Skip to content


Catherine Blanchard is Assistant Professor of Public International Law at the Department of International and European Law (Utrecht University, the Netherlands).

Catherine holds a civil law degree (LL.L, summa cum laude, 2012) and a bachelor degree in international development and globalization (B.Sc.Soc Hon DVM, summa cum laude, 2012) from the University of Ottawa, Canada, as well as a Juris Doctor from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada (JD, 2013). She also obtained a master degree in Public International Law from Utrecht University (LL.M., cum laude, 2015). Since 2014, Catherine is also a member of the Law Society of Ontario (Barrister and Solicitor, Ontario Bar Association, Canada). She further completed an internship at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in the fall of 2015.

Catherine’s obtained her doctorate degree in Public International Law from Utrecht University (PhD, 2020), and her research, building on multidisciplinary insights, explored the possible impact of an integrated oceans governance approach on the fragmented regime of international fisheries, focusing on areas beyond national jurisdiction. Her doctoral research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Research Talent Grant. She was also awarded a Doctoral Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

During her time as PhD Fellow, Catherine carried out part of her research as a guest researcher at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany. She also joined the Dutch delegation to the Preparatory Committee and Intergovernmental Conference for the development of an internationally legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ process).

From January to July 2021, Catherine was a lecturer in Public International Law at Utrecht University School of Law, where she taugh different courses at the bachelor and master levels. She also supervsised master theses in the LLM programme Public International Law. From July 2021 to August 2022, Catherine was a post-doctoral researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) as part of the multidisciplinary project “Protecting deep seabed hydrothermal vent fields through area-based management tools”, focusing on the legal regime for deep-sea mining activities and marine environmental protection.

Catherine is also co-convener of the Task Force on Earth System Law of the Earth System Governance Project, the largest social science research network in the area of governance and global environmental change.

Catherine’s research interests include the law of the sea, international environmental law, deep-sea ecosystem management, the legal regimes for areas beyond national jurisdiction, international fisheries law, (environmental) governance studies and multidisciplinary approaches. She also has a particular interest in stakeholder engagement and policy research.

More information:

Related people