Constitutional Law Department Professor awarded top rating and other recognitions for her doctoral thesis

Professor-researcher Natalia Castro Niño defended her thesis December 12, 2017, at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Her doctoral thesis “Del daño a las lesiones colectivas. Estudio sobre conceptos adaptados a los desafíos contemporáneos de la responsabilidad internacional” (From damage to collective injuries. Study on concepts adapted to the contemporary challenges of international responsibility), is part of the in-depth study of the harm concept in International Law.

According to Professor Castro, the study seeks to propose a definition for damage conforming to the practice of the different branches of International Law (foreign investment, trade, human rights, International Humanitarian Law, Environmental Law, etc.). After presenting this concept and its variants, the thesis focuses on identifying damages and injuries that can be classified as collective.

Natalia defended her thesis on December 12, 2017, at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. The jury was formed by Professors Raphäele Rivier (University Paris 1); Sarah Cassella (University du Mans); Mathias Forteau (University Paris X), and Jorge Viñuales (University of Cambridge). Professor Evelyne Lagrange (University Paris 1) and Juan Carlos Henao, Rector of the Externado de Colombia University, the co-directors of her research, were also part of the jury, having a voice, but no vote.

The thesis focuses on the study of legal and non-legal criteria, other than International Law, allowing a coherent reading of this practice. This reading serves as the basis to propose a collective legal injury and damage concept.

The work addresses injuries caused by violation of international obligations in various fields, verified by domestic and international courts, whose study as a category has still not been carried out, in part, by the absence of a definition. In addition to defining them, Dr. Castro addresses the specific effects of this type of injury regarding invocation and international responsibility content.  Also, she analyzes the possible defense actions by victims of collective injuries and forms of collective reparation responding to their needs in different international scenarios.

“The jury rated the thesis “very honorable mention with congratulations” (the equivalent of summa cum laude, i.e., the highest rating). They recommended the thesis for publication and agreed to submit the work for several awards”, said Natalia.

Also, in addition to this recognition, the thesis was selected one of the top 10 among the nearly 400 works, in different disciplines, presented at the University of Paris in 2017. Additionally, it was the only thesis by a foreigner awarded at the ceremony.