Essex Public International Law Lecture: Unlocking Slavery Crimes

  • Mon 1 Nov 21

    18:00 - 19:30

  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Professor Patricia Viseur Sellers, Special Advisor for Slavery Crimes to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court,

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Public International Law Lecture

  • Event organiser

    Essex Law School

Please join us for the latest instalment of the Essex Public International Law Lecture Series.

The Essex Public International Law Lecture Series welcomes you to to the latest instalment presented by Professor Patricia Viseur Sellers, Special Advisor for Slavery Crimes to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and chaired by Dr Emily Jones from the School of Law at the University of Essex.

Unlocking Slavery Crimes

Slavery and the slave trade, practiced for generations, were expressly outlawed by international treaties, covenants, and tribunal statutes during the twentieth century. Notwithstanding, today’s legal redress of slavery and the slave trade is mired in a conceptually myopic morass. Slavery and the slave trade remains captive to the structural deficiencies embedded in statutes and their jurisprudential misinterpretation. This lecture attempts to unlock the shackles of Slavery Crimes.


Professor Patricia Viseur Sellers (she/her) is an international criminal lawyer.  She is a Visiting Fellow of Kellogg College at the University of Oxford, where she teaches the Fundamentals of International Human Rights Law and the International Criminal Law course in the Master of International Human Rights Law program. She is also a Practicing Professor at London School of Economics and a Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center of the University of California, Berkeley. In 2021, she was appointed as the Special Advisor for Slavery Crimes to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. She was Special Advisor on Gender to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court from 2016-2020. Prior to that she was the Legal Advisor for Gender, Acting Head of the Legal Advisory Section and a prosecutor at the Yugoslav Tribunal (ICTY) from 1994-2007 and the Legal Advisor for Gender at the Rwanda Tribunal (ICTR) from 1995-1999. 

Professor Sellers was a prosecutor on the trial teams of Akayesu, Furundzija, Kunarac, Nikolic and Oric.  She has developed legal strategies that led to landmark decisions regarding sexual violence as constitutive conduct of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, torture and enslavement under international criminal law. 

Professor Sellers advises governments and civil society entities and lectured extensively on international criminal law.  She has authored numerous articles, including, ‘Missing in Action: The International Crime of the Slave Trade’, 'Wartime Female Slavery: Enslavement?' and, forthcoming, 'The International Crimes of Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Feminist Critique."   She has testified as an expert witness before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the cases of J. v. Peru, Favela Nova Brasilia v. Brazil, Albarracín v. Ecuador and Lima and Others v. Colombia. She 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. 


About the Essex Public International Law Lecture Series

The Essex Public International Law lecture series is founded, hosted and co-chaired by Dr Meagan Wong and Dr Emily Jones based in the School of Law. This is a weekly lecture series featuring judges of international courts and tribunals, leading academics, and practitioners of international law from governmental service, international organizations, and private practice from across the globe. The series prides itself on building on two important intellectual traditions of international law: formalism and international legal practice, and international legal theory including postcolonial and feminist perspectives. 

We welcome all students, academics, practitioners and legal advisors to join us.

How to register

You can register here for the event which will be held on zoom.

For further information

Please contact Dr Meagan Wong, meagan.wong@essex.ac.uk and Dr Emily Jones, e.jones@essex.ac.uk.


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