Daniel R. Mekonnen obtained his primary legal education in Eritrea, where he served, among other things, as Judge of the Zoba Maekel Provincial Court in Asmara. His LLM in Human Rights and LLD in Public International Law are respectively from the University of Stellenbosch and the University of the Free State. With a strong bias towards human rights and international criminal law, he also has a cumulative work experience in diverse areas ranging from development cooperation to North-South relations, nonviolent action, democratisation, peace & conflict studies, transitional justice and international humanitarian law. He has taught courses on human rights and international law at tertiary levels of education. All in all, he has thus far produced more than 80 academic publications and research outputs disaggregated in the form of: monographs/books, journal articles, chapters in edited volumes, conference papers, consultancies and expert legal opinions.
Additionally, Mekonnen is a frequent commentator in popular media and in online forums. His most important achievement is a professional legal service he provided between January 2010 and May 2012 to Linklaters LLP, one of the world’s top ten law firms, headquartered in London. His contribution in this regard was instrumental in securing an international arbitral award of US$ 85.6 million in favour of a client represented by Linklaters. In relation to his matter, Mekonnen has also given expert testimony at the London Tribunal of the International Chamber of Commerce, where the arbitral award was granted. The award was successfully executed by the District Court of Zurich in Switzerland.
A former fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany and the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law in Switzerland, Mekonnen has successfully completed four post-doctoral fellowships at the Human Rights Centre in Gent University, the International Victimology Institute (INTERVICT) in Tilburg University, the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Ireland, and the Felsberg Institute for Education and Academic Research in Germany. Before joining ILPI, Mekonnen was a research fellow at the School of Law in Queen’s University Belfast, where he was involved in a research project dealing with the role of lawyers in conflict & transition. Mekonnen is associated with ILPI Centre for African Studies and ILPI Centre for Human Rights Studies.