Senior Research Fellow
(Centre on Statelessness)
Christoph Sperfeldt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness and the Academic Convenor of the Statelessness Hallmark Research Initiative and an Associate of the Asian Law Centre. He came to the issue of statelessness from a bottom-up perspective, examining the development and peace implications resulting from the marginalisation of minorities and other populations. Christoph pursues interdisciplinary research interests in areas of human rights and justice, including statelessness and legal identity, international and regional human rights protection, and transitional and international criminal justice (especially reparations). He has studied these issues particularly in a context of peacebuilding and development cooperation, with a geographical focus on Southeast Asia. He is currently Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council Discovery project ‘Understanding Statelessness in Australian Law and Practice’ (together with Prof. Michelle Foster), and the University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher grant ‘Legal Identity as a Sustainable Development Goal’.
Christoph holds a PhD from the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at the Australian National University. He is a Fellow at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University, and an Adjunct Professor at the Center for the Study of Humanitarian Law at the Royal University of Law and Economics, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Christoph was a University Fellow at Charles Darwin University and has held visiting positions at the Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) at the University of Copenhagen, the International Victimology Institute (INTERVICT) at Tilburg University, the Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC) at KU Leuven, the Minerva Center for Human Rights at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Stanford University and Queen’s University Belfast. He has published widely in the field of human rights and transitional justice.
Christoph brings to his role at the Centre more than ten years of experience in working on human rights, statelessness and transitional justice, predominantly in Southeast Asia. He was Deputy Director at the Asian International Justice Initiative, a joint program of the East-West Center and the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University, where he supported human rights and rule of law capacity development in Southeast Asia. Prior to this, Christoph was Senior Advisor with the German development agency (GIZ) in Cambodia. In this capacity, he advised the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee and the Victims Support Section at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Christoph has also worked as a consultant on numerous human rights-related projects.