Kate Mackintosh

headshot of kate mackintoshLegal Assistant to Judge Antonio Cassese of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), 1998; Legal Officer of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Appeals Chamber, 1999-2000; Legal Officer of the ICTY Trial and Appeals Chamber, 2000-03; currently Deputy Registrar of the ICTY

Interview conducted 21 May 2015 in The Hague, Netherlands, by David P. Briand, Linda Carter and Leigh Swigart.

Interview Content

In her interview, Ms. Mackintosh reminisces about her arrival in Rwanda and work with the UN Human Rights Commission to facilitate the return of refugees and monitor detention facilities; her first impressions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) staff and the atmosphere of the court; the levels of experience of ICTY judges and the challenges that emerge when bringing together different legal systems; her work with and the judicial style of Judge Antonio Cassese; the logistical challenges facing the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwmanda (ICTR) Appeals Chamber in The Hague; the difficulties obtaining translated documents in Arusha; her change of perspective after working at the ICTR in Arusha; her work in the French trial chamber on Kvočka and Krstić cases; the nature of trial testimony and the unpredictability of the impact of witness testimony. She discusses the lack of a common standard for procedure, education, and qualifying degrees among ICTY staff; the disadvantages facing the ICTR that are not shared by the ICTY; the varying levels of judicial involvement in witness questioning; the impact of translation and interpretation on the outcome of trials; the unique process of self-correction by translators during proceedings and the impact on accuracy; and the evolution of international tribunals and the trajectory of future proceedings. 

read full transcript of interview

Biographical Information

Ms. Mackintosh has some 20 years broad experience in international criminal justice and post-conflict interventions as well as in humanitarian policy and advocacy. Prior to taking up the position of Deputy Registrar at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Ms. Mackintosh was working in Cambodia as a consultant in international humanitarian law, policy and practice for, among others, Harvard University, the Overseas Development Institute, UNICEF, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Ms. Mackintosh started her career within the ICTY in 1998 as a legal associate with Judge Antonio Cassese. In 1999, she joined the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) as a Legal Officer with its Appeals Chamber until 2000, when she returned to the ICTY to work with the Kvočka Trial Chamber and the Appeals Chamber until 2003. In 2005, she took a temporary assignment as Legal Officer in the Appeals Section of the Office of the Prosecutor.

From 2003 to 2011, Ms. Mackintosh worked with Médecins sans Frontières, first as the International Law Adviser and for the last four years as Head of the Humanitarian Affairs Department of the Operational Centre in Amsterdam. Her earlier experience includes working in Sarajevo as Senior Legal Adviser to the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in Rwanda as a Human Rights Field Officer with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ms. Mackintosh is qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales, and was admitted to the roll of solicitors in 1995.