Kate Mackintosh


Legal Assistant to Judge Antonio Cassese of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, 1998; Legal Officer of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Appeals Chamber, 1999-2000; Legal Officer of the ICTY Trial and Appeals Chamber, 2000-2003; currently Deputy Registrar of the ICTY

An interview with Kate Mackintosh, conducted on 21 May 2015 in The Hague by David P. Briand, Linda Carter and Leigh Swigart.

Access the full transcript of the interview 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 Kate Mackintosh (2015), 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 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 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 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; the evolution of international tribunals and the trajectory of future proceedings. 

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 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, UN OCHA and the Norwegian Refugee Council. She started a career within the ICTY in 1998 as a legal associate with Judge Antonio Cassese. In 1999, she joined the 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.