Professor Sabine Michalowski

School of Law
Professor Sabine Michalowski
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872862

  • Location

    5S.6.15, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Autumn Term and Spring Term: On Study Leave



Sabine Michalowski joined the School in January 2000, having previously been a lecturer in law at the University of Sheffield from 1994 to 1999. She is co-director of the Essex Transitional Justice Network, chairs the ETJN's research area economic dimensions of transitional justice, and she is also a member of the Human Rights Centre. Sabine graduated from Hamburg, qualified as a lawyer in Berlin, and holds a Diploma in Comparative Law awarded by the University of Paris II and a PhD from Sheffield. In recent years, the primary focus of Sabine's research has been on the Colombian peace and transitional justice process, particularly regarding the question of how to hold economic actors, such as business directors, landowners etc., to account for their role in conflict related crimes. She has been collaborating with Colombian think tank Dejusticia on these issues, provided amicus briefs to the Colombian Constitutional Court and the Colombian Special Jurisdiction for Peace and co-authored academic and policy papers. As a member of the Essex Autonomy Project, Sabine is a researcher on the Wellcome Trust funded Mental Health and Justice project and was also involved in an AHRC funded project on the compatibility of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The project involved a series of public policy roundtables, hosted by the Ministry of Justice, and a one-day public conference at the Institute for Government in July 2014. In September 2014 it resulted in the submission of a position paper to the Ministry of Justice. Another of Sabine's ongoing research interests is end-of-life decision-making, in particular the controversial issue of assisted dying. She is currently exploring the human rights implications of the partial legalisation of assisted dying. Sabine would invite PhD applications in the areas of transitional justice, particularly regarding its economic and social dimension; corporate complicity; and medical law.

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Medical Law

In particular end-of-life issues, patient autonomy, capacity

Key words: End-of-life issues
Open to supervise

Business and human rights

In particular corporate complicity in human rights violations

Key words: Human rights violations
Open to supervise

Transitional Justice

In particular economic and social dimensions of transitional justice, and the linkages between transitional justice and corporate accountability

Key words: Corporate accountability
Open to supervise

Health Care Law and Human Rights

Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Introduction to Contemporary Latin America (CS141)

  • Introduction to Medical Law (LW232)

  • Transitional Justice (LW927)

Previous supervision

Panagiota Taygeti Michalakea
Panagiota Taygeti Michalakea
Degree subject: Occasional Study: Law (Research)
Degree type: Occasional Postgraduate Study
Awarded date: 22/7/2017
Samantha Marie Davey
Samantha Marie Davey
Thesis title: The Proportionality of Non-Consensual Adoption in England and Wales Under S52(1)(B) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002
Degree subject: Law
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 29/6/2016


Journal articles (22)

Michalowski, S., (2015). Doing Business with a Bad Actor: How to Draw the Line Between Legitimate Commercial Activities and Those that Trigger Corporate Complicity Liability. Texas International Law Journal. 50 (3), 403-464

Michalowski, S. and Cardona Chaves, JP., (2015). Responsabilidad corporativa y justicia transicional [Corporate accountability and transitional Justice]. Anuario de Derechos Humanos. 11, 173-182

Michalowski, S., (2014). The Mens Rea Standard for Corporate Aiding and Abetting Liability - conclusions from international criminal law. UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs. 18 (2)


Michalowski, S., (2012). No Complicity Liability for Funding Gross Human Rights Violations?. Berkeley Journal of International Law. 30 (2), 451-524

Bohoslavsky, JP. and Michalowski, S., (2009). Ius Cogens, Transitional Justice and Other Trends of the Debate on Odious Debts: A Response to the World Bank Discussion Paper on Odious Debts. Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. 48 (1), 61-120

Michalowski, S., (2009). Law, Legitimacy and the Rationing of Health Care. A Contextual and Comparative Perspective. European Journal of Health Law. 16 (4), 396-408

Michalowski, S., (2009). Legalising Active Voluntary Euthanasia Through The Courts: Some Lessons From Colombia. Medical Law Review. 17 (2), 183-218

Michalowski, S., (2009). Trazando paralelos entre la responsabilidad de bancos por complicidad y las deudas odiosas.. Revista Jur�dica. 10 (1), 279-288

Jox, RJ., Michalowski, S., Lorenz, J. and Schildmann, J., (2008). Substitute decision making in medicine: comparative analysis of the ethico-legal discourse in England and Germany. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. 11 (2), 153-163

Michalowski, S., (2008). Sovereign Debt and Social Rights-Legal Reflections on a Difficult Relationship. Human Rights Law Review. 8 (1), 35-68

Michalowski, S., (2007). Trial and Error at the End of Life--No Harm Done?. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. 27 (2), 257-280

Michalowski, S., (2005). Advance Refusals of Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment: The Relativity of an Absolute Right. Modern Law Review. 68 (6), 958-982

Kouwenberg, S. and Patrick, PL., (2003). Introduction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. 25 (02), 175-184

Michalowski, S., (2002). Sanctity of life — are some lives more sacred than others?. Legal Studies. 22 (3), 377-397

Michalowski, S., (2001). Medical confidentiality for violent patients? A comparison of the German and the English approach. Medicine and Law. 20 (4), 569-577

Michalowski, S., (2001). Reversal of fortune--Re A (Conjoined Twins) and beyond: who should make treatment decisions on behalf of young children?. Health law journal. 9, 149-169

Dorondo, DR., Michalowski, S. and Woods, L., (2001). German Constitutional Law: The Protection of Civil Liberties. German Studies Review. 24 (3), 637-637

Michalowski, S., (1999). Court-Authorised Caesarean Sections - The End of a Trend?. Modern Law Review. 62 (1), 115-127

(1998). Medical Confidentiality and Medical Privilege — a Comparison of French and German Law. European Journal of Health Law. 5 (2), 89-116

Michalowski, S., (1997). Schutz der Vertraulichkeit strafrechtlich relevanter Patienteninformationen. Zeitschrift für die gesamte Strafrechtswissenschaft. 109 (3)

Michalowski, S., (1997). Protection of Medical Confidentiality without a Medical Privilege? — A Discussion of the English and the German Approach. Medical Law International. 2 (4), 277-289

Books (5)

Michalowski, S., Sanchez Leon, C., Marin Lopez, D., Jimenez Ospina, A., Martinez Carrillo, H., Dominguez Mazhari, V. and Arroyave Velasquez, LM., (2018). Entre coaccion y colaboracion - verdad judicial, actores economicos y conflicto armado en Colombia. Centro de Estudios de Derecho, Justicia y Sociedad, Dejusticia. 9789585441453

Michalowski, S., (2013). Corporate Accountability in the Context of Transitional Justice. Routledge. 9780415524902

Michalowski, S., (2007). Unconstitutional regimes and the validity of sovereign debt: A legal perspective. 9780754647935

Michalowski, S., (2003). Medical Confidentiality and Crime. Routledge

Michalowski, S. and Woods, L., (1999). German Constitutional Law The Protection of Civil Liberties. Dartmouth Publishing Company. 1855219204. 9781855219205

Book chapters (8)

Michałowski, R., (2016). Conclusion. In: The Gniezno Summit. BRILL. 263- 270. 9781409417705

(2014). Corporate Accountability in the Context of Transitional Justice. In: Corporate Accountability in the Context of Transitional Justice. Routledge. 52- 72. 9780415524902

Michalowski, S., (2014). Article 3 - Right to the Integrity of the Person. In: Commentary on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Editors: Peers, S., Hervey, T., Kenner, J. and Ward, A., . Beck/Hart Publishing. 39- 60

Michalowski, S., (2014). Article 3 – Right to the Integrity of the Person. In: The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Nomos. 82- 103. 9783845259055

Michalowski, S., (2013). Introduction. In: Corporate Accountability in the Context of Transitional Justice. Editors: Michalowski, S., . Routledge. 1- 6. 978-0-415-52490-2

Michalowski, S., (2011). Due diligence and complicity: a relationship in need of clarification. In: Human Rights Obligations of Business. Cambridge University Press. 218- 242. 9781139568333

Michalowski, S., (2010). El rol del consentimiento informado en la discusi�n de la legalizaci�n de eutanasia activa [The role of informed consent in the discussion on the legalisation of euthanasia]. In: Autonom�a personal y decisiones m�dicas: Cuestiones �ticas y jur�dicas. Editors: Burgos Mendoza, B., . Aranzadi/Thomson -Reuters. 255- 278. 9788447034048

Michalowski, S., (2006). Repayment of Sovereign Debts from a Legal Perspective: The Example of Argentina. In: Human Rights and Capitalism: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Globalisation. Edward Elgar Publishing. 303- 329. 1845422686. 9781845422684

Reports and Papers (6)

Michalowski, S., Jiménez Ospina, A., Martínez Carrillo, H. and Marín López, D., (2019). Los terceros complejos: la competencia de la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz

Michalowski, S., (2019). Los terceros complejos: lacompetencia de la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, Resumen Ejecutivo

Michalowski, S., (2019). ABC del sometimiento voluntario de la JEP

Michalowski, S. and Martin, W., (2016). THREE JURISDICTIONS REPORT Towards Compliance with CRPD Art. 12 in Capacity/Incapacity Legislation across the UK

Grants and funding


Supporting the work of the Colombian Special Jurisdiction for Peace

University of Essex (GCRF)

Visiting Fellowship for Jaime Andr�s Contreras Fonseca

University of Essex (GCRF)


Rethinking Child Law and Policy

Arts and Humanities Research Council

Supporting the Colombian transitional justice process

University of Essex (GCRF)

Preparation of large grant related to an Observatory of the Special Jurisdiction for the Peace (�JEP�) in Colombia

University of Essex (GCRF)

Human rights research methods summer school

University of Essex (GCRF)

Road map on how the Colombian Special Jurisdiction for peace should deal with third party actors

University of Essex (GCRF)


Integrating corporate actors into transitional justice processes - the example of Colombia

The British Academy

Mental Health and Justice

Wellcome Trust


Mental Health and Justice

Wellcome Trust

Transitional Justice System: Peace Agreement between the Colombian Government and FARC

University of Essex


UK Preparation for the UN CRPD Engagement Process: A Three-Jurisdiction Approach

Arts And Humanities Research Council


Towards a Conceptualisation of the Economic and Social Dimensions of Transitional Justice

The British Academy


Corporate Complicity & Transitional Justice

The British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 872862


5S.6.15, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Autumn Term and Spring Term: On Study Leave