Biography

Talita Dias is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with ELAC. Her current research interests include due diligence in cyberspace and atrocity prevention in the digital age. She is particularly interested in identifying state obligations to prevent, halt and redress transboundary cyber harms, as well as the applicable standards of due diligence under international law. Talita is also part of the Transatlantic Atrocity Prevention Network, established under ELAC's International Peace and Security Programme. As part of this network, her research looks at states' duties to prevent aggression under international law.

Talita is also a Lecturer in Criminal Law on the Law Mods/FHS course at St Catherine's College (Oxford) and a Seminar Leader in Law and Public Policy on the Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. She is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and has previously taught public international law and international criminal law at Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Talita's DPhil thesis (Oxon, 2019), supervised by Professor Dapo Akande and funded by the Law Faculty’s Roy Goode Scholarship, the Graduate Assistance Fund Scholarship, and the Planethood Foundation, looked at the principles of legality and fair labelling in international criminal law. Her MJur dissertation (Oxon, 2015) focussed on prosecutorial discretion at the International Criminal Court. Her research has been published in the Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies, the Journal of International Criminal Justice (here and here), the Journal of Conflict and Security Law, the Human Rights Law Review, the Leiden Journal of International Law, and the International Criminal Law Review.

In 2015, Talita obtained her MJur degree with distinction. She was also awarded the Clifford Chance Prize for Best Overall Performance in the program, the Law Faculty Prize for Best Exam Paper in International Law & Armed Conflict, the Principal’s Prize and the Archibald Jackson Prize for Academic Excellence (Somerville College). In 2015/2016, Talita worked for Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia at the International Criminal Court, under the sponsorship of the Oxford Global Justice Internship Program and the Planethood Foundation. She has previously worked as a Criminal and Family Law Clerk in Brazil. She completed her undergraduate studies in Law at the Federal University of Pernambuco with a year abroad in France, where she attended Sciences Po-Lille and Université Pierre-Mendès (Grenoble, France).

Publications

Recent additions

  • T de Souza Dias and Dapo Akande, 'A new approach to the Interests of Justice in the 10 years ahead of the Rome Statute: Why and when the Prosecutor should use her discretion under Art. 53(1)(c) and 2(c) to defer investigations or prosecutions in favor of peace negotiations' (2018) UCLA ICC Forum
    We believe that a key reform that has the potential to make the international criminal justice project stronger, more efficient, and more effective is the consideration of peace negotiations as an additional factor in the Prosecutor’s decision of whether or not to pursue an investigation or prosecution “in the interests of justice,” in accordance with Article 53(1)(c) and 2(c) of the Rome Statute. At present, this would require a revision of the Policy Papers issued on this question, in particular, the 2013 Policy Paper on Preliminary Examinations and the 2007 Policy Paper on the Interests of Justice. Significantly, we believe that this reform has the potential to prevent or alleviate, at least in part, some of the most pressing problems mentioned by the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in its question for this issue of the ICC Forum, namely, the lack of state cooperation, limited budget, and lengthy or complex proceedings.
  • T de Souza Dias, 'Recharacterisation of Crimes and the Principle of Fair Labelling in International Criminal Law' (2018) 18 International Criminal Law Review 1
    DOI: 10.1163/15718123-01805005
    The principle of fair labelling has informed the creation of international crimes and other concepts of international criminal law since the modern inception of this discipline. In particular, it was the symbolic and condemnatory import of international labels such as genocide and crimes against humanity that partly motivated their introduction as offences separate from domestic ordinary crimes. Paradoxically, fair labelling has received marginal attention in legal scholarship and practice. Moreover, frequent instances of relabelling known as ‘recharacterisation of crimes’ may not be entirely consistent with that principle, inviting further analysis thereof. In this context, the purpose of this article is to provide a more systematic and comprehensive analysis of the principle of fair labelling in international criminal law, particularly in light of the phenomenon of recharacterisation of crimes. Its central claim is that fair labelling is as a fair trial right which precludes recourse to recharacterisation in certain circumstances.

Internet Publication (2)

T de Souza Dias and Dapo Akande, 'A new approach to the Interests of Justice in the 10 years ahead of the Rome Statute: Why and when the Prosecutor should use her discretion under Art. 53(1)(c) and 2(c) to defer investigations or prosecutions in favor of peace negotiations' (2018) UCLA ICC Forum
We believe that a key reform that has the potential to make the international criminal justice project stronger, more efficient, and more effective is the consideration of peace negotiations as an additional factor in the Prosecutor’s decision of whether or not to pursue an investigation or prosecution “in the interests of justice,” in accordance with Article 53(1)(c) and 2(c) of the Rome Statute. At present, this would require a revision of the Policy Papers issued on this question, in particular, the 2013 Policy Paper on Preliminary Examinations and the 2007 Policy Paper on the Interests of Justice. Significantly, we believe that this reform has the potential to prevent or alleviate, at least in part, some of the most pressing problems mentioned by the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in its question for this issue of the ICC Forum, namely, the lack of state cooperation, limited budget, and lengthy or complex proceedings.

Journal Article (3)

T de Souza Dias, 'Recharacterisation of Crimes and the Principle of Fair Labelling in International Criminal Law' (2018) 18 International Criminal Law Review 1
DOI: 10.1163/15718123-01805005
The principle of fair labelling has informed the creation of international crimes and other concepts of international criminal law since the modern inception of this discipline. In particular, it was the symbolic and condemnatory import of international labels such as genocide and crimes against humanity that partly motivated their introduction as offences separate from domestic ordinary crimes. Paradoxically, fair labelling has received marginal attention in legal scholarship and practice. Moreover, frequent instances of relabelling known as ‘recharacterisation of crimes’ may not be entirely consistent with that principle, inviting further analysis thereof. In this context, the purpose of this article is to provide a more systematic and comprehensive analysis of the principle of fair labelling in international criminal law, particularly in light of the phenomenon of recharacterisation of crimes. Its central claim is that fair labelling is as a fair trial right which precludes recourse to recharacterisation in certain circumstances.
T de Souza Dias, '‘Interests of justice’: Defining the scope of Prosecutorial discretion in Article 53(1)(c) and (2)(c) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court' (2017) 30 Leiden Journal of International Law 731
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S092215651700022X
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established with the aim of prosecuting individuals for the gravest crimes of concern to the international community. Yet some provisions of its Statute (the Rome Statute) recognize the need for temporarily setting aside criminal investigations or prosecutions in favour of different considerations. Two of these provisions are Article 53(1)(c) and (2)(c) of the Statute. They allow the Prosecutor of the Court to use his or her discretion in deciding not to initiate an investigation or a prosecution in the ‘interests of justice’. Nonetheless, the ambiguity of this phrase, coupled with an absent definition, have given rise to a polarized debate about its meaning and the Prosecutor’s ensuing margin of discretion: some consider matters of peace and security and alternative justice mechanisms as possible ‘interests of justice’, while others exclude them. Among those adopting the latter view is the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), as can be inferred from a 2007 Policy Paper on the Interests of Justice and a 2013 Policy Paper on Preliminary Examinations, which continue to be upheld by the Office. Against this backdrop and amid new developments at the ICC which call into question the OTP’s position, the purpose of this article is to develop a comprehensive interpretation of Article 53(1)(c) and (2)(c) of the Rome Statute, using all the interpretative tools provided by Articles 31 to 33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

Case Note (5)

Research programmes

Research Interests

Public International Law, International Criminal Law, Criminal Law

Research projects