Lecturer in Law
Alka Pradhan is an expert on the application of human rights and humanitarian law to counterterrorism situations, and the impact of torture on fair trials. She is currently Human Rights Counsel at the Guantanamo Bay Military Commissions, representing one of the defendants in the capital case of United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (the “9/11 case”).
Pradhan was previously Counter-Terrorism Counsel at Reprieve US, where she represented a number of Guantanamo Bay detainees in litigation involving habeas corpus claims and conditions of detention. She also conducted advocacy and litigation on behalf of civilian victims of the targeted killing (drone) program in Yemen and Pakistan and has advised the U.S. government on compliance with international legal obligations. Ms. Pradhan also worked as Counsel for The Constitution Project’s bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment, and as a specialist in sovereign litigation at White & Case LLP.
Ms. Pradhan has acted as special counsel for the defense at the International Criminal Court and has worked closely with members of the UK Parliament and the European Parliament on official investigations into torture and war crimes. Additionally, she has made submissions or presentations on behalf of clients to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Committee Against Torture, the Human Rights Committee, and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. She has assisted with or advised on a number of amicus curiae briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ms. Pradhan is a member of the Drafting Group of Experts on the forthcoming Protocol on Investigative Interviewing, to be adopted by the United Nations in 2021. She is a frequent commentator in the media on international law, counter-terrorism, and torture issues, and has written numerous law review and media articles on the relationship between human rights and national security. Her work has been profiled by the New York Times Magazine, in the documentary “The Trial,” and in several books about Guantanamo Bay.
Ms. Pradhan received a BA in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University, an MA in International Law and South Asia Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a JD from Columbia Law School, and an LLM in International Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).