People

Dr Matthew Gillett

Senior Lecturer
Essex Law School
Dr Matthew Gillett

Profile

Biography

Dr. Matthew Gillett is an academic and generalist international lawyer with extensive experience before the international courts. In 2022, he was appointed as a United Nations Special Mandate Holder (the Expert from the Western Europe and Others Group in the Human Rights Council's Working Group on Arbitrary Detention). For almost 15 years before that, he worked in international organisations in The Hague (particularly the International Criminal Court ("ICC") and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ("ICTY")), primarily as a Prosecution Trial Attorney and Appeals Counsel. He has also conducted investigations in various conflict zones, including as a Human Rights Officer with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan ("UNAMA"). Matthew has published widely on matters relating to international law, peace and security and the environment. His works appear in publications such as the Journal of International Criminal Justice, the Washington University Global Studies Law Review, the International Criminal Law Review, the Criminal Law Forum, the Australian International Law Journal, the Journal of Law and Medicine, and the Yale Journal of International Affairs. His monograph titled "Prosecuting Environmental Harm before the International Criminal Court" was published by Cambridge University Press in June 2022. He has won multiple awards for his academic work, including the Inaugural Benjamin B. Ferencz Essay Competition and the Sherman Emerging Scholar prize. Matthew has led and participated in a range of projects, including inter-disciplinary work on hate speech (which resulted in the Hartford Guidelines on Speech Crimes), assisting the International Crimes Division of Uganda, assisting the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia, and training prosecutors in Kenya. His work encompasses: International Criminal Law; Human Rights; Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism; Procedure and Evidence; Open-Source investigations; the Environment; International Humanitarian Law; Mediation (as a qualified mediator); Speech Crimes; and Aggression. From February 2022 to February 2024, Matthew is the Principal Investigator on an AHRC research grant funded project titled: Legal, Human Rights, Cultural and Environmental aspects of founding a Biocultural Indigenous University in the Andean Amazon of Colombia.

Qualifications

  • PhD Leiden University,

  • LL.M University of Michigan–Ann Arbor,

  • LL.B University of Otago,

  • B.A. (political science) University of Otago,

Appointments

University of Essex

  • Senior Lecturer, Law School, University of Essex (27/9/2021 - present)

Other academic

  • Senior Professional Practice Fellow, Law School, University of Otago (31/12/2022 - 10/2/2023)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Environmental Law

Open to supervise

International Criminal Law

Open to supervise

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

Open to supervise

Conferences and presentations

Child witnesses and victims of war

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Barnahus workshop, 12/10/2022

Fact-finding and evidence of environmental harm in international criminal justice

Invited presentation, Enhancing Environmental Protection in Armed Conflicts, Ferrara, Italy, 19/9/2022

Workshop on Environmental Law and International Justice

Invited presentation, American University of Paris, 9/6/2022

Session 1: The situation in Ukraine

Invited presentation, War Crimes Committee Conference, 9/5/2022

Investigating Human Rights and Arbitrary Detention

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Workshop on Serious Crimes, Human Rights and Arbitrary Detention, 24/11/2021

Gender and Early Warning of Genocide

Invited presentation, Adjudicating Gender-Based Persecution at the ICC and Beyond - Northumbria, Adjudicating Gender-Based Persecution at the ICC & Beyond: A Monumental Step and the Challenges that Lie Ahead Conference, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, 7/10/2021

Environmental crimes and ICC jurisdiction

Invited presentation, IBA War Crimes Committee, 17/5/2021

Challenges to Prosecuting Paramilitaries: Insights from the former Yugoslavia and Syria

Invited presentation, Asser Institute Webinar, 3/6/2020

The Legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia with respect to the Crime of Genocide

Invited presentation, IX Ibero-American Week of International Justice, 3/6/2019

Report on Crime of Starvation

Invited presentation, IBA Conference 2019, 13/4/2019

Proof and Privacy in the Digital Age: The Use of Digitally-Derived Evidence at the International Criminal Court

Invited presentation, 8th Annual Cambridge International Law Conference, 20/3/2019

Proving the intentional destruction of cultural heritage in armed conflict and situations of forcible displacement

Invited presentation, Protecting Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflict and Situations of Forcible Displacement: An (Emerging) Human Right?, 2/3/2019

The Role of the ICCBA in Supporting and Enhancing Positive Complementarity

Invited presentation, ICC Assembly of State Parties, 11/12/2018

Criminal Prosecutions and Accountability

Invited presentation, Human Rights, Transitional Justice, and Environmental Protection, 18/7/2018

Prosecuting Environmental Harm from Military Attacks, Illegal Exploitation of Species, and Toxic Dumping

Invited presentation, The International Criminal Responsibility of War’s Funders and Profiteers, 24/6/2017

Forcible displacement: law and evidence

Invited presentation, American Society of International Law Annual Conference, 10/4/2015

Atrocity and Accountability: the Impact of International Criminal Tribunals on Peacemaking and Reconciliation

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Sherman Award Keynote Speech, 3/10/2013

Accountability for Aggression Under International Criminal Law

Invited presentation, 21ST ANNUAL ANZSIL CONFERENCE, 5/7/2013

Prosecuting environmental damage under international criminal law

Invited presentation, 4th Biennial Conference of the European Society of International Law, 3/9/2010

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Foundations of Human Rights (HU100)

  • Human Rights & Social Justice: Structures, Theory and Practice (HU200)

  • International Human Rights Law: Law and Practice (LW901)

Publications

Journal articles (13)

Gillett, M., Fact-Finding Without Rules: Habermas’s communicative rationality as a framework for judicial assessments of digital open-source information. Michigan Journal of International Law

D’Alessandra, F. and Gillett, M., (2019). The War Crime of Starvation in Non-International Armed Conflict. Journal of International Criminal Justice. 17 (4), 815-847

Gillett, M. and Lostal, M., (2017). “Reflexiones Sobre el Caso Prlić et al.”. En Letra: Derecho Penal. 3 (5)

Gillett, M., (2017). Testing the Limits of the Law Against Those Who Test the Tribunal’s Limits. Journal of International Criminal Justice. 15 (4), 775-797

Gillett, M. and Ventura, M., (2014). “The Fog of War: Prosecuting Illegal Uses of Force as Crimes Against Humanity”. Washington University Global Studies Law Review

Gillett, M., (2013). The Anatomy of an International Crime: Aggression at the International Criminal Court. International Criminal Law Review. 13 (4), 829-864

Gillett, M., (2012). The Call of Justice: Obligations Under the Genocide Convention to Cooperate with the International Criminal Court. Criminal Law Forum. 23 (1-3), 63-96

Gillett, M. and Schuster, M., (2011). Fast-track Justice: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon Defines Terrorism. Journal of International Criminal Justice. 9 (5), 989-1020

Gillett, M., (2010). “Victim Participation at the International Criminal Court”. Australian International Law Journal

Gillett, M. and Schuster, M., (2009). The Special Tribunal for Lebanon Swiftly Adopts Its Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Journal of International Criminal Justice. 7 (5), 885-909

Gillett, M., (2008). “Assisted Arrest: Ending Impunity at the ICC”. Yale Journal of International Affairs

Gillett, M. and Gillett, G., (2008). “Intent, the Ethos of a Caring Society and Justice”. Journal of Law and Medicine. 16 (2)

Gillett, M., (2003). “Analysing America’s War on Terrorism: Preemptive Self-Defence in International Law”. New Zealand Students’ Law Journal

Books (1)

Gillett, M., (2022). Prosecuting Environmental Harm before the International Criminal Court. Cambridge University Press. 9781009070027

Book chapters (6)

Gillett, M., “Article 7(1)(b): Extermination”. In: Commentary on the Law of the International Criminal Court, (“Klamberg Commentary”). Case Matrix Network

Gillett, M., (2022). Animals in Protected Zones. In: Animals in the International Law of Armed Conflict. Editors: Peters, A., de Hemptinne, J. and Kolb, R., . Cambridge University Press

Gillett, M., (2017). “Chapter 10: Eco-struggles: using international criminal law to protect the environment during and after non-international armed conflict”. In: Environmental Protection and Transitions from Conflict to Peace Clarifying Norms, Principles, and Practices. Oxford University Press. 0191087580. 9780191087585

Gillett, M., (2017). “Chapter 8: Collective Dislocation: Crimes of Displacement, Property-Deprivation and Discrimination under International Criminal Law”. In: International Law and the Rights of those Displaced by Armed Conflict

Gillett, M., (2013). “Chapter 6: Environmental damage and international criminal law”. In: Securing the Rights of Future Generations: Sustainable Development and the International Criminal Law Regime in Practice

Gillett, M., (2012). “Prosecuting Environmental Damage under International Criminal Law”. In: Selected Proceedings of 2010 European Society of International Law Conference in Cambridge

Reports and Papers (3)

Gillett, M., International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia: Manual on Developed Practices

Gillett, M., (2018). The Peace and Justice Initiative: submission on Speech Crimes for the Crimes Against Humanity Convention

Gillett, M. and Wilson, R., (2017). The Hartford Guidelines on Speech Crimes in International Criminal Law

Other (3)

Gillett, M., « Le travail du Bureau du Procureur devant les Tribunaux pénaux internationaux »,Institut International de Recherche sur la Conflictualité

Gillett, M., (2007).“Intrepid Justice: Prosecutorial Discretion at the International Criminal Court”. New Zealand International Review

Gillett, M., (2007).““International Law Issues in the South Pacific” edited by Geoff Leane and Barbara von Tigerstrom (Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2005)”, (Book Review). New Zealand International Review

Grants and funding

2022

Legal, Human Rights, Cultural and Environmental aspects of founding a Biocultural Indigenous University in the Andean Amazon of Colombia

Arts and Humanities Research Council

Contact

matthew.gillett@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 872312

Location:

5NW.8.11, Colchester Campus

More about me