SJD Program

The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) is the most advanced law degree at American University Washington College of Law. The program brings together aspiring legal academics and other top legal professionals from around the world who wish to research and write a dissertation of publishable quality under the instruction of faculty members who are recognized experts and leading practitioners in their fields.


Katayoon Beshkardana

SJD Candidate


Katayoon Beshkardana, an SJD candidate at American University Washington College of Law, is working on her dissertation titled, Delegation of Authority to International Dispute Settlement Bodies: Case of The WTO Appellate Body and The ICSID Annulment Committee." She seeks to fill the gap in the existing literature on judicial activism in international trade and investment law. Her dissertation attempts to address the limitations to the interpretive function of Dispute Settlement Bodies, the structural complexities of international judicial appointments in face of unexpected and often unwelcome rulings, and the role of these judicial bodies in advancing the laws of international trade and investment, legal transparency, and procedural coherence.

Prior to joining the Washington College of Law SJD program, Ms. Beshkardana worked as an in-house legal counsel and the head of international investment contracts negotiations for several Iranian private companies.

Degrees & Universities

SJD Candidate, American University, Washington College of Law
LL.M., American University, Washington College of Law, 2016
LL.M., University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran, 2009
Master of laws, European Inter-University Center for Human Rights and Democratization, Venice, Italy, 2008
LL.B., University of Allameh Tabatabai, Tehran, Iran, 2005

Areas of Specialization

International Trade and Investment Law
Investor-State Dispute Settlement
International Organizations
Law of Treaties


Commercial Arbitration in International Contracts, Iranian Society of Consulting Engineers, Autumn 2012 (Farsi).

The Right to Democracy in Contemporary International Law, International Law Journal, Iran Center for International Legal Affairs (CILA), No. 47, Autumn-Winter 2012-2013 (Farsi).

In the Interest of Justice: Prosecutorial Discretionary Power under Article 53 of the Rome Statute, Iranian Yearbook of International and Comparative Law Studies, University of Shahid Beheshti, Faculty of Law, No. 5, 2012 (English).


Iranian American Academics and Professionals, Scholarship Award, Outstanding Academic Achievements, January 2016; Washington DC, USA

Contact Information

To contact Ms. Beshkardana, email her at