Patricia Viseur Sellers is an international criminal lawyer and the Special Advisor for Gender for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. With more than two decades of experience working in the fields of international criminal justice and human rights, Ms. Sellers advises governments, international institutions, and civil society organisations on international criminal law and humanitarian law. She is currently a visiting fellow at Kellogg College of the University of Oxford, where she teaches international criminal law and human rights law, a practicing professor at the London School of Economics, and a senior research fellow at the Human Rights Center of the University of California, Berkeley.
Ms. Sellers’s expertise focuses on the strategic investigation and prosecution of sexual violence. She was the legal advisor for gender, acting head of the legal advisory section, and a prosecutor at the Yugoslav Tribunal from 1994 to 2007 and the legal advisor for gender at the Rwanda Tribunal from 1995 to 1999. 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 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-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. In 2012, she was a member of an expert panel to review the UN Office of Internal Oversight that has initial investigative jurisdiction over UN peacekeepers. She has testified as an expert witness before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on international obligations to investigate sexual violence. She was a sworn expert witness before the Spanish national courts on issues of genocide and before the Colombia courts in two criminal cases concerning sexual violence related to the armed conflict.
Ms. Sellers has lectured extensively on humanitarian and international criminal law. She is the author of numerous articles and is featured in the Discovery Channel series Why We Hate, produced by Steven Spielberg, and in the acclaimed documentary film The Uncondemned. She served as a story consultant on the PBS series, Women, War and Peace and as an advisor on the documentary film The Prosecutors.
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 has also been awarded the National Bar Association’s Ron Brown International Lawyer Prize and the Global Center for Justice’s inaugural Janet Benshoof Global Justice Award.