Press Release: 10 November 2023

ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC appoints new Special Advisers, provides update on portfolios

ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC appoints new Special Advisers, provides update on portfolios

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court"), Mr Karim A.A. Khan KC, is pleased to announce the appointment of new Special Advisers pursuant to article 42.9 of the Rome Statute: 

  • Prof. Rene Fernando Urueña Hernandez – Special Adviser on Complementarity (Bio);
  • Prof. Valerie Oosterveld – Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity (Bio); and

Further to previously announced appointments (see here and here), the selection of the new Special Advisers is intended to create a network of experts representing different regions of the world with cultural, linguistic, and gender diversity. Their specific expertise reinforces the Office of the Prosecutor's (OTP) capabilities to effectively and efficiently discharge its mandate under the Statute, and to strengthen specialisation on a wide range of issues and priority areas identified by the Prosecutor.

“I am very pleased to have Professors Urueña and Oosterveld join the roster of Special Advisers that enrich the Office’s work in issues essential to international criminal justice. I am grateful for their willingness to offer their time and immense experience and knowledge. Our Rome Statute stakeholders and staff will benefit greatly from their engagement and contributions,” said Prosecutor Khan.

Professor Urueña (Bio) is a Professor of International Law at Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia), Max Planck Fellow in Law, and is currently a visiting professor at the University of Lapland (Finland). He has practiced as counsel and as expert witness before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and served as an adviser of the Selection Committee of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (Colombia). He was a Fellow at New York University, a docent at the Institute for Global Law and Policy at the University of Harvard, and has taught at the City University of New York, and at the universities of Tel-Aviv, Lima, Utah, Vienna, and Helsinki.  He received his LL.M. (laudatur) and his Doctor of Law (eximia cum laude) from the University of Helsinki, and holds a postgraduate degree in economics from Universidad de los Andes.

Professor Oosterveld (Bio) is a Professor at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law (Western Law). Previously, she was a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists from 2014-2021. In 2010, she served as an academic member of the Canadian delegation to the Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Before joining the Faculty of Law in 2005, Professor Oosterveld served in the Legal Affairs Bureau of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In 1998, she was a member of the Canadian delegation to the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an ICC.

Prosecutor Khan has made additional adjustments to the Special Advisers’ portfolios, mindful of the constantly evolving environment in which the Office operates and the novel challenges it continues to face. Among these changes, Prof. Kevin Jon Heller, who has served thus far as Special Adviser on International Criminal Law Discourse, was appointed Special Adviser on War Crimes jointly with Professor Tim McCormack.

Special Advisers to the Prosecutor are persons with outstanding professional credentials and expertise in their fields. They provide advice to the Prosecutor within their respective mandates as Special Advisers, and may assist in training initiatives of the Office. They work on a pro bono basis and are required to sign a confidentiality agreement and are bound by the 'Standards of Conduct' stipulated in, inter alia, Annex I to Administrative Instruction ICC/AI/2016/002.

An updated list of the special advisers could be found below.

Special Advisers to the Prosecutor

8 November 2023

Lisa Davis

Special Adviser on Gender Persecution

Véronique Aubert

Special Adviser on Crimes against and affecting children

Payam Akhavan

Special Adviser on Genocide

Vaughan Lowe KC

Special Adviser on Public International Law

Intisar A. Rabb

Special Adviser on Islamic Law

Adama Dieng

Without portfolio

Christine Van den Wyngaert

Without portfolio

Tim McCormack

Special Adviser on War Crimes

Mohamed Chande Othman

Without portfolio

Amal Clooney

Special Adviser on Darfur

Patricia V. Sellers

Special Adviser on Slavery Crimes

Claus Kreß

Special Adviser on the Crime of Aggression

Kevin Jon Heller

Special Adviser on War Crimes

Vladimir Tochilovsky

Without Portfolio

Claudio Grossman

Without Portfolio

Purna Sen

Special Adviser on Working Climate

Yoshimitsu Yamauchi

Special Adviser on Mutual Legal Assistance

Theodor Meron

Special Adviser on International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

Rene Fernando Urueña

Special Adviser on Complementarity

Valerie Oosterveld

Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity

Source: Office of the Prosecutor | Contact: [email protected]