Sonia Elise Rolland

Non-Resident Senior Research Scholar

Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (France), BA 1999
Université Paris-10 (France), MA 2000
University of Michigan, JD 2003
Cambridge University (UK), PhD 2009
(617) 373-7331

Professor Rolland’s writings focus on the legal framework for sustainable and socio-economic development in international economic law. Her research interests include public international law, international trade law, international environmental law and energy regulation. Through the exploration of different subject matters, she examines the intersection of legal regimes to improve the understanding of an increasingly multi-layered international and transnational legal order. She teaches Public International Law, International Trade Law, International Business Transactions and Cross-Border Civil Litigation.

Her book, Development at the WTO (Oxford University Press; hardbound 2012, paperback 2013), proposes a legal framework for development at the WTO, combining an analysis of substantive law and institutional perspectives. Professor Rolland has published widely in French and in English. Her writings have appeared in the Journal of International Economic Law, Harvard International Law Journal, Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Global Community Yearbook and the European Journal of International Law, amongst others. Her article, “The Precautionary Principle: Development of an International Standard” (23 Michigan Journal of International Law 429, 2002), has received several awards and its findings have been endorsed by the International Law Commission in a Resolution by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Professor Rolland has held appointments as visiting professor at Columbia University School of Law (2015) and Georgetown University, and has taught at the University of Michigan Law School. She has also lectured at the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics, Seikei University (Tokyo) and other prominent institutions in Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

She clerked for H.E. Gilbert Guillaume and H.E. Ronny Abraham at the International Court of Justice.

Professor Rolland regularly acts as an expert for international and non-governmental organizations including the United Nations (sovereign debt restructuring), the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (subsidies) and the India Institute of Foreign Trade (WTO negotiations). She served as co-chair of the International Economic Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law (2015-2017) and currently serves as editor of the ASIL Insights.


  • International Law
  • Trade Law, WTO Law
  • International Economic Law
  • Civil Procedure/Private International Law
  • International Organizations
  • International Courts
  • Sustainable development, Energy, Climate Change

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