Dr Patricia Sellers Viseur
Fellow, Visiting Fellow
Special Advisor, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court / Professor
Faculty of Law
Honorary Doctorate (City University, New York), JD (Pennsylvania), BA (Rutgers)
Patricia Sellers is an international criminal lawyer. She is the Special Advisor for Slavery Crimes for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the former Special Advisor for Gender. She teaches international criminal law and human rights law on the law faculty of the University of Oxford in the Master of Human Rights Law Program. She is a Practicing Professor at London School of Economics and a Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center of the University of California, Berkeley. She was the Legal Advisor for Gender, Acting Head of the Legal Advisory Section and a prosecutor at the Yugoslav (ICTY) Tribunal from 1994-2007 and the Legal Advisor for Gender at the Rwanda Tribunal (ICTR) from 1995-1999. She developed the legal strategies and was a member of the trial teams in the landmark cases of Akayesu, Furundzija, and Kunarac that set the legal standards for the interpretation of sexual violence as war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, torture and enslavement.
Prof Sellers advises governments, international institutions and civil society organisations on international criminal law and humanitarian law. Her expertise focuses on the strategic investigation and prosecution of sexual violence. As such, she has been a Special Legal Consultant to UN Women, to the Gender and Women’s Rights Division of the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and to the Secretary’s General’s Special Representative to Children in Armed Conflict. She has testified as an expert witness before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the cases of J. v. Peru, Favela Nova Bras;/ia v. Brazil, Albarracin v. Ecuador and in Lima v. Colombia. 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.
Prof Sellers has lectured extensively on humanitarian and international criminal law and authored numerous articles, including, ‘Missing in Action: The International Crime of the Slave Trade‘ (Journal of International Criminal Justice, Vol 18, Issue 2, May 2020, pp 517–542). She is the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Goler T. Butcher Medal for Human Rights and the Prominent Women in International Law Award by the American Society of lnternational 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. Prof 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. She 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 to WNET-13/WIDE ANGLE, on the PBS series, Women, War and Peace and as an advisor on The Prosecutors, a documentary film by ARTWOKK productions.