Criminal Justice Forum: Defense Dialogues: Representing the Accused Before International Criminal Tribunals

Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Zoom

Those accused of international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes are often prosecuted by international criminal tribunals, as the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and others.  Although accused of such grave crimes, these defendants enjoy due process rights and benefit from the presumption of innocence.  Representing such defendants, however, poses unique challenges and requires particular expertise.  Kate Gibson will discuss her experience as a criminal defense laywer before the most prominent international criminal tribunals. She will discuss issues such as procedural particularities, but also specialized defenses such as superior orders, necessity, insanity, mental disease, and duress. Finally, she will focus on differences between representing defendants before international tribunals, such as the International Criminal Court, and domestic tribunals.  



Kate Gibson

Kate Gibson has been practicing before international criminal courts and tribunals since 2005, appearing before the ICC, ICTR, IRMCT, ECCC and SCSL on some of the leading cases before these courts. Currently, Kate is the co-counsel of Bosco Ntaganda before the ICC, and also represents Rohingya victims in the Bangladesh/Myanmar situation. Kate also leads the legal team of Paul Rusesabagina, charged with terrorism in Rwanda, and is a member of the Defence team of former President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.

Previously at the ICC, Kate was the co-counsel of Jean-Pierre Bemba, former Vice-President of the DRC who was acquitted by the ICC Appeals Chamber in 2018. She was also the co-counsel of former President of Liberia Charles Taylor before the SCSL, and the Co-Counsel of former President of the Republika Srpška Radovan Karadžić before the IRMCT. Kate was one of the youngest Lead Counsel to be appointed at the ICTR, representing Minister Justin Mugenzi who was acquitted on appeal. She was also co-counsel to Jean-Baptiste Gatete, former bourgmestre of Murambi commune before the ICTR. Between 2007 and 2008, Kate was the Associate Legal Officer of His Honour Judge Mohammed Shahabuddeen in the Appeals Chamber of the ICTY and ICTR. Kate also represented victims in the Duch case at the ECCC.

In 2018, Kate was appointed as a Legal Consultant to the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission for Myanmar. She is a Senior Legal Advisor with the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) in Washington, DC, working on transitional justice programs in Bangladesh, Libya, and the MENA region. She holds an LL.M in International Law from Cambridge University and lives in Geneva, Switzerland.


CLE credit: 1.0 credit hours pending

Category: CLE Programs, Public Lectures

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