Steering Committee

Dennis Hardy

Dennis Hardy

Chairman of the Committee

Professor Dennis Hardy is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Seychelles.

He graduated with a first degree in Geography from the University of Exeter, UK, followed by an MA in Geography by research. From there he joined the Greater London Council and qualified at University College London as a professional urban planner. He later became a Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

After an initial period in planning practice he moved into academia. Following a varied programme of teaching and research he became increasingly involved in university management at Middlesex University London and Dubai.

He obtained his PhD through part-time research in urban planning history at the London School of Economics and in 1988 was awarded a professorship. He has ten well-received books to his name, and research and writing remain important elements of his profile.

He was formerly President of the International Communal Studies Association and is currently a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. As a citizen of Seychelles, he has a particular interest in ocean governance and maritime security.

Callixte D’Offay

Callixte D’Offay

Callixte D’Offay is career diplomat and is currently the Diplomatic Adviser to the President of the Republic of Seychelles.

He started his career in the Ministry of Feign Affairs when Seychelles attained independence in June 1976.

He has occupied several ambassadorial postings in Asia and Europe. He has also served as Secretary-General of the Indian – Ocean Commission. He is also serving as Ambassador of the Indian Ocean Islands of Mauritius, Madagascar and Comoros.

Joelle Barnes

Joelle Barnes

Joelle Barnes holds a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Michigan with a focus on comparative International Law and Peacebuilding.

Joelle Barnes is an associate lecturer at the University of Seychelles lecturing Public Law for the Undergraduate LL.B students as well as modules of the Bar Vocational Course. Joelle Barnes is also the Executive Legal Adviser to the Chief Justice of Seychelles.

In 2013, Joelle Barnes was part of a legal team advising numerous small states and NGO interest groups on the final negotiations of the UN Arms Trade Treaty. From 2012 to 2015, she was the Operational Manager of the Sophie Hayes Foundation working with victims of Human Trafficking and speaking widely on the topic.

Nisha Valabhji

Nisha Valabhji

Nisha Valabhji is the Head of the Department of Law and Senior Lecturer in Law. She teaches Criminal Law, International Protection of Human Rights, and Evidence. She also directs the clinical legal education programme.

She obtained her Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center and her Master of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She received her Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude with high honors from Brandeis University. She is admitted to the New York Bar.

She has worked extensively with the United Nations in the field of public international law, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and rule of law, in particular, with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague, the UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT) in Cambodia, and the UN Secretariat in New York. Previously, she worked at the law firm Holland & Knight LLP in New York.

Marie-Nella Azemia

Marie-Nella Azemia

Mrs Marie-Nella Azemia has had an interesting career path, entering the world of work as a teacher as soon as she ended her studies at the Teacher Training College. This then brought her to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry Division where she gathered other experiences as an Office Clerk/Forest Ranger.

Opportunities abound, she was recruited by the National Workers Union for a period of ten years, during which time, she was promoted to the posts of Sector Secretary; Sector Officer and Permanent Negotiator.

She later enrolled on the pupilage scheme as an Articled Clerk at the Law Centre in Victoria while, at the same time, studied Law with the University of London as a External Student. The legal knowledge and experiences acquired during this time opened avenues for her personal development.

For the past 20 years to-date, she dedicated her time to doing voluntarily work with NGOs and civil society in thematic areas of gender, peace, human rights, empowerment. For the last nine years to-date, her area of focus is human rights and gender related issues.

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