Legal Advisor for Gender Related Crimes and Deputy Head of the Legal Advisory Section, Office of the Prosecutor, UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, International Criminal Prosecutor, Special Legal Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Independent Legal Expert
Ms. Sellers has been a Visiting Fellow of Kellogg College since 2006. From 1994 until 2007 she was the Legal Advisor for Gender and a prosecutor at the Yugoslav (ICTY) and the Rwanda (ICTR) Tribunals. In 2007 she was a Special Legal Advisor to the Gender and Woman’s Rights Division of the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and also advised the United Nation’s Secretary General’s Special Representative to Children in Armed Conflict in the drafting of an amicus curie brief submitted to the International Criminal Court in the Prosecutor v. Lubanga. Ms. Sellers is currently an independent legal expert in international criminal and humanitarian law.
As the ICTY Legal Advisor for Gender related crimes, Ms. Sellers participated in the development of the international legal standards for the sexual violence under crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, including acts of rape, torture, enslavement, persecution. Ms. Sellers prosecuted the Prosecutor v. Furundzija, the first case wherein rape was recognised as a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. At the ICTR, she was co-counsel and legal strategist in the Prosecutor v. Akayesu, the first international criminal case to convict the perpetrators of the Rwanda genocide and the first international conviction to hold sexual violence as an act of genocide and rape as a crime against humanity. Ms. Sellers was the legal advisor on the Prosecutor v. Kunarac, the international conviction of enslavement under crimes against humanity, based upon acts of sexual violence.
In 2002, in Tokyo, Japan, Ms. Sellers was a Co-chief Prosecutor in a symbolic trial that highlighted the absence of legal redress for thousands of “Comfort Women” who were enslaved by the Japanese army during World War II. Ms. Sellers has lectured internationally and authored over twenty articles on the law of armed conflict and international criminal law.
In 1999,? the American Society of International Law awarded Ms. Sellers the prestigious Prominent Women in International Law and the Black Student Association of the University of Rutgers Law School awared her the Martin Luther King Award? In 2001, the City University of New York awarded Ms. Sellers an Honorary Doctorate in Law and in 2006, she became an Honorary Fellow for Lifetime Achievement of the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 2007 she was awarded the U.S. National Bar Association’s Ron Brown International Lawyer prize.
From 2002 until 2005 Ms Sellers taught a course entitled “The International Criminal Process” in Kellogg College’s Masters of Human Rights degree program. She is on the faculty of the Oxford University-Washington College of Law Summer Human Rights Program.
Sellers servied at the Directorate General for External Relations at the European Commission, the Ford Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, and the Philadelphia Defender Association. She is a former co-chair of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Conference of Black Lawyers and is a professor in the Oxford University Joint Program in International Law.