Diane A. Desierto

Professor of Law and Global Affairs

Diane A.  Desierto

4123 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-4464

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Diane A. Desierto

Professor of Law and Global Affairs


International law, including international economic law; human rights; development; humanitarian law; comparative constitutional and other public law; maritime security

At the Keough School

Diane A. Desierto holds a joint appointment in the Keough School of Global Affairs and the Notre Dame Law School, where she is professor of law and LLM faculty director. She is a faculty fellow in the Keough School’s Klau Institute for Civil and Human Rights, Kellogg Institute of International Studies, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, Nanovic Institute of European Studies, and Pulte Institute for Global Development. She is also co-principal investigator of the Notre Dame Reparations Design and Compliance Lab.



Desierto teaches, publishes, and practices in international law and human rights, international economic law and development, international arbitration, maritime security, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Law, and comparative public law.

Research and Publications

Desierto authored and/or edited several books, such as Necessity and National Emergency Clauses: Sovereignty in Modern Treaty Interpretation (Martinus Nijhoff, 2012) recipient of the Ambrose Gherini Prize in International Law at Yale Law), Public Policy in International Economic Law: The ICESCR in Trade, Investment and Finance (Oxford University Press, 2015), ASEAN Law and Regional Integration: Governance and the Rule of Law in Southeast Asia’s Single Market (with D. Cohen, Routledge, 2020), as well as, to date, about 140 law review articles, book chapters, essays, and book reviews with leading international law journals and publishers in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Recent Work

In the Media

Professional Roles/Positions

  • Member, Expert Group of the United Nations Working Group on the Right to Development
  • Resource expert, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • Former director of studies and faculty, Hague Academy of International Law
  • President, Friends of the Hague Academy Foundation
  • Philippines Focal Point, International Criminal Court Bar Association.

Desierto also is active as international counsel at matters successfully litigated at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Philippine Supreme Court and Southeast Asian agencies, and was appointed by the Philippine Supreme Court as Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the Philippines Judicial Academy. She serves on the editorial and/or scientific advisory boards of the European Journal of International Law (and editor of its leading international law blog EJIL:Talk!), the Journal of World Investment and Trade, International Law Studies, and various Asian international law journals.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Desierto taught as tenure-track/tenured law faculty at the University of the Philippines, Peking University School of Transnational Law in China, and the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law. She is a recipient of faculty fellowships at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences and the Stanford Center for Human Rights and International Justice, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, the Humboldt-Potsdam-Berlin Senior Fellowship, the East-West Center in Honolulu, the Grotius Fellowship at University of Michigan Law School, and the National University of Singapore’s Asian Law Institute Fellowship. Desierto served as visiting professor at the University of Paris-Nanterre X Faculty of Law, the University of the Philippines College of Law Graduate Program at Bonifacio Global City, and the University of Navarre Faculty of Law in Spain.

Desierto holds JSD and LLM degrees from Yale Law School, as well as JD cum laude class salutatorian and BSc Economics summa cum laude class valedictorian degrees from the University of the Philippines, and was a former Yale Law clerk at the International Court of Justice for Judges Bruno Simma and Bernardo Sepulveda-Amor. She serves as a member of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration Academic Council, the UNCITRAL Academic Forum on Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform, the 2019 Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration drafting team, Co-Chair of the Oxford Investment Claims Summer Academy, and has been recognized repeatedly by Who’s Who Legal as one of the Future Leaders in Arbitration. She was a highlighted faculty member in Notre Dame’s 2020 Women Lead feature.