Aliki Semertzi (updated)


Postdoctoral Researcher, CIES
Spoken languages
English, French, Greek
Areas of expertise
  • International law (public, private)
  • Legal Theory and Comparative Law
  • International humanitarian law, Artificial Intelligence & New Weapon Technologies
  • Economic theory and Law
  • History of science



Aliki Semertzi is an international legal scholar, inquiring into law as a mode of thinking, into the process of legal reasoning as a technique of engaging with the world. Aliki is currently working as the Postdoctoral Researcher at the SNF project on 'Emotions and International Law', analysing the role of emotions in the use of artificial intelligence in warfare. In particular, she explores (i) how emotions are intrinsically involved in legal reasoning, thus influencing its (non?-)algorithmability, and further (ii) into how emotions are strategically employed to enhance the emotive power of law in discourses to ban autonomous weapon systems (AWS).

Aliki holds a PhD in International Law from the IHEID, Geneva Graduate Institute (2022), a Master in International Law (IHEID, 2016), an LLM in International and European Law (Vrije Universiteit Brussels, 2011). During 2021-2023 she was a Residential Research Fellow at Harvard Law School, Institute for Global Law and Policy. She has served as a Teaching Assistant at the International Law department of the Graduate Institute (2017-2020). She has collaborated with the UN's International Law Commission (2016) and the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Prior to academia, she has worked as a legal advisor at the European Commission of the European Union, DG Trade, unit for the negotiation and administration of free trade agreements.


Selected Publications

  • 'The Preclusion of Direct Effect in the Recently Concluded EU Free Trade Agreements', Common Market Law Review, 51(4) 2014: 1125-1158;

  • 'Modernist Violence: Juxtaposing the League's Permanent Mandates Commission Over the Bondelzwarts Rebellion and the US-Mexico Special Claims Commission Over the Mexican Revolutions', Melbourne Journal of International Law, 21(2) 2020: 349-377.