Assistant Professor Rebecca Hamilton Discusses Journey into International Law

December 12, 2018

Professor Rebecca Hamilton
Assistant Professor Rebecca Hamilton

Advocate, journalist, author – Assistant Professor Rebecca Hamilton has worn many hats in her career prior to ending up in Washington, D.C. at American University Washington College of Law.

Hamilton joined AUWCL in 2016, teaching in the areas of national security law, international law, and criminal law. But as Hamilton explains in a new interview with ATLAS – a global community of female-identifying lawyers, activists, and jurists in various facets of public international law – becoming an influence within the realm of international law, both inside and outside of the classroom, was never her plan.

“My career has essentially been about throwing myself into what I am passionate about, and then finding meaningful ways to work on that substance,” she said.

Among her many roles, Hamilton previously served as a lawyer in International Criminal Court, working on cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda and Sudan. She is the author of Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide, an analysis of citizen activism and the effort to stop mass atrocities. She has also worked as a Washington Post and Reuters journalist, reporting from Sudan when the south of the country was undergoing its self-determination vote in 2010 and 2011. Her recent op-ed for the Washington Post discusses her experiences and thoughts surrounding the #metoo movement.

As a professor at AUWCL, Hamilton is excited to be teaching and within a role that “is made even better by the fact international law is at the heart of so much of what [AUWCL] does, and our student body reflects that.” She is currently working to explore the link between social media platforms and mass violence, she said.

“So even though it looks a bit like I’ve had nine lives, there’s a common thread because it’s always driven by wanting to understand the levers of change in a world where people routinely do horrific things to their fellow human beings,” she told ATLAS.

Learn more about Professor Hamilton’s career journey and the obstacles she has overcome in her ATLAS interview here.