Judge Miriam DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO (Philippines)

Judge Miriam DEFENSOR-SANTIAGOJudge as of 11 March 2012, for a term of nine years. Elected from the Group of Asian States, list B.

Miriam Defensor Santiago (1945) has served three terms as a senator of the Republic of the Philippines. She chaired the Senate Subcommittee on the International Criminal Court; sponsored the ratification by the Senate of the Rome Statute; was the principal author of the “Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity” in Congress; and is one of the leading advocates of reproductive health in the Philippines. Her stint as the chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations saw her defending and securing Senate ratification of important treaties, among them the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the ASEAN Charter. Judge Santiago is a Laureate of the Asian Nobel Prize, known as the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service. She was cited for “bold and moral leadership in cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency,” for her work as Philippine immigration commissioner. She served as legal officer of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and held other positions in the Philippine government, including trial court judge and secretary for agrarian reform. As judge, she decided cases involving human rights violations under a martial law regime, cases over juveniles, domestic relations cases, and criminal cases involving sexual- and gender-based violence. Judge Santiago holds the degrees of Doctor of Juridical Science and Master of Laws from the University of Michigan. Her scholastic performance earned her a DeWitt Fellowship and a Barbour Scholarship, and her doctoral dissertation was published as the book entitled Political Offences in International Law. She pursued postdoctoral studies in law at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, University of California, Berkeley, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She also attended The Hague Academy of Public International Law at The Hague, Netherlands, and at Sophia University, Tokyo. She served as professor of international law, constitutional law, and remedial/procedural law at the University of the Philippines, and has published extensively.