Tiina Pajuste, Cambridge Ph.D.
Tiina was born and lived most of her life in Tallinn, though she considers herself to be an “islander” – from Saaremaa, where both her parents are from and where she spent her summers growing up. She did her first degree at the University of Tartu, at the Institute of Law located in Tallinn. Her interest in international law was sparked by her participation in the world’s largest moot court competition – the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition held at Washington, D.C., with teams from more than 100 countries participating every year.
As it is difficult to specialise in international law in Estonia, after graduation in 2006 she decided to go to Finland to do an LL.M. (a master of laws degree) in International Law at the University of Helsinki. After a great year there, she was offered the possibility to stay and work at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights as a research fellow. She happily accepted and spent the next 8 months writing a report on human rights mainstreaming in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy, which was published in book form by the Institute.
This background and experience was probably what made her successful in her application to study at the University of Cambridge. Accepted to do the Diploma in International Law at Cambridge, she packed up and moved to Cambridge in the autumn of 2008.
As Tiina enjoyed her year of postgraduate study and research at Cambridge immensely, she decided to stay on and enrol in the PhD programme there. She managed to submit her thesis only two years after starting her PhD and is now working for her former supervisor, one of the world’s leading experts in international law, Professor James Crawford, and planning the next steps to take in her career and life in general.