Welcome Human Rights and Surveillance Fellow Sarah St.Vincent

Written by Greg Nojeim

We are delighted to announce Sarah St.Vincent as CDT’s new Human Rights and Surveillance Fellow.  An experienced human rights lawyer, Sarah joins us following a clerkship at the International Court of Justice, where she worked for Judges Xue Hanqin and Giorgio Gaja.  Sarah will draw on her experience with the ICJ and other international human rights bodies to advocate for government surveillance practices that comply with human rights standards.

Sarah has worked with non-profit organizations in both the United States and Europe on human rights issues. She spent two years as a staff lawyer and Skadden Fellow at the Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (AIRE) Centre in London, where she provided legal advice and representation to clients seeking to vindicate rights protected under EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights.  During law school, Sarah worked as a legal intern for the UN Program at the Geneva Secretariat of the International Commission of Jurists, and for the Liberty and National Security Project at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Sarah holds a B.A. in English literature and Asian studies from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in East Asian studies from Harvard, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.  She is a member of the New York bar.

One focus of Sarah’s work will be NSA surveillance conducted internationally. US law affords few protections against surveillance for people outside of US borders that are not US citizens. As a result, international human rights law is an essential part of building accountability around these practices. The issue of extraterritoriality – a state’s human rights obligations to people located outside the nation’s territory – is an area of law that has not yet been sufficiently developed to address human rights challenges in the digital age. In early 2014, CDT held a roundtable discussion bringing together academics, advocates, and human rights experts to examine the complexities of applying human rights standards to cross-border surveillance practices (see a summary of the roundtable here) with an eye toward identifying new opportunities for advocacy and thought leadership in the area. Sarah’s work will build on the momentum of the roundtable and the significant interest participants expressed in future collaboration.

Please join us in welcoming Sarah!

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