Picture of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Karinne Coombes

Karinne Coombes Assistant Professor

224 Law

Research Area(s)

  • Public international law
  • Human rights law
  • Labour and employment law

Professional Education

  • LLM (Cambridge) 2011
  • JD (Ottawa) 2009
  • MA (Carleton) 2009
  • BA (Saint Mary's) 2004
  • BSc (Saint Mary's) 2004


Karinne received her JD and her MA in international affairs through a joint program with the University of Ottawa and the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, where her research examined the application of international human rights law and international humanitarian law to cross-border armed conflicts involving non-state actors. Karinne completed her LLM in international law at the University of Cambridge, with her thesis exploring the prosecution of international crimes under the universality principle and the challenge that such prosecutions may pose to international relations. Karinne also holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and international development studies and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Karinne’s research interests include public international law, particularly the use of force (jus ad bellum), the law of armed conflict/international humanitarian law (jus in bello), international organizations, international criminal law, international human rights law, international environmental law, jurisdiction, and immunities.

Prior to joining the College of Law, Karinne practiced labour and employment law at Blake, Cassels, and Graydon LLP in Toronto. She also worked as a labour relations officer with a faculty association representing approximately 1,500 members in Saskatchewan. Karinne was called to the bar of Ontario in 2010 and the bar of Saskatchewan in 2015.

Courses taught

  • Legal Research & Writing
  • International Law: Use of Force and the Law of Armed Conflict

Publications and Presentations


(Forthcoming) "Book Review - The United Nations and Collective Security" Journal on the Use of Force and International Law.

“Book Review - Collective Security: Theory, Law and Practice” (2014) 1 Journal on the Use of Force and International Law 375.

(Co-author) Montreux Five Years On: An analysis of state efforts to implement Montreux Document legal obligations and good practices (2013) Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law.

“Universal Jurisdiction: A Means to End Impunity or a Threat to Friendly International Relations?” (2012) 42 George Washington International Law Review 419.

(Co-author) “Social Media In and Out of the Workplace: Old Laws Learn New Tricks” (2012) Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2012: Employment Law.

(Co-author) “Thematic Analysis: Human Rights and the 2010/11 UK Supreme Court” (2011) 7:2 Cambridge Student Law Review 26.

“Balancing Necessity and Individual Rights in the Fight Against Transnational Terrorism: Targeted Killings and International Law” (2009) 27 Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 285.

“Protecting Civilians during the Fight against Transnational Terrorism: Applying International Humanitarian Law to Transnational Armed Conflicts” (2008) 46 Canadian Yearbook of International Law 241.


"Relief in the Cross-hairs: Accountability Issues", College of Law, University of Saskatchewan/Canadian Red Cross (March 15, 2017).

“Shadow Report Launch - Montreux Five Years On: The United Kingdom”, Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law (December 3, 2013).

“Emerging Issues: Targeted Killing and Drone Strikes”, International Humanitarian Law Summer Course; Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa/Canadian Red Cross (June 8, 2012).