THE VERIFICATION, RESEARCH, TRAINING AND INFORMATION CENTRE (VERTIC)
VERTIC is an independent, not-for-profit non-governmental organisation. Their mission is to support the development, implementation and effectiveness of international agreements and related regional and national initiatives, with particular attention to issues of monitoring, reporting, review, verification, compliance and legislation. The Centre provides this support through research and analysis, assistance and training, dissemination of information, and interaction with the governmental, diplomatic, technical, scientific and non-governmental communities. VERTIC National Implementation Programme (NIM) supports governments in translating commitments undertaken in international law into national legislation and regulations, through awareness-raising, legislative analysis and legislative drafting assistance. Their activities cover the implementation of international obligations for the non-proliferation of CBRN weapons and the security of related materials. VERTIC publishes its research on verification, implementation and compliance issues through a series of openly available publications. VERTIC carries out its work in an objective and impartial manner.
Dr Sonia DROBYSZ- P67 Senior Non-Key Expert (Legal)
Sonia Drobysz is the Acting Programme Director for National Implementation at VERTIC. She oversees the strategic vision and delivery of the National Implementation Measures Programme, to develop, direct and implement global projects on the legislative implementation of obligations arising from international instruments for the non-proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons and the security of related materials, International Health Regulations and Codex Alimentarius. She currently is a key expert for EU CBRN CoE Project 53, and non-key expert for Project 61 and Project 67.
Sonia formerly taught international relations, international law and constitutional law at the Sorbonne University. She was also an associate research fellow at the French Centre for International Security and Arms Control Studies (CESIM) where she worked and published on the IAEA safeguards system. Sonia holds a PhD in international law from University Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne. Her thesis looked at the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the nuclear non-proliferation regime. She also holds a university diploma in international nuclear law from University Montpellier 1/ OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, and a master degree in international law and international organisations from University Paris I. She speaks English, French and Spanish.
Ms Yasemin BALCI- P67 Senior Non-Key Expert (Legal)
Yasemin Balci is a Senior Legal Officer for VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures Programme. She provides legal advice on the legislative implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, Biological Weapons Convention, UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and agreements related to nuclear security. She currently is a key expert for EU CBRN CoE Project 61, and non-key expert for Project 53 and Project 67.
Yasemin formerly worked as a Legal Officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in the private legal sector in London, and as a policy officer at Cordaid, an international development NGO in The Hague.
Yasemin holds an LLM in international law from the University of Cambridge, where she studied on a Huygens Scholarship. She finished her honours undergraduate degree at University College Utrecht and obtained her law degree from the University of Amsterdam. She has a university diploma in international nuclear law from University Montpellier 1/OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. She speaks Dutch, English, (intermediate) French and Turkish.
Ms Leanna Burnard- P67 Senior Non-Key Expert (Legal)
Leanna Burnard serves as a Legal Officer for VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures Programme. She advises states on the implementation of their international legal obligations concerning biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and materials.
Before joining the programme, Leanna acquired extensive experience, working both with international and domestic law. For instance, she provided legal assistance to REDRESS, a London-based non-governmental organisation, on matters relating to domestic and international prosecutions for torture. In Australia, Leanna worked in criminal defence law as a Managing Solicitor at the Aboriginal Legal Service. She also worked as a Research Officer in the Attorney General’s Department in Sydney. Leanna undertook internships and volunteered in international law and human rights in the Netherlands, the West Bank, India, South Africa, and on Christmas Island.
Leanna holds an LL.M in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the Geneva Academy, as well as two bachelor’s degrees in law and journalism from Sydney, Australia.
Mr Thomas Brown- P67 Junior Non-Key Expert (Legal)
Thomas joined VERTIC in April 2019 and works as an Associate Legal Officer for VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures Programme. He advises states on the implementation of their international legal obligations concerning biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and materials.
Thomas holds an Advanced LLM in Public International Law from the University of Leiden. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Law and Criminology from the University of Sheffield, and completed the International and European Legal Studies Programme at the University of Antwerp.
He has previous experience working as a Research Fellow for the international law NGO Adalah, in the private legal sector in London, and has volunteered as a writer for a number of legal organisations.