Christiana Ochoa's scholarship focuses on global governance and human rights. Her work has been published in the Harvard International Law Journal, the Virginia Journal of International Law, the Indiana Law Journal (forthcoming 2008), and the Human Rights Quarterly, among others. Her research concentrates in two interconnected areas: the role of individuals in law formation and the inextricable links between global economic activity and human rights. The first of these concentrations explores the relationship between the evolving role of individuals in global governance and under international law and the doctrinal role of individuals in international law formation. Ochoa's more recent work in this area examines the individual's participation in law formation and in civil society as means to increasing the democratic legitimacy of international law and global governance mechanisms. Her work on global economic activity and human rights has included the development of what she terms the "Odious Finance Doctrine," as well as inquiries into the complex interconnection between the proliferation of finance tools and human rights.
note: all links to the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) unless otherwise noted.
The Human Rights Potential of Sovereign Wealth Funds
Illinois Public Law Research Paper No. 08-27, Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 132. (with Patrick Keenan)
In April, 2008, World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, called for sovereign wealth funds to invest one percent of their capital in Africa. The result will be the International Finance Corporation's Sovereign Funds Initiative and is an attempt to nurture the potential of sovereign wealth funds to contribute to economic development and improved well-being in a number of countries in Africa and elsewhere. This article explores the actual potential of the Sovereign Funds Initiative to realize its desired goals. After exploring and demonstrating the disappointing effects of natural resource wealth, development aid and foreign direct investment on some developing countries, the article proposes that the "one percent" should be used to fund a venture capital and micro/mezo-finance initiative targeted directly to entrepreneurs in partner countries. The paper proposes a Multilateral Sovereign Investment Agency to oversee this endeavor.
The 2008 Ruggie Report: A Framework for Business and Human Rights
American Society of International Law Insights, Vol. 12, Issue 12 (June
This essay reviews the 2008 final report under the first three-year
mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the
issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business
From Odious Debt to Odious Finance: Avoiding the Externalities of a
Functional Odious Debt Doctrine
Harvard International Law Journal, Vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 109- ___ (2008).
This article proposes a doctrine under which emerging democratic
governments may argue for the cancellation or modification of foreign
direct investment contracts.
Guatemala's Gender Equality Reforms: CIL in the Making
Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 83 (2008, forthcoming).
This article explores the role Guatemalan women have played in engaging
and participating in international legal processes in order to demand
reform their civil code and a new interpretation of their constitution
in respect to gender rights.
The Relationship of Participatory Democracy to Participatory Law Making
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1 (2008, forthcoming).
This article explores the relationship between
participation in democratic processes and participation in law-making
The Individual and Customary International Law Formation
Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 48, pp. 119-___ (2007).
This article provides the doctrinal and theoretical arguments for
enhanced participation of individuals in the process by which customary
international law is formed and suggests practical methods for
Towards a Cosmopolitan Vision of International Law: Identifying and
Defining CIL Post Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain
University of Cincinnati Law Review, Vol. 74, pp. 105-___ (2006).
This article provides insights regarding the importance of individual's
self-conception and their participation in the construction of human
rights law, especially the customary international law of human rights.
Access to U.S. Federal Courts as a Forum for Human Rights Disputes:
Pluralism and the Alien Tort Claims Act
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Vol. 12, pp. 631-___ (2005).
(under contract for reprinting in Pluralism in International
Law, ICFAI Press, India).
This article describes the contributions the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act
(ATCA) has made toward increasing both civic and legal pluralism and
posits that the ATCA provides desirable routes for the civic engagement
and participation of victims of human rights abuses.
Advancing the Language of Human Rights in a Global Economic Order: An
Analysis of a Discourse
Boston College Third World Law Journal, Vol. 23, pp. 57-___ (2003).
This article argues that the language of human rights, in order to be
understood by the people it aims to protect, must, above all, be
intelligible and accessible to them. At this stage of interactions
between human rights advocates and international economic actors, human
rights advocates should retain and advance the compelling and utopian
language of rights.