Michael Peil
Vice Dean and
Associate Professor of Law
In May 2016, Michael Peil was appointed as Vice Dean of Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law by HRH Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck. Michael Peil has served as a Consultant to JSW Law School (formerly known as the Royal Institute of Law) since February 2013. He previously served as Associate Dean for International Programs at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis (USA) and as Executive Director of the International Law Students Association (ILSA). He received his Bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University (USA) and his Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School (USA). He lives in Thimphu with his wife and two children.
Rinzin Wangdi
Associate Professor of Law

Rinzin Wangdi was appointed as an Associate Professor of Law at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law in January 2017. He completed his B.A. in Buddhist Philosophy from the institute of Nga-gyur Nyingma, Mysore, India and the P.G. Diploma in National Language course in 1998. Rinzin served as Drangpon Rabjam at the Judiciary, before which he worked as Chief Research Officer at the High Court. He served a total of five years at the Supreme Court and seven years at the High Court. During his tenure with the Judiciary, Rinzin contributed to the development of judicial forms as a part of reforming the judicial procedures. He also taught Dzongkha grammar, poetry and Bhutanese Laws to Bench Clerk trainees. He has published several books such as the Legal Dictionary, Building the Supreme Court, Source of Law and Court Crest – Judiciary of Bhutan. He resides at the NPPF colony with his wife and six children.
Stephan Sonnenberg
Associate Dean for Clinical and Experiential Education and
Assistant Professor of Law
Stephan Sonnenberg joined JSW Law/RIL in 2015. Stephan specializes in human rights, humanitarian law, conflict resolution, and international development collaboration. He previously served on the clinical faculties of both Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School, supervising over 35 clinical projects in the United States, Asia, Africa and Europe. He is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, California, and England & Wales. He received his Bachelor's degree from Brown University (USA), a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University (USA), a Cycle Internationale d’Études Politiques from Sciences-Po Paris (France), and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School (USA). He lives in Thimphu with his wife and two children.
Ngawang Sherab Lhundrup
Assistant Professor of Law
Ngawang Sherab Lhundrup was appointed as Assistant Professor of Law at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law in January 2017. He completed his B.A. and M.A in Buddhist Literature and Philosophy from Ngagyur Nyingma Institute, Mysore, India. Ngawang also completed his Doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy from the same Institute. He served for more than five years as lecturer at College of Language and Culture Studies at Taktse, Trongsa, before which he taught for a year at the Institute of Language and Cultural Studies, Semtokha. Prior to that, he taught courses in Tibetan grammar and Buddhist Literature and Philosophy at Nyingma Institute, Mysore, for close to 12 years. He currently resides in Taba.
Judy Stark
Associate Dean for Library and Information Services and
Senior Lecturer
Judy Stark joined JSW Law/RIL in 2013 as a Legal Information Consultant. Currently, Judy is the Associate Dean for Library and Information Services and a Senior Lecturer. She previously served as a Research Librarian and Lecturer in Law at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis (USA) and as a Research Librarian, Head Librarian, and Office Manager at the American law firm, Jenkens & Gilchrist. She received her Bachelor's degree from Northwest Missouri State University, her Master of Library Science from Texas Woman's University, and her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law (all USA). She resides in Thimphu with her husband and two children.
Nima Dorji
Senior Lecturer
Nima Dorji joined JSW Law/RIL in 2014 as a Legal Officer. He is now a Senior Lecturer. Before joining JSW, Nima worked as a Legal Officer at Bhutan National Legal Institute (BNLI). He was one of the founding staff of BNLI, and since then managed UN funded activities and legal dissemination programs. He received his B.A., LLB (Hons.) Degree from NALSAR University of Law, India, in 2009, his Postgraduate Diploma in National Law (PGDNL) from the Royal Institute of Management, Thimphu, in 2010, and his Master of Laws (LLM) from University of Canberra, Australia, in 2014. Nima will take a leave of absence from 2017 - 2019 to pursue Ph.D. studies at the University of Victoria (Canada).
Dema Lham
Senior Lecturer
Dema Lham joined JSW Law/RIL in 2015 as faculty. Before joining RIL, she worked as a senior Legislative Officer at the National Assembly Secretariat. She received her BLS., LLB Degree from Government Law College, Mumbai University, India, in 2006 and her Postgraduate Diploma in National Law (PGDNL) from the Royal Institute of Management, Thimphu, in 2007. Dema received her Master of Laws in Criminal Law at the University of New South Wales (Australia) in June 2017.
Pema Wangdi
Senior Lecturer
Pema Wangdi joined the JSW Law/RIL in 2010 as a programme coordinator. He now is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy. Before joining RIL, he worked as the General Manager of KuzooFM, a youth radio station based in Thimphu. Pema has spent a large part of his career with the Ministry of Education, starting as a teacher, then advancing to a curriculum writer, and then as a producer of a popular radio programme called, "Education Calling Teachers." He received his Diploma in Cinema, Television, Stage and Radio (Major in Radio Journalism) from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Canada in 2002, and a Bachelor of Arts(Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from Rangsit University, Thailand, in 2011. Pema received his Master of Arts in Philosophy from Fordham University (USA) in 2016.
Tshering Dolkar
Junior Lecturer
Tshering Dolkar was appointed as a Junior Lecturer at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law in February 2017. She received her Law Degree from the University of Kent, in the UK. She received funding to study at the University of Kent from His Majesty the King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, a prestigious scholarship based on her excellent BHSEC performance. She then completed her Post Graduate Diploma in National Law (PGDNL) from the Royal Institute of Management, Thimphu in 2016. She also completed a one month internship with Royal Court of Justice, High Court, Thimphu. Tshering is currently on study leave, pursuing an LLM degree from Lewis & Clark Law School (Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon, USA).
Sonam Tshering
Junior Lecturer
Sonam Tshering was appointed as a Junior Lecturer at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law in the Spring of 2017. He completed his law degree from New Law College, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Pune, India and his Post Graduate Diploma in National Law (PGDNL) from the Royal Institute of Management, Thimphu. He also received his B.Sc. (Biological Science) from Sherubtse College, Trashigang. Prior to joining JSW Law, Sonam served as a Legislative/ Legal Officer at the National Assembly Secretariat. He also worked as the committee secretary to the Public Accounts Committee at the National Assembly Secretariat. He also served as a Legal Advisor and Asst. Legal Officer at the Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency & Narcotic/ Tobacco Control Board where he was fully involved in the drafting of and implementation of the Tobacco Control Act. He has also published several articles and papers for the Bhutan Law Review and in the print media. Sonam is currently on study leave, pursuing an LLM degree from George Washington University Law School (USA).
Kesang Wangmo
Junior Lecturer
Kesang Wangmo was appointed as a Junior Lecturer at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law in February 2017. She received her law degree from the ILS (Indian Law Society) Law College in Pune and completed her Postgraduate Diploma in National Law (PGDNL) from the Royal Institute of Management, Thimphu. She also completed internships at Bhutan Today, the Bhutan Travel Club, Thimphu Thromde, the Royal High Court and Bhutan National Legal Institute. She worked at STCBL (State Trading Corporation of Bhutan Ltd) as the Company Secretary and Legal Counsel for a month before joining JSW. Kesang is currently on study leave, pursuing an LLM degree from Sydney Law School at the University of Sydney (Australia).
Karma Choden
Junior Lecturer
Karma Choden was appointed as a Junior Lecturer for Economics at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law in August 2017. She completed her school education from Motithang Higher Secondary School and her Bachelor's of Commerce (Economics), from University of Wollongong, in INTI International College, Malaysia. She was selected for her degree program through the Open Merit-Based Scholarship program offered by the Royal Government of Bhutan. After completing her studies, she did an internship at Motithang Higher Secondary School where she taught Economics to the Grade XII students. Karma Choden is from Lingarnang, Norgaygang, Samtse. She currently is on study leave, pursuing a Masters of Legal Studies at Washington University School of Law in St Louis.
Kristen DeRemer
Head of Research
Kristen DeRemer joined Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law in March 2017 to design and conduct Bhutan’s first Legal Needs Assessment. Now, as Head of Research, she is developing JSW Law’s interdisciplinary Research Centre. The Centre will serve students, faculty, and visiting researchers as they build and contribute to a vibrant research culture at JSW Law. Kristen’s professional background includes applied research and project development primarily in the context of human security and issues pertaining to both gender and ageing in humanitarian and development settings. She holds a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Oakland University (both USA). She currently lives in Thimphu, Bhutan with her husband, two young boys and one very large dog.
Ugyen Thinley
Research Librarian

Ugyen Thinley joined JSW Law/RIL as a Research Librarian in July 2015. Prior to this, he was at the Bhutan National Legal Institute working as the Librarian from July 2014 before that he was working with the National Assembly Secretariat since 2003. He received his Bachelor's in Computer Application from Indian Academy Degree College, Bangalore University, India and completed a two Years of Office Management Course from the Royal Institute of Management, Thimphu. Ugyen received his Master's in Library Science from the University of North Carolina Greensboro (USA) in May 2018.
Adrian von Bernstorff
Director of the Entrepreneurialism Clinic
Adrian von Bernstorff joined JSW as Adjunct Research Associate in the autumn of 2017. He is now the Director of the Entrepreneurialism Clinic. He completed his first Judicial Examination from the University of Hamburg and his second Judicial Examination from the Department of Justice, Lower Saxony, Germany. Adrian worked as a Lawyer at the law firm Becker Büttner Held in Berlin, specializing in Renewable Energies. In 2013, he and his wife moved to Bhutan, where he co-founded a food business and helped with the establishment of a progressive Farmers Cooperative. Adrian is currently developing the Entrepreneurialism Clinic at JSW Law, which has taken up as its first project a collaboration with a farmers cooperative in the Punakha valley.
Long-Term, Visiting Faculty
Mark E. Wojcik
Fulbright Specialist
Mark E. Wojcik is a professor of law at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He has also taught short courses in Lithuania (at the Vytautas Magnus University Faculty of Law), Mexico (at the Facultad Libre Derecho de Monterrey), and Switzerland (at the University of Lucerne Faculty of Law). He has also lectured and taught in China, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, and Singapore. He clerked at the Nebraska Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of International Trade, and he served as Court Counsel to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau during the first year of that county’s independence. He is active in many bar associations and academic societies including the American Bar Association, the American Society of International Law, the Association of American Law Schools, and the Illinois State Bar Association. He founded the Global Legal Skills Conference, an annual international conference on teaching legal writing and other essential skills for international lawyers.
Iris Eisenberger
Visiting Professor
Iris Eisenberger is Professor of Law and Head of the Institute of Law at BOKU University since January 2016. She was faculty member at Vienna University's Law Faculty, Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law and has been visiting professor at the Mekelle University in Ethiopia and the Macau University. In addition, she held visiting positions at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy and the University of Freiburg, Germany and was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard University (Erwin Schrödinger Fellow). She received her habilitation for constitutional Law, Administrative Law and the related fields of European Law for her book on Innovation in Law from Vienna University in 2014. She obtained her PhD in Law from the University of Graz, Austria for her thesis on State Aid and Film Production and a M.Sc. in Political Theory from London School of Economics and Political Science (Chevening Scholar).
Her research focuses on law and innovation, environmental law and research law as well as didactics of law. She has wide experience in interdisciplinary research and in running and participating in nationally and internationally funded research projects in the field of law, technology and society.
Michaela Windischgrätz
Visiting Professor
Michaela Windischgrätz is Professor of Law and Deputy Head of the Department of Employment Law and Social Security Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Vienna. She studied law at Vienna University and at the Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II (LL.B., LL.M.). Additionally, Michaela completed a second diploma in Social Anthropology and Tibetan and Buddhist studies at the University of Vienna (B.A., M.A.). She wrote her master´s thesis on “biopiracy” and the intellectual property rights of indigenous communities. Her subsequent Ph.D., which she earned from the University of Vienna, focused on medical law. She earned her professor title in 2002 for her book on the coordination of social security systems in Europe.
Her current research focuses on migration, social welfare and anti-discrimination law. She is a participating member in several university partnerships, for example with Kyoto University in Japan, and the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, China. Since 2016, Michaela has served as the Coordinator of the faculty mobility partnership between the University of Vienna and JSW Law in Bhutan. She is currently working on an oral legal history research project exploring customary legal traditions in Bhutan. Prof. Windischgrätz will teach Customary Law and Oral Legal History at JSW Law.
Wolfram Schaffar
Visiting Professor
Wolfram Schaffar is professor for Development Studies and Political Science at the University of Vienna. He studied Japanese and Asian Studies as well as social science and holds a PhD from the University of Tübingen, Germany. Prior to his current position, he has been teaching Southeast Asian Studies at the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies at the University of Bonn, Germany and Development Studies at the Faculty of Political Science of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. He was guest professor at the Department of International Relations and Political Science at Yangon University, Myanmar and senior research fellow at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), Leiden, Netherlands. In his research, Prof. Schaffar focuses on state theory, social movements, constitutionalism and democratization in the Global South - with a regional focus on Thailand, Myanmar/Burma and Mongolia, and with a strong, albeit layman's interest in MENA region and countries in Latin America. Schaffar is member of the Association of Critical Social Research (Assoziation kritische Gesellschaftsforschung, AkG) and of the Stiftung Asienhaus in Cologne, Germany.
Christina Binder
Visiting Professor
Christina Binder holds the Chair for International Law and International Human Rights Law at the Bundeswehr University Munich. Before, she was University Professor of International Law at the Department of European, International and Comparative Law at the University of Vienna and Deputy Director of the interdisciplinary Research Centre “Human Rights”. Christina Binder was a visiting fellow at the Lauterpacht Center for International Law in Cambridge (2007-08), at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg (2008-10) and at the McGill University in Montréal (summer 2015). She is member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and of the ILA Committees on the Implementation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, on Feminism and International Law and on Human Rights in Times of Emergencies. Christina is member of the Executive Board and Vice President of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) as well as member of the Executive Board of the European Inter-University Center for Human Rights and Democratization (EIUC) where she also acts as Representative of the Vienna University and National Director for Austria.
In addition to her classes in Munich, Christina teaches at the University of Vienna as well as international human rights law at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. She also taught human rights at the University of Yogyakarta (Indonesia), the Renmin University of China (Beijing) and the PUC (Sao Paolo, Brazil) and was a short term visiting professor at the Bocconi University in Milan (Italy), the University Grenoble Alpes (France), the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and at the Mekelle University in Ethiopia. Christina has likewise worked as legal and electoral expert for election observation and assessment missions, including Ecuador (2007 and 2009) and Rwanda (2008 and 2010) with the EU as well as Uzbekistan (2009) and Estonia (2011) with OSCE/ODIHR. She also trained officials from the Sudanese Ministry of Justice in electoral matters for MPI/UNDP (2010). She likewise acts as electoral expert for the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.
Stefan Hammer
Visiting Professor
Stefan Hammer is professor of public law and legal philosophy at the Faculty of Law of the University of Vienna. He studied Law as well as Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Vienna and received his law doctorate in 1980. From 1986 to 1987 and from 1989 to 1990, he was assigned to the office of the Legal Adviser of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs as deputy head of the human rights department. Since 2012, he is a member of the Board of Advisers of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO).
Stefan took part in coordinating global research projects in comparative federalism carried out by the Forum of Federations, Ottawa (Canada), such as the Conference on “Intergovernmental Relations in Federal Countries” 2007 in New Delhi. He has been in charge of several research cooperation conferences on constitutional reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina carried out by the Faculty of Law in Vienna and the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo (Bosnia). He lectured on comparative constitutionalism in Senegal, Iran, Indonesia, and India and has been visiting professor at University of Kansas School of Law (USA), Pan-European University in Bratislava (Slovakia), University of Paris V (Paris Descartes, France) as well as at the Universities of Addis Ababa and Mekelle (Ethiopia). He has also been organizing various academic dialogue projects with Iran and Indonesia on principles of justice, human rights, and religion-state relations.
Stefan has published in the fields of constitutional and administrative law, legal philosophy, European and comparative constitutionalism, human rights, protection of minorities, and religion-state relations.