Alisa Muzergues (LLM ’17) uses her training to advance the rule of law globally

As a citizen of Ukraine, Alisa Muzergues understands firsthand the impact the lack of rule of law can have on a country. Muzergues pursued her interest in an independent judicial system and adherence to human rights and freedoms by enrolling in Loyola’s Rule of Law for Development (PROLAW) program. Before attending PROLAW, she earned a master of Ukrainian legal studies at the National Dragomanov Pedagogical University in Kyiv, Ukraine, and a bachelor or English philology from Kharkiv University of Humanities. She cofounded the think tank Ukrainian Centre for European Policy, and served as a project manager for Access to Public Information and Freedom of Speech. In addition, she served as an intern for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative in its Ukraine office and at the EPP-Group of the European Parliament in Belgium.

How has the PROLAW program influenced your career path?  

During the program, I was particularly interested in the governance dimension and the role of international institutions in maintaining the Rule of Law. Upon graduation, I joined the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as a National Project Officer in Rule of Law and Human Rights Unit in Ukraine.  I implemented the knowledge and skills I gained in the program immediately. While administering projects, I realized how much the program broadened my overall outlook on this field while providing specific tools for daily project management.

The program helped me develop as a professional in the field and provided a roadmap for further self-improvement. I currently work as an international consultant and trainer, providing technical and managerial support to organizations and programs in the areas of rule of law, institutional development and issues related to conflict resolution. I also provide capacity building trainings for young European political and civil society leaders, including on the issues of rule of law and reforms promotion.

What did you like best about studying in Rome?

It is hard to imagine a more suitable venue to learn about historical development of the idea of the rule of law for the development process than the birthplace of one of the greatest civilizations in world history. Rome’s rich history, culture and traditions are a perfect framework for personal and professional development of people who aspire to change their countries and this world for better! 

"The program helped me develop as a professional in the field and provided a roadmap for further self-improvement."

What was the classroom experience like? 

One of the main assets of the PROLAW program were my fellow students and their stories. After spending one year with students from round the globe who shared their experiences, worries, success stories, and visions of the future of development community, I was enriched and resolved to conduct development activity not only in my own country, but also abroad. Additionally, the program provided opportunities to develop presentation and training skills, which are crucial for my current activity as an advisor and trainer.

How have you connected with other PROLAW alumni?

Our national PROLAW community is still small, but we are proud of our intensive cooperation and coordination.  Most of the alumni are working on different international and national projects in the rule of law field, namely in support of judicial reform, improvement of legal education, monitoring of human rights situation, etc. In Ukraine, while we have been working on building judicial capacity, our alumnus Kateryna Shyroka has been appointed as a judge to the newly established Anti-Corruption High Court, and we are happy to support her in this new challenging role.