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eyeWitness to Atrocities welcomes three international legal experts: Fatou Bensouda as Board Trustee, and David Scheffer and David Tolbert as Counsellors to the Board

December 19, 2023

eyeWitness to Atrocities welcomes three international legal experts: Fatou Bensouda as Board Trustee, and David Scheffer and David Tolbert as Counsellors to the Board

[left to right] Fatou Bensouda, David J Scheffer, David Tolbert

eyeWitness to Atrocities is pleased to welcome three renowned legal experts: Fatou Bensouda, the esteemed former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, has joined as a Trustee to the Board, while distinguished international law experts David J Scheffer and David Tolbert have been appointed as Counsellors to the Board.

Fatou Bensouda joins the eyeWitness Board of Trustees

The immediate past Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, is known for her exceptional contributions to international justice. With a distinguished background in international law and criminal justice, Ms Bensouda played a pivotal role at the ICC from 2012 to 2021, pursuing accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. She has also served as a legal adviser to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania and as Minister of Justice and Attorney-General in her native country of The Gambia. Recognised globally for her efforts, she brings invaluable expertise to eyeWitness.

Upon her appointment, Ms Bensouda stated,"I am honoured to be appointed to the eyeWitness Board of Trustees. It is a great opportunity to bring my humble contributions to serve a worthy cause."

Recognitions for Ms Bensouda's unwavering commitment to justice include prestigious awards such as the distinguished 2011 World Peace Through Law Award and 2009 ICJ International Jurists Award. Her influence extends globally, with Ms Bensouda having been named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people worldwide and the fourth most influential person in Africa by Jeune Afrique magazine. In 2015, as part of its prestigious list of 100 Women, her influence and impact on a global scale were recognised by the BBC.

“We are privileged to have Ms Fatou Bensouda join our Board of Trustees. Her exceptional track record speaks volumes about her dedication to upholding human rights and seeking accountability for atrocity crimes. With Ms Bensouda on board, we look forward to advancing our mission of promoting accountability for mass atrocity crimes through the verifiable documentation of atrocity crimes and human rights violations”, said eyeWitness to Atrocities’ director, Carrie Bowker.

Ms Bensouda joins eyeWitness’ distinguished Board of Trustees, comprised of prominent figures including Mark Ellis, Almudena Arpón de Mendívil Aldama, Richard Goldstone, Tim Hughes, Sternford Moyo, David W Rivkin and Philip Zeidman.

eyeWitness Appoints International Law Experts as Counsellors to the Board

eyeWitness has appointed two prominent figures in international law, David J Scheffer and David Tolbert, as Counsellors to its Board of Trustees.

With an unparalleled expertise in international law, Mr Scheffer has been a driving force in shaping global human rights policies. Notably, he has served as the first United States Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001) and led the US delegation to establish the International Criminal Court (ICC). He played a pivotal role in negotiating five war crimes tribunals, chaired the Atrocities Prevention Inter-Agency Working Group, and served as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Expert on UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials. Foreign Policy magazine recognised him as a 'Top Global Thinker of 2011,' and his unwavering dedication to justice has earned him prestigious awards, including the Berlin Prize in 2013 and the Champion of Justice Award in 2018.

Mr David Tolbert joins eyeWitness with a distinguished career as an international human rights lawyer and former war crimes prosecutor. Currently the Drinan Chair in Human Rights at Georgetown Law School, Mr Tolbert also served as President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) for over 8 years, as Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and as Executive Director of the American Bar Association Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (ABA-CEELI). With a career spanning almost 15 years in key positions within the United Nations, he has held significant roles such as UN Assistant Secretary-General and Special Expert to the UN Secretary-General on the Khmer Rouge Trials, Chief of the Legal Division of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Austria, Gaza, and Vienna, and as the Registrar for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Mr Tolbert has been awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship and a Jennings Randolph Fellowship at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and has produced over 50 publications on international criminal justice, transitional justice, and rule of law issues.

Dr Mark Ellis, eyeWitness board member and IBA Executive Director, said: “The commitment to international justice brought by David Scheffer and David Tolbert aligns seamlessly with eyeWitness’ mission to contribute to the pursuit of accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and other human rights violations. Their wealth of experience and tireless commitment to international law make them invaluable additions to the organisation.”