and the International Human Rights Law Colloquium. She received her JD from Michigan State University College of Law and her BA with honors from James Madison College at Michigan State University. She is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois.