Katharine Fortin is a senior lecturer of public international law and human rights at Utrecht University's Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM). She is the Editor in Chief of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights and founder and editor of the Armed Groups and Intenrational Law blog. She has been a member of the Utrecht Young Academy since 2022, a platform to exchange critical perspectives on academic, policy and society in Utrecht and beyond. She is also one of the co-founders and (current) coordinators of the Institutions for Open Societies and Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges Contesting Governance platform.
Katharine is one of the co-ordinators of the Conflict and Security track of the Public International Law LLMs at Utrecht University. The focus of her research is the legal framework which applies to non-international armed conflicts, with a particular focus on intersections between international humanitarian law and international human rights law and armed non State actors. Her book The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law, published by the OUP in August 2017 with a foreword by Andrew Clapham, won the Lieber Prize in 2018. She teaches human rights law, public international law and international humanitarian law at masters and bachelors level, as well as coaches students for the Frits Kalshoven competitions in international humanitarian law. In 2019, she took part in the Westerdijk Programme designed to provide mentorship and support to talented female lecturers at Utrecht University. In July 2019, she was awarded an NWO Veni grant (250,000 euros) to carry out a research project - Dangerous Liaisons: civilian agency, armed groups and international law. She also works with Mohammad Kanfash on a related NWO Hestia project, which looks at the role of local intermediaries on the return of the State in Sýria.
Katharine has a LLM (summa cum laude) and PhD (cum laude) at the University of Utrecht. She is a qualified solicitor in the UK and previously worked at Norton Rose Fulbright, the Council of Churches of Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.