Cécile Aptel

Cécile Aptel

Deputy Director, UNIDIR

Areas of expertise

International Humanitarian Law  /  International Human Rights Law  /  Transitional Justice  /  Children in Armed Conflict  /  Children in Post-Conflict Societies  /  Genocide  /  Rule of Law  /  International Criminal Justice  /  Crimes against Humanity  /  War Crimes  /  International Security

Cécile Aptel is the Deputy Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).

As a leading expert in international criminal justice, transitional justice and child rights, she has over 20 years’ experience in legal, policy and humanitarian matters, working for several UN entities, the European Union, think tanks and NGOs. She joined the then newly-established UN international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, where she worked for 10 years in different legal and policy roles and participated in the drafting of several of the first key judgments, including that on the crime of genocide. She also directly contributed to the establishment of the State Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s War Crimes Chamber (2005), the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (2006), and led the establishment of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria (2017).

Cécile Aptel has participated in various international investigations of international crimes, gross human rights violations and terrorism. This includes work at the UN International Independent Investigation Commission in Lebanon, where she directed the legal services, and at the UN Office of Internal Oversight. She has been a consultant for the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes, advising on rule of law and judicial reform in several countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Cécile Aptel also established and directed ICTJ’s Children and Youth Program. She was awarded the 2010 Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship by the United States Institute of Peace.

Taught Courses

Trial Chamber hearing in the Ayyash et al. case (Case STL-11-01) - 28 January 2016 Executive Master - Course

International Criminal Justice

This course examines and discusses the main criminal jurisdictions fostering individual legal accountability for international crimes.

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Cover of the Journal of  International Criminal Justice

Child Slaves and Child Brides

May 2016

Cécile Aptel

Journal of International Criminal Justice

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Cover of Des limites et du potentiel de la justice pénale internationale

Des limites et du potentiel de la justice pénale internationale

August 2014

Cécile Aptel

Etudes interculturelles

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Cover of the book The Sierra Leone Special Court and its Legacy

Unpunished Crimes: The Special Court for Sierra Leone and Children

December 2013

Cécile Aptel

Cambridge University Press

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Cover of the Journal of International Criminal Justice

‘Prosecutorial Discretion at the ICC and Victims’ Right to Remedy: Narrowing the Impunity Gap’, Journal of International Criminal Justice

October 2012

Cécile Aptel

Oxford University Press

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