Participant Info

First Name
Victoria
Last Name
Stewart-Jolley
Country
UK
University
University of Cambridge
Keywords
Political Science, Democratisation, International Law, International Relations, United Nations, Electoral structures, Middle East, Iraq, Regime Change, Afghanistan
Availability
Media Contact

Personal Info

About Me

I have held positions as a Legal and Policy Advisor in East Timor, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Iraq, the Solomon Islands, Montenegro, Albania and Libya. The majority of my career has been with the United Nations but latterly as a consultant, I have held posts with the EU, the Cater Centre, ODHiR and Democracy Reporting International (DfiD funded).

I am currently reading for a PhD at the University of Cambridge. The working title is ‘Democratisation by Regime Change’ and looks at law and politics relating to the intervention and democratisation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

While in Iraq I held the post of Special Assistant to the Special Representative of the Secretary General. This substantive post required the provision of high-level policy advice in an extremely sensitive geo-political field. The advice I provided contributed to discussions between the Ambassador I served, Regional Heads of State and the UN Secretary General.

I have extensive experience in the conduct of comprehensive legislative reviews and drafting activities in relation to electoral laws, human rights laws and Constitutions. I developed regulatory frameworks in Iraq, Sierra Leone, and the Solomon Islands and reviewed the national electoral systems in Libya, Albania, Afghanistan and Montenegro. I reviewed these legal systems in the context of their national legal and political culture, constitutional framework and broader legislative framework, including Parliamentary adoption procedures.

My work in Iraq provides an example of the tasks which I undertook: In 2008 political representatives of a range of cultural and religious minority communities approached the UN in order to get assistance in the establishment of reserved minority seats in key provinces. I was tasked with drafting the legislation. The legislation had to possess three attributes: to provide reserved seats within a complex PR seat distribution system; the legislation could not be restrictive or coercive in the identification of ‘minority community’ voters; and also had to be designed to de-incentivise political assassination.  I drafted a law which adhered to these criteria. Working with the target communities we developed a system where voters self-selected by using a separate ballot paper, this also served to resolve the seat allocation system as effectively conducting a separate election for those seats. Each candidate nominated 3 alterative candidates who would take the seat in the case of political assassination avoiding the need for by-elections and possible re-allocation to rival groups. The provisions were subsequently adopted by the Iraqi parliament. I also conducted a complete redraft of the Electoral Laws of the Solomon Islands and Sierra Leone.

I have a strong track record in innovation and problem solving in both hostile physical and high risk environments that have required the utmost discretion, creativity and adaptability. I have proven leadership skills having directed a range of teams in results based environments and am comfortable with making clear and concise decisions. I bring analytic rigor and dedication to my work and am comfortable in high demand environments. I have excellent research and drafting skills.

Recent Publications
Media Coverage
Country Focus
Iraq, Afghanistan

Research Areas

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