International Criminal Court

ICC prosecutor appoints Amal Clooney, 16 others as special advisers

Lian Buan
ICC prosecutor appoints Amal Clooney, 16 others as special advisers

SPECIAL ADVISERS. ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan chooses 17 eminent experts in the field of international law to be his special advisers.

Photo from ICC Office of the Prosecutor

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan is also looking to appoint special advisers from the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific region

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan has appointed human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and 16 other “eminent experts” as his special advisers.

“I have no doubt that with their enormous experience and hugely impressive credentials, they will significantly contribute to the work of the Office and the cause of international criminal justice. I very much look forward to working with and learning from them,” Khan said in statement released by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) on Friday, September 17.

Clooney, who has appeared before the ICC, will be Khan’s special adviser in Darfur, Sudan. There is an ongoing investigation of Darfur for alleged genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed since July 2002, when Sudan joined the ICC.

Clooney has represented victims of crimes in Darfur, particularly in the case against Janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb. She also leads the international legal team of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.

So far, Clooney is the only special adviser for a geographical area, as others are for types of crimes. Khan, however, is looking for a special adviser from the Asia Pacific, as well as the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean.

“The Prosecutor will be looking to appoint additional Special Advisers, in particular from the GRULAC (Group of Latin America and the Caribbean) and Asia-Pacific regions,” said the statement of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP).

The Philippines, Bangladesh, and Myanmar are the three Asia-Pacific countries with ongoing investigations at the ICC. The ICC pre-trial chamber recently authorized the investigation into killings in President’s Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, as well as those in Davao City when Duterte was mayor and vice mayor.

The attacks against the Rohingyas is considered as one case for Bangladesh and Myanmar. The Philippines, Bangladesh, and Myanmar investigations are for alleged crimes against humanity.

International law expert Leila Nadya Sadat is Khan’s special adviser for crimes against humanity. Sadat was also former ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s special adviser for crimes against humanity.

The other special advisers are:

  • Payam Akhavan – Special Adviser on Genocide
  • Véronique Aubert – Special Adviser on Crimes Against and Affecting Children
  • Morten Bergsmo – Special Adviser on Knowledge Transfer
  • Lisa Davis – Special Adviser on Gender Persecution
  • Kevin Jon Heller – Special Adviser on International Criminal Law Discourse
  • Claus Kress – Special Adviser on Crime of Aggression
  • Vaughan Lowe QC – Special Adviser on Public International Law
  • Tim McCormack – Special Adviser on War Crimes
  • Intisar A. Rabb – Special Adviser on Islamic Law
  • Kim Thuy Seelinger – Special Adviser on Sexual Violence in Conflict
  • Patricia V. Sellers – Special Adviser on Slavery Crimes
  • Ali Soufan – Special Adviser on Investigations

Khan also appointed three special advisers without specific designations, which is a “novelty” at the OTP, the statement said. They are:

  • Adama Dieng
  • Mohamed Chande Othman
  • Christine Van den Wyngaert

“These appointments form part of Prosecutor Khan’s vision, early in his mandate, to build on what has been accomplished to date and reinforce the Office’s capabilities to effectively and efficiently discharge its mandate under the Statute,” the OTP said. –

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.