PhD in International Law

22 October 2012

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An Hertogen and John Ip

An Hertogen graduated with a PhD in International Law at the recent Spring Graduation. As wife of Senior Lecturer John Ip, and daughter-in-law of Professor Manying Ip of Asian Studies, the University relationship is a real family affair.

An did her initial legal training in Belgium, and practiced Competition Law in Brussels for three and half years, before completing her Master of Law (LLM) at Columbia University in New York. It was here that she met John, who was also doing his LLM.

After moving to Auckland to be with John, An was inspired to commit to her PhD and chose to study a topical issue in international law. Her thesis looks at the legal position of states when they are affected by the actions of other states, using issues surrounding climate change as an example. It also looks at financial regulations, and the impacts of these on other states.

“The United States systematically refuses to regulate green house gas emission and is one of the largest contributors. The effect of that refusal isn’t just felt in the US, but in low lying islands in the Pacific. The question is, what can these impacted States do under current international law, either directly, or in response to other states’ refusals to act,” says An.

During her PhD An was involved in the Postgraduate Student Association. Husband John Ip, has just completed a sabbatical and they spent six months in Washington DC as visiting researchers.

“I really enjoyed being able to network with fellow researchers from other universities on current research interests at an international level,” says An.

An started her PhD in January 2007 and it was submitted in July 2011.