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
Some of his recent publications include the following books:
- ‘Corte Penal Internacional: ¿Dónde Investigar?’ (Tirant lo Blanch, 2003),
- ‘The Triggering Procedure of the International Criminal Court’ (Brill Publishers, 2005),
- ‘Ataques contra Personas y Bienes Civiles y Ataques Desproporcionados’ (Tirant lo Blanch, 2007),
- ‘Terrorismo Internacional y Conflicto Armado’ (with Professor A Pérez Cepeda; Tirant lo Blanch 2008),
- ‘Unlawful Attacks in Combat Situations’ (Brill Publishers, 2008),
- ‘The Criminal Responsibility of Senior Political and Military Leaders as Principals to International Crimes’ (Hart Publishers, 2009)
- ‘Diez Años de Ensayos sobre la Corte Penal Internacional: Desde su Creación hasta la Expiración de la Reserva Jurisdiccional de Colombia sobre Crímenes de Guerra’ (Universidad Javeriana de Bogota/Dyke, 2009).
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.
- First, the distinctive features of international criminal procedure, including the existence of a procedure and of specific criteria on the basis of which 'situations' are selected for investigation at the ICC, as well as the roles played by the main actors in those proceedings.
- 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.
He has taught and lectured in LLM and PhD programs, as well as in courses for magistrates, prosecutors, defence lawyers, police officers and military personnel, in countries as diverse as Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Perú, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, the United States and Uruguay.
Olásolo is member of the Academic Committee of the International Criminal Law Association since 2009.