Jessica Peake

Director, International and Comparative Law Program
Assistant Director, the Promise Institute for Human Rights

  • LL.B. University of Sheffield, UK
  • LL.M. University of Leiden, the Netherlands
  • LL.M. University of Pennsylvania

Jess Peake is the Assistant Director of the Promise Institute for Human Rights and the Director of International and Comparative Law Program at UCLA School of Law. She also oversees UCLA Law’s Visiting Scholars and Researchers Program. Peake teaches courses on Human Rights and War Crimes Digital Investigations and the Law of War and the War on Terror. She has previously taught Methods and Theories of International and Comparative Law and International Criminal Court Jurisdiction. Peake is also an affiliated faculty member of the Public Interest Law and Policy Program.

In 2021, Peake received a grant from the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives to establish the UC Network on Human Rights and Digital Factfinding, with collaborators at the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center and the UC Santa Cruz Research Center for the Americas. Together, the three campuses are training students from across disciplines on cutting-edge open-source investigation theory and methodology, exploring how new technologies can be used to document evidence of human rights violations and war crimes for accountability purposes.  

Peake serves on the Board of Directors of the International Law Students Association, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict, and on the Public Engagement Committee of the American Society of International Law. She is also part of the ASIL Women in International Law Mentoring Program and has judged at regional and international rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition since 2010.

Before joining UCLA in 2014, Peake was the Executive Director of a women's rights non-profit based in New York focused on the protection and advancement of women at risk in East Africa, through the provision of shelter, education, and training. She also worked in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in the Hague, and in the Defense Services Section at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and has consulted for the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Peake earned her LL.B. in European, International and Comparative Law from the University of Sheffield, UK, and an LL.M. in Public International Law from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. She also gained an LL.M. with a concentration in Human Rights from the University of Pennsylvania as a Thouron Scholar.

You can follow her on Twitter @Jess_Peake_