Fedelma C. Smith is Senior Legal Counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).
The PCA is an intergovernmental organisation established by treaty in 1899, which provides services for the resolution of disputes involving various combinations of states, state entities, intergovernmental organisations and private parties. The PCA’s docket currently encompasses over 160 diverse disputes involving territorial, maritime, treaty and environmental disputes between states, and commercial and investment cases under investment treaties and contracts. Fedelma’s experience at the PCA includes assisting in the Eritrea-Ethiopia boundary arbitration, the Abyei arbitration between the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army and the land and maritime boundary arbitration between Croatia and Slovenia. She currently serves as tribunal secretary in a number of investor-state cases and other significant disputes involving a state or public entity. Fedelma also supports the PCA Secretary-General in the appointment of arbitrators, and writes and presents on issues of public international law and international dispute resolution. From 2018 to 2020, Fedelma served as the first PCA Representative and Legal Officer in Singapore under the PCA-Singapore Host Country Agreement, where she was responsible for a substantial docket of PCA cases seated or heard in Singapore, as well as the PCA’s outreach activities in the region. From 2012 to 2014, Fedelma was the PCA Representative and Legal Officer in Mauritius, where she was responsible for implementation of the Mauritius International Arbitration Act, administration of PCA cases in Mauritius, and educational and outreach activities to promote PCA services in Africa and the Indian Ocean region.
From 2008 to 2010, Fedelma served as associate legal officer at the International Court of Justice, where she was law clerk to Judge Awn Al-Khasawneh and Judge Sir Kenneth Keith. Fedelma is a member of the Bar of England and Wales and a Harmsworth Scholar of the Middle Temple, and completed pupillage in London in the fields of civil, public, and family law. She holds a BA in English Law with German Law from Oxford University, where she was awarded the Wadham College Scholarship and the Peter Carter Memorial Prize, and an Advanced LLM cum laude in Public International Law from Leiden University.