The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies is pleased to announce that Ms Rebecca Hacker is this year’s recipient of the Georg Schwarzenberger Prize in International Law.
The prize was endowed by friends and former students of the late Professor Georg Schwarzenberger, distinguished academic who taught international law at the University of London from 1938 to 1975. It is awarded to a student in one of the law schools of the University of London on the basis of outstanding performance in Public International Law.
This year’s winner, Rebecca Hacker, is a graduate in Classics from Durham University. She then completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course, obtaining a distinction in each of them. She trained at an international law firm and qualified as a solicitor in 2019. She then undertook the LLM at the LSE, specialising in Public International Law, and graduated last year.
Rebecca achieved distinctions in all of her LLM courses and was awarded the LSE’s Lauterpacht-Higgins Prize for the best overall performance in Public International Law on the LLM. In her dissertation, Rebecca examined whether – and on what basis – nationality deprivation should be recognised as a form of persecution for the purpose of the 1951 Refugee Convention. She also wrote major research essays on the case for indigenous self-determination for the stateless Bidoon of Kuwait, and on the challenges to transitional justice in Syria.
While at the LSE, Rebecca was selected as Vice Student Director of LSE Pro Bono Matters, a postgraduate student-led pro bono organisation. In this role she set up and oversaw the completion of a group research project on barriers preventing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from accessing family reunification procedures in Greece. This was conducted pro bono for the Migrants’ Law Project at Islington Law Centre. Rebecca has volunteered extensively to support and empower survivors of torture and displacement in the UK, Switzerland, Jordan and Greece. She has also written articles for award-winning human rights website EachOther.
After completing the LLM she volunteered with the International Refugee Assistance Project for six months, providing remote legal assistance to particularly vulnerable refugees in Jordan navigating family reunification and resettlement procedures. She has recently joined the leading immigration law team at Wilson Solicitors in London, where she works on asylum and human rights cases.
Upon receiving news of the award, Ms Hacker said, ‘thank you so much to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies for awarding me the Georg Schwarzenberger Prize. I am honoured and delighted to have been awarded this prize. I am also grateful to my tutors and fellow students at the LSE, from whom I learned so much during the LLM year’.
The Director of the Institute, Professor Carl Stychin, explained: ‘The Institute is very proud to manage the Georg Schwarzenberger Prize on behalf of the University of London. Once again this year, I was faced with the difficult task of choosing the winner from amongst a number of excellent nominees. However, the nomination of Rebecca Hacker stood out. Her achievements are remarkable and no doubt will continue in the years to come. She rightly joins the prestigious list of winners of the Georg Schwarzenberger Prize’.