Associate Director, Law and Policy Programme

Institution The Rights Lab, University of Nottingham
Discipline Law
Affiliations Rights Lab, University of NottinghamAntislavery Early Research Association (Executive Committee)Nottingham International Law and Security CentreInternational Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR)


Other links University ProfileLinkedInResearchGate
Contact Katarina.Schwarz1@nottingham.ac.uk

Personal Bio


Katarina is an Associate Director in the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, leading the Law and Policy Programme. Her PhD project, funded under the AHRC Antislavery Usable Past award, explored the legal dimensions of the claim for reparations for ‘historical’ enslavement and the Maangamizi, supervised by Professor Kevin Bales and Professor David Fraser, and supported by Professor Jean Allain (Monash University) and Doctor Luke Moffett (QUB).

Since graduating from the University of Otago (NZ) with both an LLB(Hons) and a performing arts degree, Katarina has been involved in a series of advocacy projects concerning human exploitation and reparations, including a comprehensive review of domestic legislation dealing with slavery, servitude, forced labour and human trafficking, the development of a database of international obligations and domestic legislation, and a number of submissions to the ICC, ECCC, and the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Slavery. She has also worked with Antislavery International on legal tools for NGOs in India dealing with bonded labour, and on the development of Model Antislavery Legislation (in collaboration with Professor Jean Allain).

Katarina is currently teaching a module on antislavery policy and legal frameworks in the world’s first dedicated antislavery Masters course.

Research profile

Redressing ‘Historical’ Enslavement: Reparatory Justice and the Maangamizi

imageedit_2_6639290988Katarina’s doctoral research focuses on the legal dimensions of the claim to reparations for historical enslavement, in particular the transatlantic ‘trade’. This project analyses the theory of reparations in both international law and transitional justice, to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature and scope of reparations. This is then applied to the cases of historical injustice, and enslavement in particular, to answer the claims for redress in the contemporary world. State responsibility over time, causation and inter-temporal law

Katarina’s research covers a broad range of fields, including public international law, human rights, transitional justice, legal history, legal theory, and third world approaches to international law.


Model Antislavery Law
In addition to her doctoral research, Katarina has been involved in a number of research and advocacy projects dealing with reparations and human exploitation. She is currently working with Professor Jean Allain (Monash University, Australia) and Antislavery International to develop model antislavery legislation and accompanying guidelines for the effective domestic implementation of the international prohibitions against slavery and other forms of exploitation.

Review of Domestic Legislation Prohibiting Human Exploitation
Katarina has undertaken extensive research mapping the domestic implementation of international laws relating to slavery, servitude, forced labour and human trafficking. This project, initiated in the Working Group on Contemporary Slavery chaired by Jean Allain, compiles a comprehensive dataset of relevant domestic legislation in all 193 UN Member States, as well as international instruments dealing with human exploitation to which these States are party.

Other Advocacy Projects
Katarina has also been involved in a number of submissions to international actors, including the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery (cited in the 2017 Report to the Human Rights Council), the International Criminal Court, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.


Schwarz, ‘Definitions and Ideologies of Slavery and Human Trafficking’ in Benjamin Lawrence (ed), A Cultural History of Slavery and Human Trafficking in the Age of Global Conflict: Global Conflict, Colonialism, and Decolonization (Vol 5, Bloomsbury Academic 2021) (forthcoming).

Schwarz, A. Nicholson and J. Geng, ‘Reasserting Agency: Procedural Justice, Victim-Centricity and the Right to Remedy for survivors of “Modern Slavery”’ [2019] Journal of Modern Slavery (forthcoming).

Schwarz, ‘Picturing and Voicing Enslavement: Language and Representation’ in Kevin Bales (ed), The Using History Handbook (California University Press) (forthcoming).

Allain and K. Schwarz, ‘Submission: Response to the Questionnaire on Access to Justice and Remedy of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, including its Causes and Consequences’ (March 2017).

Moffett, R. Killean, Y. Brunger, E. Dowds, K. Schwarz, L. Dempster & S. Gilmore (QUB Human Rights Centre), ‘Submission pursuant to Article 75(3) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and Rule 103 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence in the Bemba Case on Reparations Issues’ (October 2016).

Legal Opinion of the Expert Witness for the Federal Republic of Brazil by Professor Jean Allain in the case of Trabalhadores da Fazenda Brasil Verde before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, San José, Costa Rica 12 February 2016. Acknowledged research assistance.

Killean, L. Moffett, A. Chisholm, R. Hanna, E. Vasiliauskaite, and K. Schwarz, ‘Working Paper on Acknowledging and Repairing the Moral and Collective Harm of Ethnic Vietnamese Victims of the Khmer Rouge Genocide’ (QUB Human Rights Centre, April 2016).

Killean, L. Moffett, A. Chisholm, R. Hanna, E. Vasiliauskaite, and K. Schwarz, ‘Submission to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia supporting reparations for ethnic Vietnamese victims of the Khmer Rouge’ (April 2016).

K Schwarz, ‘Bars to Recovery: The Caribbean Claim to Reparations for Slavery in International Law’ (2014) Otago Yearbook of Legal Research.