MORE RESOURCES

Articles by Gregory Townsend, available online:

"Epilogue to Hotel Rwanda." American Society of International Law Insights (2011)

"Committing Genocide by Integral-Part Participation." 3 Hague Just. J. 36 (2008)

"The Iraq Claims Process: Progress Report on the UNCC." 17 Loy. L.A. Int'l. L.J. 973 (1995)

Gregory Townsend

Associate Legal Officer, ICTR Registry and Chambers (1998-2000); Assistant Trial Attorney and Trial Attorney, ICTR OTP (2000-03, 2005-07); Trial Attorney, ICTY OTP (2007-08); Senior Legal Officer, Chief, Court Support Services Section, ICTY Registy (2014-present)

townsendAn interview with Gregory Townsend, conducted by Leigh Swigart on 1 June 2017 in The Hague.

Access the full transcript here.

Go to the Brandeis Institutional Repository to conduct a keyword search across the entire Ad Hoc Tribunals Oral History collection.

Please use the following citation format: Oral History Interview with Gregory Townsend (2017), Ad Hoc Tribunals Oral History Project, pages XX, International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Interview content

In his interview, Mr. Townsend reminisces about his early career as a Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles; how a Fletcher school classmate facilitated his career shift to the ICTR; his perspective on the testimony of famed ICTR rape survivor and witness T.A.; the low level of performance by defense counsel during the same proceedings. He discusses the circumstances that led to his work on the ICTR Kayishema/Ruzindana judgment; investigation difficulties in the early life of the ICTR; building trust with witnesses; the interactions between common law and civil law systems in ICTR proceedings; the contrast between ICTR and UNMIK proceedings; limitations of monolingual judges and lawyers at the ICTR and the importance of speaking multiple languages in such an environment; the contrast between the nature of evidence at the Ad Hoc Tribunals and big data at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; the impact of technology on the investigatory phase of the STL Hariri Case; and his reflections on the state of international criminal justice as of 2017.

Biographical information

Gregory Townsend is a graduate of UCLA (B.A., 1988), the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (M.A.L.D., 1993), L’Institut universitaire de hautes études internationales (Univ. de Genève) (D.E.S., 1993) and Loyola Law School (J.D., 1996). He started his legal career as a deputy public defender in Los Angeles.  In 1998, he joined the ICTR, where he worked for the Registrar and clerked for a judge before joining the prosecution, spending more than seven years working on numerous cases against clergymen and high-ranking military and civilian leaders from Rwanda.  He later became a prosecutor for both the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and the ICTY.  From 2008 to 2010 he served as Head of Office for the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague on the trial of Charles Taylor. He joined the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in 2010 as chief legal advisor to the Prosecutor and helped craft the first-ever, international indictment for the crime of terrorism against five members of Hezbollah for the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.  He is on the list of counsel to represent victims before the International Criminal Court and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.  In 2014, he returned to the ICTY as chief of the Registry’s Court Support Services Section, where he currently oversees witness protection, legal aid, judicial records and court operations for the ICTY and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. As of 2017, he is Professor of Practice for the Brandeis in The Hague study abroad program.