Neus Torbisco-Casals


Senior Research Fellow, Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
Senior Research Fellow, International Law
Adjunct Professor, International Law
Areas of expertise
  • International human rights law
  • Democracy, Minority Rights and Human Rights
  • Self-determination: Law and Politics
  • Diversity and International Courts
  • Gender Equality: Law and Policy


Neus Torbisco-Casals is Senior Research Fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy and a Faculty member at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, where she teaches courses relating to international human rights law and transitional justice. Trained in law and political philosophy, she is also Associate Professor of Law at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona). After completing her law degree at the University of Barcelona, she received a scholarship to pursue her doctoral research in Canada, where she was affiliated with the Universities of Ottawa and Queen’s (1997-1998). During this time, she also completed an internship at the European Court of Human Rights. In 2000 she received a PhD in Law from Pompeu Fabra University. Since then, she has held various teaching and research positions, including at Pompeu Fabra University, the University of Puerto Rico and the Global Law School of New York University, where she held a position as Hauser Research Scholar (2003-2004). From 2007 to 2009 she was affiliated with the Law Department of the London School of Economics and in 2012 she was appointed Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.  

Neus’s primary research areas are human rights, cultural diversity and identity claims; minority and indigenous peoples’ rights; antidiscrimination law and policy; gender and race equality. More recently, she has conducted research on the role of trust in building supranational institutions, and on the legitimacy of self-determination in democratic contexts, with a special focus on the case of Catalonia. Beyond academia, she has held appointments as Advisor to the Secretariat of Immigration of Barcelona’s city council and has experience in strategic litigation on international human rights law. She has published several articles and chapters on these topics and has presented papers at conferences in Europe and America. She is the author of Group Rights as Human Rights: A Liberal Approach to Multiculturalism (Springer, 2006) and ‘Beyond Altruism? Globalising Democracy in the Age of Distrust’ (The Monist, 2015, 98, 4) and 'The legitimacy of international courts: the challenge of diversity', Journal of Social Philosophy (January 2022). . At the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy she conducts research on a SNF-funded project on international courts and diversity, which aims at investigating key aspects of democratic legitimacy, accountability and representativeness of international courts.