Lys Kulamadayil profile


SNSF Ambizione Fellow
Spoken languages
English, German, Malayalam, French
Areas of expertise
  • General international law
  • Corruption
  • Decolonization
  • Development and rule of law
  • Climate Change
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Racism

Lys Kulamadayil is an international lawyer and a Swiss National Sciences Foundation Ambizione Fellow leading the project Law by Colour Code: Locating Race and Racism in International Law. She also serves as an advisor to the UN mandate on the right to food. She was previously a senior research fellow at Helmut-Schmidt University, where she continues to pursue her Habilitation. Her research interests include mineral resources governance, human – nature relationships, good governance, law-making, epistemological equity, as well as questions of ableism and structural racism.

She has previously held posts with the German Federal Foreign Office (humanitarian affairs) and has been an SNSF-funded mobility post-doc in Amsterdam. She has had research stays in Vienna, Cambridge, MA and Lubumbashi. She has taught in several doctoral programs and academies including at Amsterdam Law School, the LPE in Europe project and the International Economic Law Collective.

In her forthcoming monograph, Dr Kulamadayil explores the role international law has played in the extraction of mineral resources in post-colonial countries (Hart Publishing).

 She holds an LL.B. jointly awarded by the Universities of Bremen, Oldenburg and Groningen, an LL.M. from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. 


Selected Publications



Kulamadayil, Lys. (2023). Ableism in the college of international lawyers: On disabling differences in the professional field" Leiden Journal of International Law: 1–15.

Kulamadayil, Lys. "Grand Theft in International Law" London Review of International Law 10, no. 3 (2022): 427–57.

Kulamadayil, Lys. "Petro-States’ Shaping of International Law", Journal of the History of International Law (published online ahead of print 2022)

Kulamadayil, Lys. "Placed in Between: The Natural Environment in International Law" Transnational Legal Theory 13, no. 4 (2022): 466-74.

Kulamadayil, Lys. "Between Activism and Complacency, International Law Perspectives on European Climate Litigation" ESIL Reflections 10, no. 5 (2021).

Randeria, Shalini, and Lys Kulamadayil. "Promise and Pitfalls of Polytheism: A Critique of the World Development Report 2017" International Development Policy 12, no. 12.1 (2020).

Kulamadayil, Lys. "When International Law Distracts: Reconsidering Anti-Corruption Law" ESIL Reflections 7, no. 3 (2018).


Blog Posts and News Media

Kulamadayil, Lys, "Germany: an elegy for principled humanitarianism", Social Europe, 21 February 2024 (2024).

Kulamadayil, Lys. "Germany’s Reliance on Its Healthcare ‘Brown Angels’" Social Europe, 5 January 2022 (2022).

Kulamadayil, Lys, "Self-Reflexivity on the Judicial Bench," Völkerrechtsblog (2021).

Kulamadayil, Lys, "The Unexplored Nexus between Money-Laundering and Humanitarian Needs," The Global (2020).

Kulamadayil, Lys. "Informed Dissent or Misinformed Rebellion? Making Sense of India’s Farmer Protests" In Völkerrechtsblog, (2021).

Kulamadayil, Lys. "Have You Met Dan Gertler?" Social Europe, 16 February 2021, (2021).

Kulamadayil, Lys, "Die Diplomatie und das deutsche Volk", taz blogs, 19.06.2020, (2020).



Kulamadayil, Lys, Peer Schouten, Godefroid Muzalia Kihangu, and Bienvenu Mukungilwa, "The logics of conflict in the DRC: from the mineral to the checkpoint economy," narrated by Luke Cooper and Azaria Morgan, LSE Conflict Zones (2021).

Kulamadayil, Lys, "#31 UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention: Ableismus und Recht(-swissenschaft)," narrated by Erik Tuchtfeld, Isabel Lischewski and Jan-Henrik Hinselmann, Völkerrechtsblog (2023).