The 21st century has seen significant progress and recent regression in terms of entrenchment of the rule of law. These developments have occurred not only in the domestic context but also within the international sphere. This presentation by Kimberly Prost will explore some of these ‘rule of law’ changes and challenges within the international legal order.

The establishment of the international tribunals and the International Criminal Court represents a landmark advancement in terms of international criminal law and international humanitarian law. It also has contributed to establishing a rule of law culture.   The background which led to the creation of these bodies will be explored along with consideration of the fundamental concepts underpinning them and an examination of the current key challenges to maintaining and strengthening these institutions and international criminal justice more broadly.   

There will also be a brief reflection on ‘law making’ by the Security Council and whether this constitutes an appropriate role for the Council in terms of progressing the rule of law. In particular resolutions 827 (1993) and 955 (1994) which established the ICTY and the ICTR, resolution 1373 (2001) related to measures to counter terrorism and resolutions 2178 (2014) and 2396 (2017) on Foreign Terrorist Fighters will be considered.

Finally the presentation will explore the role of the Ombudsperson for the Security Council Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and consider its successes and failures in terms of enhancing the rule of law in Security Council practice.

Graduating as a gold medallist from the University of Manitoba Law School, Ms.Prost worked for the Canadian federal Department of Justice for eighteen years. She served as a federal prosecutor, including with the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section and appeared before all levels of the Canadian courts, including arguing several cases before the Supreme Court of Canada. She was for 10 years with the International Assistance Group, Canada’s central authority for international criminal cooperation matters, serving as Director from 1993 until 2000. In this capacity, in addition to operational and managerial functions, she participated in the negotiation of over 40 extradition/mutual legal assistance treaties and was a member of the Canadian delegation for the negotiation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the related Rules of Procedure and Evidence and Elements of Crime, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

In July 2000, Ms. Prost joined the Commonwealth Secretariat as Head of the Criminal Law Section. There she delivered a range of programs on international cooperation, counter terrorism, implementation of the Rome Statute, and combating organized crime and corruption.

In March 2005, Ms. Prost was appointed to the post of Chief, Legal Advisory Section with the Division of Treaty Affairs within the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. In that position, she continued to run programs on international cooperation and to provide advice and assistance to states regarding the implementation of the international drug, crime and terrorism conventions.

After election by the General Assembly, in July 2006, she was appointed to sit as an ad litem judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on the trial of seven accused charged in relation to events at Srebrenica and Zepa in 1995. Judgement was delivered in that case in June 2010. She also served as Pre-Trial and Presiding Judge in the case of the Prosecutor v. Tolimir, a self represented accused, during her tenure with the Tribunal.

In June of 2010 Ms. Prost was appointed by the Secretary General as Ombudsperson for the United Nations Security Council Al Qaida Sanctions Committee (1267 Committee). She completed her five year term in that role in mid July 2015. She subsequently served for two years as Chef de Cabinet for the President of the International Criminal Court. In December 2017 she was elected as a Judge of the International Criminal Court and she is currently serving in that capacity in The Hague, Netherlands.
The PIL Discussion Group hosts a weekly speaker event and light lunch and is a key focal point for PIL@Oxford. Topics involve contemporary and challenging issues in international law. Speakers include distinguished international law practitioners, academics, and legal advisers from around the world.
The group typically meets each Thursday during Oxford terms in The Old Library, All Souls College, with lunch commencing at 12:30. The speaker will commence at 12:45 and speak for about forty minutes, allowing about twenty five minutes for questions and discussion. The meeting should conclude before 2:00. Practitioners, academics and students from within and outside the University of Oxford are all welcome. No RSVP is necessary. Join the PIL Email List to receive information about the PIL Discussion Group meetings, as well as other PIL@Oxford news.
To join the Public International Law Discussion Group email list, which offers details of all events and other relevant information, send a message to: . (You do not need to write any text in the body of the message, or even put anything in the Subject: line unless your mailer insists on it.) You will be sent a confirmation request, and once you reply to that, a message confirming your subscription will follow. Alternatively, you can send an email to Jenny Hassan to be added to the PIL mailing list.
Convenors of the Oxford Public International Law Discussion Group are Talita de Souza Dias and Daniel Kaasik.
The discussion group's meetings are part of the programme of the British Branch of the International Law Association and are supported by the Law Faculty and Oxford University Press.