council members

Linda Bianchi, Legal Counsel, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section, Canada; former Senior Appeals Counsel, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

From 2003 to 2010, Linda Bianchi worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) as Senior Appeals Counsel in the Appeals and Legal Advisory Division. In this role, Linda litigated cases for the Prosecution in appeals before the ICTR’s Appeals Chamber and provided legal advice to the Office as a whole on substantive and procedural matters and legal advice to specific trial teams.    Additionally, Linda was a founding member and Chairperson of the Committee for the Review of the Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual Violence Crimes. This committee was established by the OTP in June 2007 in order to review the entire history and record of the Office of the Prosecutor's investigations and prosecutions of sexual violence crimes with the goal of understanding the problems and challenges faced in the international prosecution of gender-based crimes. The ultimate product of the Committee’s work was the publication of a Best Practices Manual for the international prosecution of these crimes. Linda has also published a number of articles pertaining to her work at the ICTR. Since coming back to Canada, from March 2011 to October 2015, Linda worked as a Crown Counsel for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in Ottawa. In November 2015, she then joined the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section in the Department of Justice. Since February 2012, Linda has also been co-teaching an upper year seminar course at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law in International Criminal Law.

Susana SáCouto, Director, War Crimes Research Office, Washington College of Law.

Susana SáCouto directs the War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) of the Washington College of Law (WCL), which promotes the development and enforcement of international criminal law (ICL) and international humanitarian law (IHL), and WCL’s Summer Law Program in The Hague, which offers JD and LLM students the opportunity for intensive study in  in The Hague. She is also Professorial Lecturer-in-Residence at WCL, where she teaches courses on ICL, advanced topics in international criminal law and procedure, and international legal responses to conflict-based sexual and gender violence, as well as an experiential learning course dealing with these areas of law. Ms. SáCouto’s background includes extensive practical experience with organizations working on ICL, IHL and/or human rights issues at both the domestic and international level, including Women Empowered Against Violence, Inc., the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Center for Human Rights Legal Action in Guatemala, and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. She also served as co-chair of the Women’s International Law Interest Group of the American Society for International Law (2006-2009 term), and was awarded The Women’s Law Center 22nd Annual Dorothy Beatty Memorial Award for significant contributions to women’s rights. Recent publications include: Staying the Course: A Call for Sustained International Support of Domestic Prosecution of Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Women in/at War (Mouthaan, S. and Jurasz, O., eds.) (Intersentia, forthcoming) (with Chante Lasco);  Encouraging First Responders to Collaborate with the International Criminal Court and Improving their Capacity to Obtain Information So That It May Be Used for Investigations or in Judicial Proceedings Involving Sexual and Gender Based Crimes, ICC Forum (Apr. 2016); Investigative Management, Strategies, and Techniques of the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor, in The Law and Practice of the International Criminal Court: A Critical Account of Challenges and Achievements (Oxford University Press 2015) (with Katherine Cleary); The Relevance of the United Nations War Crimes Commission to the Prosecution of Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes Today, 25 Crim. L. Forum 349-381 (2014) (with Dan Plesch and Chante Lasco); The Adjudication Process and Reasoning at the International Criminal Court: the Lubanga Trial Chamber Judgment, Sentencing, and Reparations, in 30 Ius Gentium: Comp. Persp. on L. & Just. 131 (Yves Haeck & Eva Brems eds., 2014) (with Katherine Cleary); Gaps in Gender-Based Violence Jurisprudence of International and Hybrid Criminal Courts: Can Human Rights Law Help?, in Strengthening the Protection of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in the African Region through Human Rights 305-330 (Ebenezer Durojaye & Charles Ngwena, eds) (Pretoria University Law Press, 2014); and Victim Participation at the International Criminal Court and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: A Feminist Project?, 18 Mich. J. Gender & L. 297 (2012).

Patricia Viseur Sellers, international criminal law expert and Special Advisor for Prosecutor Strategies for the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; former Legal Advisor for Gender Issues and Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Ms. Sellers is an international criminal lawyer. She is the Special Advisor for Prosecution Strategies for the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Ms. Sellers is a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College the University of Oxford where she teaches international criminal law and human rights law.  She was the Legal Advisor for Gender, Acting Head of the Legal Advisory Section and a prosecutor at the Yugoslav (ICTY) Tribunal from 1994 until February 2007.   She developed the legal strategies and was a member of the trial teams of Akayesu, Furundzija, and Kunarac.  These landmark decisions remain the pre-imminent legal standards for the interpretation of sexual violence as war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, torture and enslavement. Ms. Sellers advises governments, such as Colombia, Guatemala, Libya, and Kenya, international institutions, such as the UN and OSCE, and civil society organisations on international criminal law and humanitarian law.  Her expertise focuses is on the strategic investigation and prosecution of sexual violence. As such, she has been a Special Legal Consultant to UNWomen, to the Gender and Women’s Rights Division of the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and to the Secretary’s General’s Special Representative to Children in Armed Conflict. In 2012, she was a member of an expert panel to review the UN Office of Internal Oversight that has initial jurisdiction over UN Peacekeepers. She has testified as an expert witness before the Spanish national courts on issues of genocide. She testified before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2013, in the case J. v. Peru on issues of conflict-related sexual and in 2016 in the case of Favela Nova Brasilia v. Brazil on matters concerning international obligations to investigate sexual violence. She is currently a sworn expert witness in two criminal cases concerning sexual violence related to the armed conflict in Colombia. She has lectured extensively on humanitarian law and international criminal law.  She is the author of  numerous articles including; Wartime Female Slavery: Enslavement?  Cornell University Journal of International Law, Vol. 44:1 (2011); Rape and Sexual Violence, in the critically received, A New Commentary to the Geneva Conventions, (Oxford University Press 2015); and, the forthcoming, (Re)Considering the Gender Jurisprudence in The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Armed Conflict (Oxford university Press 2017) . She served as a story consultant to WNET-13/WIDE ANGLE, the producers of the PBS series, Women, War and Peace and currently is an advisor on two documentary film projects as well as being featured in the acclaimed documentary, ‘The Uncondemned’. Ms. Sellers is the recipient of the prestigious Prominent Women in International Law Award by the American Society of International Law. She holds an Honorary Doctorate in Law from the City University of New York, as well as an Honorary Fellow for Lifetime Achievement from the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, her alma mater. Ms. Sellers was also awarded the National Bar Association’s Ron Brown International Lawyer Prize. 

Michelle Jarvis, Deputy Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria (IIIM).

Michelle Jarvis is an Australian lawyer with extensive international experience and a diverse career covering litigation, rule of law, women’s access to justice and senior management roles. She has worked in the international criminal justice field for over 17 years. Before taking up her position at the IIIM, she served as Deputy to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. Ms. Jarvis played a leading role on gender issues at the ICTY and served for four years as the ICTY’s Focal Point for Women. She oversaw an ambitious legacy project within the Office of the Prosecutor, resulting in the book, "Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence at the ICTY," which she co-edited with ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz (Oxford University Press, 2016). She also co-authored "Women, Armed Conflict and International Law" with Judith Gardam (Brill, 2001). Ms. Jarvis previously worked in a variety of roles in Australia and internationally, including as a consultant for the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women and as a solicitor for a community legal service focusing on women’s legal justice issues in Australia. Ms. Jarvis initiated the Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Network of the International Association of Prosecutors in 2015 and coordinated the Network before becoming a member of its Advisory Council. She is also a Co-Vice Chair of the International Bar Association's War Crimes Committee.

Elena Martin Salgado is an international criminal lawyer combining knowledge of civil and common law jurisdictions with experience in and commitment to prosecuting conflict-related sexual violence crimes. She has twelve years of practice at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where she was also involved in recording lessons learned by the Office of the Prosecutor in the prosecution of sexual violence crimes. Over a year ago she joined The Hague Branch of the Office of the Prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, allowing her to develop additional expertise in mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. She has also worked briefly at the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the Chambers of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and as human rights researcher at King’s College London and the University of Durham in the United Kingdom. Elena is currently the Adviser of the Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (PSV) Network of the International Association of Prosecutors.

Valerie Oosterveld is the Associate Dean (Research) and Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law (Western Law). Her research and writing focus on gender issues within international criminal justice. She is the Associate Director of Western University’s Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction, and is affiliated with the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists and is a University of Western Ontario Faculty Scholar. She teaches courses in the field of international law. Before joining Western Law in July 2005, Valerie served as a gender expert on the Canadian delegation to the 1998 UN Diplomatic Conference, which adopted the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. As well, Valerie served in the Legal Affairs Bureau of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In this role, she provided legal advice on international criminal accountability for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, especially with respect to the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Sierra Leone Special Court, and other transitional justice mechanisms. She also served on the Canadian delegation to the 2010 Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in Kampala, Uganda.