prof. dr. H.O. (Héctor) Olásolo
Professor of International Criminal Law and Procedure
Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology
3512 BW Utrecht
Tel: +31 30 253 71 45
Héctor Olásolo is Professor of International Criminal Law and Procedure at the University of Utrecht since March 2009. He is also Director of the Utrecht School of Law Clinical Programme on Conflict, Human Rights and International Justice since September 2009.
Previously, he has been a legal Officer in Chambers at the International Criminal Court (2004-2009). He has also been a former member of the Legal Advisory and Appeal Sections of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Office of the Prosecutor (2002-2004). He was a member of the Spanish Delegation to the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court (1999-2002).
Prof. Olásolo graduated from the University of Salamanca with a law degree in 1996 and obtained his Ph.D. in 2003. He received his LL.M. from Columbia University in New York in 2001 and was pronounced as a Kent Scholar in 2002. In the spring of 2009 he was a visiting professor at American University Washington College of Law.
Selection of recent publications
Inaugural lecture (18 October 2010):
- The Role of the International Criminal Court in Preventing Atrocity Crimes through Timely Intervention (pdf)
- La Función de la Corte Penal Internacional en la Prevención de Delitos Atroces Mediante su Intervención Oportuna (pdf)
Some of his recent publications include the following books:
- La Responsabilidad Penal de los Dirigentes por la Comisión de Delitos Internacionales, Temis/Universities Sergio Arboleda and El Rosario, Bogotá, 2012 (in print).
- Essays on International Criminal Justice, Hart Publishing Ltd/Ibero-American Institute of The Hague, London, 2012
- Perspectiva Iberoamericana de la Justicia Penal Internacional, Vol. I, 2011, Olásolo, H. (Ed.), Tirant lo Blanch/European Union/Iberoamerican Institute of the Hague (IIH), Valencia (Spain), 2012.
- De rol van het Internationaal Strafhof in het voorkomen van internationale misdrijven door middel van tijdige interventie, The Hague: Eleven International Publishing, 2011.
- Ensayos de Derecho Penal y Procesal, Tirant lo Blanch, Valencia (Spain) 2011; reprinted by Dike/European Union/Colombian Ministry of Justice and Law/Ibero-American Institute of the Hague, Medellín (Colombia) 2012.
- Estudios de Derecho Penal Internacional, Instituto Nacional de las Ciencias Penales, Mexico DF, 2010.
- Ensayos sobre la Corte Penal Internacional, Universidad Javeriana/Editorial Dike, Bogotá (Colombia) 2009.
- The Criminal Responsibility of Senior Political and Military Leaders as Principals to International Crimes, Hart Publishing Ltd., 2009)
- Unlawful Attacks in Combat Situations, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Boston/Leiden, 2008.
- Terrorismo Internacional y Conflicto Armado (with Professor A Pérez Cepeda), Tirant lo Blanch, Valencia (Spain) 2008
- Ataques contra Personas y Bienes Civiles y Ataques Desproporcionados, Tirant lo Blanch, Valencia (Spain), 2007.
- The Triggering Procedure of the International Criminal Court, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Boston/Leiden, 2005,
- Corte Penal Internacional: ¿Dónde Investigar?, Tirant lo Blanch, Valencia (Spain), 2003.
Also see the full list of publications.
Prof. Olásolo has been involved in a variety of research projects on international and comparative substantive criminal law and procedure, human rights and international humanitarian law. To date, his main lines of research can be divided into four groups.
- Firstly, the goals of international criminal justice in a global society, and the means to achieve these goals. In particular, the role of the ICC in implementing the notion of responsibility to protect and its relation to the ICC´s preventive function, the interplay between the principles of universal jurisdiction and the principle of complementarity, the notion of positive complementarity, and the key role of the ICC preliminary examination and the ICC triggering procedure to fulfill the ICC´s preventative function;
- Secondly, the contours of the modes of principal and accessory criminal liability in international criminal law, in light of the specific characteristics of international crimes and the unique role played by political and military leaders in their commission.
- Thirdly, the relationship between international humanitarian law and international criminal law, with a particular focus on the distinction between situations of armed conflict and situations of internal disturbances caused by repeated acts of terrorism, and on conduct giving rise to criminal liability during combat situations (the so-called 'conduct of hostilities war crimes').
- Finally, the substantive and procedural challenges posed by the new phenomenon of international terrorism and its prosecution at the national and the international levels.
In the coming years, he would like to incorporate some additional lines of research, including one on the increasingly important role of international human rights standards in international criminal procedure, and another on defences in international criminal law, with a particular focus on the outer limits of self-defence and duress in situations of armed conflict – and particularly in combat situations in which the loss of civilian status is also at stake.
In addition to being the director of the Utrecht Law School Clinical Programme on Conflict, Human Rights and International Justice, Prof. Olásolo teaches courses on international criminal law and procedure at the bachelor and master levels, including a moot-court-type course specifically focused on the International Criminal Court.
Prof. Olásolo also teaches the ICC Moot Court Competition Course at the master level, which prepares students to participate in the ICC Trial Competition in both the English and the Spanish languages.
Moreover, he coordinates the Utrecht Externship Programme in partnership with the Association of Defense Counsels of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ADC-ICTY), as well as the Skills Training Programme with judges, prosecutors, defence counsels and victims representatives of Hague based international courts and tribunals.
He has taught and lectured in LLM and PhD programs, as well as in courses for magistrates, prosecutors, defence lawyers, victims representatives, police officers, military personnel, UN personnel and members of National Congress in countries as diverse as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Perú, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, the United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Olásolo is member of the Academic Committee of the International Criminal Law Association since 2009.
Also see the full list of positions held, and activities conducted, by Prof. Olásolo.