Patricia Viseur Sellers

Interview conducted 1 June 2016 in The Hauge, Netherlands, by Susana SáCouto.

headshot of patricia sellersBackground

Interview Content

In her interview, Patricia Viseur Sellers reminisces about contacting Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald to explore employment at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); the moment Prijedor was announced as a central location for the work of the ICTY Office of the Prosecutor; being approached by Prosecutor Goldstone and Deputy Prosecutor Blewitt to determine the feasibility of investigating sexual violence under the ICTY Statute; and the differences between being a public defender in Philadelphia, a human rights advocate in Brazil and working at the ICTY.

She discusses dealing with bureaucracy at the international level; adjusting to a hybrid common law/civil law system; linguistic challenges between Anglophone and Francophone judges and staff at the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; the nature of prosecuting sexual crimes in a mostly male setting; examining gender relationships within the Office of the Prosecutor itself; and the importance of the landmark sexual violence cases on which she worked.

read full transcript of interview

Biographical Information

Patricia Viseur Sellers was born in 1954 in the United States. She received bachelor's degree from Rutgers University in 1976 and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. She worked as a staff accountant for the U.S. Tax Department at Price Waterhouse (Brussels, Belgium) from 1987-89; with the European Union, Commission — Directorate General for External Relations, Southeast Asia Division, from 1990-94; and with the ICTY Office of the Prosecutor from 1994 to 2007. She is currently a special adviser at the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, Oxford University, where shes teaches international criminal law.