Sarah Zarmsky

Assistant Lecturer
Essex Law School
Postgraduate Research Student
Essex Law School - Human Rights Centre
 Sarah Zarmsky


Ask me about
  • Law and New Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Social Media and Content Moderation, International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, Public International Law, International Humanitarian Law


Sarah is an Assistant Lecturer and PhD Candidate with the Human Rights Centre at Essex Law School. She is also currently a Visiting Researcher at the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on accountability for online harms under international criminal law. Prior to starting her PhD, Sarah received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology with minors in Legal Studies and French from Brandeis University in the United States, and her LLM in Public International Law from Leiden University in The Netherlands. During her time at Leiden University, Sarah served as writing coordinator and a researcher for the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum International Humanitarian Law Clinic, where she assisted in writing and editing a comprehensive report on digitally-derived evidence in international criminal law and human rights fact-finding missions. She has also completed internships with the International Criminal Court, the International Bar Association, and the International Court of Justice. In her spare time, Sarah volunteers as a digital verification researcher for the Cameroon Database of Atrocities and Bellingcat. On campus, she is involved with the Digital Verification Unit within the Human Rights Centre Clinic, and previously served as a Research Officer for the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project. Sarah is also a Research Assistant for the UKRI-funded project on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human Rights, led by Dr Daragh Murray, and Deputy Managing Editor of the legal blog Opinio Juris. Selected publications and presentations: Wizards, Wands, and Wars: Applying General Principles of IHL to the Wizarding Wars of Harry Potter (Opinio Juris, Second Annual Symposium on International Law and Pop Culture, 24 October 2022) Is International Criminal Law Ready to Accommodate Online Harm? (ABILA International Law Weekend, Emerging Voices Panel, 22 October 2022, New York City) The Inclusion of New Harms in International Criminal Law: A Case Study of Online Harm (ESIL International Criminal Justice IG Workshop on In/Exclusiveness Through the Lens of International Criminal Justice, presentation 31 August 2022, paper forthcoming) 'The Implementation of AI in International Courts and Tribunals: Challenges and Opportunities ('Law and ethics of artificial intelligence in the public sector: From principles to practice and policy Conference, Asser Institute, 10-11 March 2022, The Hague) 'Westworld and Human Rights' (Opinio Juris, 29 October 2021) Why Seeing Should Not Always Be Believing: Considerations Regarding the Use of Digital Reconstruction Technology in International Law (Oxford Journal of International Criminal Justice, Special Issue on New Technologies and the Investigation of International Crimes, 3 July 2021) To Delete or Not to Delete: Considerations for the removal of harmful content by social media websites (ESIL-Kraków-Leiden Second Symposium on Exploring the Frontiers of International Law in Cyberspace, presentation 25 June 2021) Digital Evidence & The Black Lives Matter Movement (Opinio Juris, 12 June 2020)


  • LLM, Public International Law Leiden University (2020)

  • BA, Psychology with minors in Legal Studies and French Brandeis University (2018)

Research and professional activities



Colchester Campus