Originally from Brazil, Professor Cohen was 20 years old when she left her family in 2004 to pursue her law degree at the Université de Montréal (LL.B. 2006). She completed her undergraduate studies with great success, where she made the Dean's List of Excellence and awarded the Bloomfield Scholarship for Excellence and the Jean-Martineau Prize. She was given the opportunity to pursue her graduate studies through the Faculty of Law's Cheminement d’excellence program to complete her first Master of Laws (LL.M.) at the Université de Montréal, and was then made the recipient of the prestigious Alan B. Gold andAubrey-Vincent-Senez scholarships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Her interest in international human rights law led Professor Cohen to undertake two additional master's degrees in this field: one at Cambridge University (UK) (International Law, LL.M. 2008), for which she was awarded the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin Sr. and Cambridge Commonwealth Trust scholarships; the other at Harvard University (USA) (International Human Rights Law, LL. M. 2009), where she was awarded several distinctions, including the Harvard Law School Academic Fellowship and the Frank Knox Memorial and John Peters Humphrey Fellowships of the Canadian Council on International Law in addition to the Harvard Law School Dissertation Publication Award. She successfully defended her doctoral dissertation at the University of Leiden (Netherlands) in 2017 with the unanimous approval of the jury (LL.D. 2017), after receiving the Grotius Centre Scholarship.
With a background in legal theory and practice, Professor Cohen has extensive experience working with international organizations besides her graduate studies in international law and human rights. She has worked in the legal department of the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ), as well as the Appeals Chamber and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). She has also worked as a researcher at Harvard Law School, as a rapporteur for a committee of experts on a draft convention on crimes against humanity, and as a member of a delegation to a treaty negotiation at the United Nations in Geneva. As legal counsel (expert in international law), she acted for the Republic of Panama before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Hamburg), practiced with a major law firm in Montreal, and also offered her expertise to pro bono cases.
While studying abroad, Professor Cohen acquired language skills, expressing herself fluently in Portuguese, English, Spanish and French while mastering the basics of Italian and Dutch. This asset allows her to collaborate with several interdisciplinary and international research teams, conduct multilingual research and publish internationally in high-level academic journals and databases, notably in Canada, the United States, Europe, South Korea, and Brazil. She is frequently invited to collaborate in internationally renowned events, whether as rapporteur of the Oxford International Organisations’ (OXIO) projects with the renowned Oxford University Press or as a lecturer at Columbia University, Oxford University, George Mason University, the University of Western Australia and the American Society of International Law (ASIL), and even as a representative of the Canadian Council on International Law at the Four International Law Societies Conference at Waseda University in Tokyo to present her research. Professor Cohen is an outstanding educator and has participated in the ProCuria program to train lawyers of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia. She was also invited to present her research to the legal staff of the ICC in The Hague.
Professor Cohen began her academic career in 2015. She was first appointed Assistant Professor of Law at Lakehead University (Ontario) until 2018 when she decided to join her alma mater, Université de Montréal, to continue her research and teaching. Now promoted to Associate Professor, she teaches public international law and international human rights law. Since 2022, she has been the holder of a prestigious Canada Research Chair on International Justice and Human Rights. She is also a research associate at the Centre de recherche en droit public (CRDP), the Centre international de criminologie comparée (CICC) and the Centre d'études et de recherches internationales (CÉRIUM).
Most recently, she published Realizing Reparative Justice for International Crimes: From Theory to Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2020), a groundbreaking analysis of restorative justice for massive human rights violations that peers have praised for its rigour and originality. She is also the co-author of the third edition of the book Précis de Droit international public with Professor Stéphane Beaulac (LexisNexis, 2021).
This content has been updated on 8 April 2022 at 13 h 24 min.