Faculty

Michael Peil
Vice Dean and
Associate Professor of Law
michael.peil@jswlaw.bt
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.
Dorji Gyeltshen
Associate Professor of Law
dorji.gyeltshen@jswlaw.bt
Dorji Gyeltshen was appointed as Associate Professor of Law at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law in March 2018. He studied basic Buddhist Philosophy under the late Drakpai Lopen Rinpoche at Tango University of Buddhist Studies from 1985 to 1990. In 1998, he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Buddhist Philosophy from Ngagyur Nyingma University, Mysore, India. He received his Masters in Buddhist Philosophy in 2000 and Doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy in 2003 from the same university. Dorji then completed his Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from Samtse College of Education, Royal University of Bhutan in 2005.
Dorji also served as Lecturer and Head of Department (Philosophy) at the Institute of Language and Cultural Studies, Simtokha under the Royal University of Bhutan from 2006 to 2007 and has worked as a part-time Lecturer at the Dzongkha Language Institute in Thimphu from 2009 to 2013. Dorji also worked at Royal Thimphu College from 2009 to 2017. While there, he also served as Program Leader for the Dzongkha Department. He was also an External Examiner from 2011 to 2014 at the College of Language and Cultural Studies, Taktse, and at the Paro College of Education from 2016 to 2018. Most recently, Dorji was nominated as a member of the Dzongkha Expert Group by the government working on recommendations that are to be submitted to the Dzongkha Development Commission from 2018-2020.
Dorji Gyeltshen is from Dazhi, Kawang Gewog under Thimphu Dzongkhag. He lives with his wife, Karma Lhamo, who works as private employee, and their three children at Belbina,Thimphu.
Rinzin Wangdi
Associate Professor of Law
rinzin.wangdi@jswlaw.bt
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@jswlaw.bt
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.lhundrup@jswlaw.bt
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@jswlaw.bt
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@jswlaw.bt
Currently on Study Leave
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 is currently on a leave of absence from 2017 - 2019 to pursue Ph.D. studies at the University of Victoria (Canada).
Dema Lham
Senior Lecturer
dema.lham@jswlaw.bt
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@jswlaw.bt
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@jswlaw.bt
Currently on Study Leave
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).
Kuenzang Dolma
Junior Lecturer
kuenzang.dolma@jswlaw.bt
Kuenzang Dolma was appointed as a Junior Lecturer for Property Law at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law starting in May 2018.
She completed her school education from Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School and received her L.LB from Indian Law Society’s Law College, Pune University, Maharashtra, India in 2012. Kuenzang completed her Post Graduate Diploma in National Law (PGDNL) from the Royal Institute of Management in 2013.
She has served as a Legal Officer at the Dzongkhag Administration, Wangduephodrang from January 2014 to March 2015, after which Kuenzang was transferred to the Dzongkhag Administration, Paro; where she served as a Legal Officer from April 2015 to April 2018.
Kuenzang is from Zhelngo, Shaba under Paro Dzongkhag. She is married to Tenzin Jamtsho who works as a Civil Engineer under the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement and is currently on deputation to The Royal Academy Construction Project, Pangbisa. They have a 9 month old son.
Sonam Tshering
Junior Lecturer
sonam.tshering@jswlaw.bt
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@jswlaw.bt
Currently on Study Leave
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@jswlaw.bt
Currently on Study Leave
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@jswlaw.bt
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@jswlaw.bt

Ugyen Thinley is a 21st century information professional joined JSW Law/RIL in 2015 as Faculty and Librarian. Prior to his time with JSW Law, Ugyen was with the Bhutan National Legal Institute (BNLI) and the National Assembly of Bhutan, where he founded the Parliamentary library. During his 15 years of service spanning two branches of the government, Ugyen has first-hand experience with the parliamentary procedures of both the pre- and the post-democracy eras. His focus at JSW law is to “future-proof” the information currently available via digital transformation.
Ugyen received a Certificate of Office Management from the Royal Institute of Management, Thimphu. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application from Bangalore University in Karnataka, (India), and a Masters Degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, North Carolina (USA). Ugyen’s research interests focus on Bhutan’s legal history, as well as the changes taking place in the field of information technology and library science. More specific to the Bhutanese context, Ugyen is also passionate about the question of how the library sciences can contribute to the national development goal of maximizing “Gross National Happiness.”
Adrian von Bernstorff
Director of the Entrepreneurialism Clinic
adrian.vonbernstorff@jswlaw.bt
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
Michaela Windischgrätz
Visiting Professor
michaela.windischgraetz@jswlaw.bt
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.
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.