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Rossella Pulvirenti

Studying for a PhD in Law

Thesis Title

  • Witness Protective Measures at the International Criminal Court: a human right analysis

My thesis focuses on witness protective measures at the International Criminal Court (ICC). I The ICC, established by the Rome Statute, is the first permanent international criminal court, which exercises its jurisdiction over persons responsible of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

Article 68 of the Rome Statute reads that “[t]he Court shall take appropriate measures to protect the safety, physical and psychological well-being, dignity and privacy of victims and witnesses”. Being a witness at the ICC is not an easy and painless experience. As the testimony might determine the guilt of the accused, it is not uncommon that some witnesses may be threatened, injured or even killed due to their participation in proceedings. The difficulties witnesses encounter due to their collaboration in international criminal justice might stop them from coming forward to identify the alleged perpetrators of crimes.

For this reason, my thesis aims to provide a critical evaluation of witness protective measures at the ICC in light of human rights law. With this analysis, my thesis assesses whether it is useful to continue or discontinue these measures and whether they need to be changed, dropped or improved.

Theme

Publications

  • Book Review: ‘The Child in the ICC proceedings by Helen Beckmann-Hamzei’ in New Journal of European Criminal Law (to be published in December 2016)
  • Blog Post: ‘A New Settlement for the United Kingdom in the European Union: A New Challange to EU citizens’ social benefits and Freedom of Movement?’ European Papers, 4 May 2016.
  • Book Review: ‘The Protection of Victims and Witnesses at International and Internationalized Criminal Courts’ of Christine Kunst, 13 Political Studies Review 1, 2015.
  • Book Review: ‘War and War Crimes of James Gow, 13 Political Studies Review 3, 2015.
  • Book Review: All the missing souls of David Scheffer, 12 Political Studies Review 3, 2014
  • Co-author, “Profili di diritto sostanziale e procedurale delle richieste di status di rifugiato e delle richieste di ingresso e soggiorno per lavoro” (“Profiles of substantive and procedural law of the refugee status applications and of application for entry visas and residence and work permits”) in Di Cataldo V. (eds.), Temi di ricerca per la cura dei diritti umani (“Research topics for the protection of human rights”), Giappichelli Editore, Turin, 2011.
  • Co-author, “L’esperienza della guerra in Iraq” (“The experience of the war in Iraq”), in Di Cataldo V. (eds.), Temi di ricerca per la cura dei diritti umani (“Research topics for the protection of human rights”), Giappichelli Editore, Turin, 2011.

Conferences

  • Paper: ‘Article 21 and Internationally Recognised Human Rights’, Tilburg University, School of Law, The Netherlands, June 2015.
  • Paper: ‘Internationally Recognised Human Rights: Is there a room at the International Criminal Court?’, International Graduate Legal Research Conference , King’s College, London, 13-14 April 2015.
  • Poster: ‘Witness Protecting Measures at the International Criminal Court’, Society of Legal Scholars Judging in the 21st Century, Nottingham, 8-9 September 2014.  
  • Paper: ‘Maintaining security in Asia: What role for the International Criminal Court?’, School of Politics, Post-graduate Conference - Understanding Contemporary Conflicts, Nottingham, 8 March 2014.
  • Paper: ‘What happens to ICC witnesses after their testimony at the Hague? Some reflection on Human Rights’. Human Rights Consortium – School of Advanced Studies, University of London, London, 11 September 2013.
  • Paper: ‘Come rendere effettivo in Italia e in Europa il diritto d’asilo? Le direttive comunitarie e i progetti legislativi italianiì (‘Making effective in Italy and Europe the asylum: EU Directives and Italian legislative projects’), University of Catania, Catania, 27 May 2007.

Public Engagement Activities

  • ‘Witness Protective measures and the United Nations’, Nottingham International Law and Security Centre Film Festival, Nottingham, 23 February 2016.
  • ‘Witness Protective Measures at the ICC’, PubhD, Nottingham, March 2015.
  • Poster: ‘The Dilemma of Intimidated Witnesses: To Testify or Not to Testify’, Graduate Centre of the University of Nottingham, Research Showcase, 18 June 2014.

Awards

  • First Prize in the Category ‘Visitors Awards’ for the Poster: ‘The Dilemma of Intimidated Witnesses: To Testify or Not to Testify’, Graduate Centre of the University of Nottingham, Research Showcase, 18 June 2014.
  • JC Smith Trust Fund Travel Scholarship, July 2011.

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