Laura Bernal-Bermúdez is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Law of Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. She is also affiliated to the Latin American Centre of the University of Oxford as a research consultant. She completed her PhD in Sociology in the University of Oxford in 2017. She holds an MSc in Human Rights from the Department of Sociology at the LSE. In her work she uses mixed methods to look at issues related to armed conflict and access to justice in contexts of transition for victims of grave human rights violations, as well as the relationship between economic actors, conflict and peace-building. Her publications include “Transitional Justice and Corporate Accountability: Deploying Archimedes’ Lever”, Cambridge University Press. With Professor Leigh A. Payne and Dr Gabriel Pereira (2020), “Business, Human Rights, and Sustainable Development” (Empresas, Derechos Humanos y Desarrollo Sostenible). In SAGE Handbook of Public Affairs. With Tricia Olsen, Assistant Professor, Universidad de Denver (2016).
Laura is involved in the Advancing Human Rights Accountability (AHRA) project, led by Professor Leigh A. Payne, that aims to reduce impunity for human rights violations. Impunity is a crucial social and economic problem of central concern to civil society organisations around the world. Low levels of accountability for grave violations carried out during periods of repression and armed conflict have created a permissive environment that perpetuates abuses by state and non-state actors in post-authoritarian and post-conflict situations. Using new methodologies to devise innovative strategies to hold violent actors accountable guarantees victims’ right to truth, justice, reparations, and non-recurrence. Academics have not yet adequately tackled this major problem. The AHRA project proposes to do so.