Practitioner Series: Víctor Sibaja on Working at the International Criminal Court

On Wednesday, 21st February 2024, CGHR welcomed Víctor Sibaja back to the University of Cambridge for our second Practitioner Series event. Víctor Sibaja is an Associate Legal Officer at the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he provides legal advice to Judges trying cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Before joining the Court, he worked as a staff attorney for UNHCR’s partner agencies in Costa Rica providing legal advice and representation to asylum seekers, refugees and people at risk of statelessness. He has published articles in the areas of international refugee and human rights law. Víctor holds an LL.M. in International Law from the University of Cambridge and a law degree from the University of Costa Rica.

The session with Víctor was incredibly stimulating. Víctor talked about the application process for positions at the ICC, shedding light on what it takes to work in such a prestigious institution. He then delved into the intricacies of the work itself, offering details on the responsibilities and challenges faced by legal officers at the ICC. Victor also fielded technical questions about the ICC ecosystem, providing clarity on how the institution operates and collaborates with other entities in the international legal landscape. He shared information about the cases being adjudicated at the ICC, giving attendees a glimpse into the real-world impact of the court’s proceedings. Victor generously answered questions on career pathways related to the ICC’s organs, offering valuable advice for individuals interested in pursuing a career in international law and human rights.

CGHR’s Practitioner Series:

CGHR runs a Practitioner Series each year in Lent term, which often features rights activists, aid practitioners and journalists etc. Our speakers relate stories about their own experience — how they came to work in the field that they are in — with details about what the work itself involves. The session thus offers a combination of substantive discussion of the speaker’s work and critical views on the challenges of working in their area, as well as personal and practical insights into how they ended up doing what they do and how they would advise others thinking about practice/policy as a possible future after studies/research.

CGHR ’s Practitioner Series provides students (both undergrads and postgrads) and researchers with the chance to ask questions of people that they might not normally have access to.