Sesay, Alpha: To Compete or Complement: Assessing the Relationship between the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Jalloh, ed., The Sierra Leone Special Court and Its Legacy: The Impact for Africa and International Criminal Law (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, March 2014) at 481-501.
Sesay, Alpha (With Dr.
Sara Kendall): Transitional Justice in Sierra Leone, Seeing Justice Done: Outreach with the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Helmut Anheier, Marlies Glasius, Mary Kaldor, Gil-Sung Park, Chandan Sengupta, ed., Global Civil Society 2011: Globality and the Absence of Justice (Palgrave Macmillan, February 2011) at 152-160.
Sesay, Alpha: Reaching Out: The Successes and Challenges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone's Outreach on the Charles Taylor trial: Open Space, International Criminal Justice (Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, Issue 2, February 2012) at 66-69.
Authored Report (s).
Sesay, Alpha (With Alison Cole) Legacy: Completing the Work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, A Report of the Open Society Justice Initiative, 2011: http://www.soros.org/sites/default/files/legacy-scsl-20111101.pdf
Selected Magazines and Newspaper Contributions.
Sesay, Alpha: Charles Taylor's Fate, Will He Be Back in Liberia?: Open Society Foundations Blog, September 25 2013: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/charles-taylors-fate-will-he-be-back-liberia.
Sesay, Alpha: ICC Credibility and the Case against Laurent Gbagbo: Open Society Foundations Blog, February 19 2013: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/icc-credibility-and-case-against-laurent-gbagbo.
Sesay, Alpha: Charles Taylor Trial: Has International Justice been served by the Verdict.
(BBC Focus on Africa Magazine, July - September 2012) at 22.
Sesay, Alpha: One Judge Down; Drama Continues at the Charles Taylor Trial: Guardian Legal Network, March 2 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/mar/02/charles-taylor-trial-disciplinary-sebutinde?INTCMP=SRCH.
Sesay, Alpha: Charles Taylor's Lawyer Needs a Lawyer: Guardian Legal Network, February 24 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/feb/24/charles-taylor-international-criminal-justice?INTCMP=SRCH.
Sesay, Alpha: Charles Taylor's Right to a Fair Trial Must Remain a Priority: Guardian Legal Network, February 17 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/feb/17/charles-taylor-trial-defence-rights?INTCMP=SRCH.
Co-lead and manage the Strengthening of Regional Human Rights Mechanisms and UN Treaty Bodies Project.
Responsible for the Justice Initiative engagement with African institutions, fostering civil society engagement with African regional institutions, and undertaking advocacy to support laws and legal structures that promote human rights, justice, and the rule of law in Africa.
Undertake litigation and advocacy before African regional human rights mechanisms on various human rights issues including human rights implications of corruption, rights of indigenous communities, arbitrary detention, extra-judicial killings, environmental and land rights, women and children's rights, etc.
Through research and advocacy, develop and implement programs to strengthen human rights systems in Africa through direct support to and engagement with special mechanisms within the African human rights architecture, and working with partners to undertake advocacy aimed at nominating and electing the most qualified persons to serve on human rights bodies on the continent.
Responsible for advancement of Justice Initiative's goals in African human rights regional, sub-regional, and national systems, by advocating for state implementation of decisions of regional human rights mechanisms.
Undertake advocacy, advise and provide technical advice to governments, civil society and National Human Rights Institutions on law and administrative reforms as part of efforts to implement decisions of human rights bodies and compliance with international law obligations.
Providing expert advice and support to Justice Initiative teams/staff on how to effectively engage and support African human rights law and legal institutions.
Maximizing the connections between Justice Initiative advocacy and litigation in other parts of the world, and the organization's efforts to have a positive impact on human rights, justice, and the rule of law on the African continent.
Providing litigation and advocacy support to specific thematic project teams within the Justice Initiative (e.g.
international justice, freedom of information/expression, equality and citizenship, anticorruption) by undertaking advocacy, engaging partners and other stakeholders to maximize the impact of their work.
Conducting research and analysis, writing for and speaking with a broad range of audiences, organizing events, meetings, briefings, and consultations, and identifying key strategic opportunities to expand the impact of the Justice Initiative's litigation beyond the courtroom walls.
08/2010 to 09/2014
Open Society, OSJI
09/2010 to 10/2013
Trial Monitor, Charles Taylor Trial Monitoring Program.
Wrote thematic commentaries and analysis on the work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and other international criminal justice, human rights and humanitarian law issues as they related to the Charles Taylor case.
Wrote and posted daily summaries and analysis of proceedings in the Charles Taylor trial on the trial website www.charlestaylortrial.org.
Developed and implemented strategies to increase audience awareness and press coverage of the Charles Taylor case and the trial website, and facilitated the involvement of civil society and the media in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the trial process.
Sought information from the trial's prosecution and defense teams, and the registry about upcoming issues or events related to the trial that OSJI should anticipate.
Conducted trainings for civil society and the media in Sierra Leone and Liberia on issues pertaining to human rights, international criminal justice and the Charles Taylor case, and helped facilitate their involvement in outreach efforts on the work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Conducted research and interviews in Sierra Leone to gather local perceptions about the Special Court's work, and co-authored the Justice Initiative's report titled "Legacy: Completing the Work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone"
Morris Kallon Defence Team, Office of the Principal Defender, Special Court for Sierra Leone.
04/2008 to 08/2010
As head of the Justice Initiative's sub-office in The Hague, developed and maintained professional relationships with all organs of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as relevant media, diplomatic personnel and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in The Hague.
Liaised with ICC staff/organs and States Parties to the Court's Rome Statute system, and provided advice on how the Justice Initiative could more effectively engage on various issues relating to the fulfilment of the ICC's mandate including on Cooperation, relationship with the African Union (AU), European Union (EU), and UN Security Council, Complementarity, the development of more effective investigations, prosecutions and witness protection practices, and broader international law/international criminal law issues as they relate to the work of the Court.
Mobilized and undertook advocacy to strengthen the ICC as a credible institution through engagement with ICC staff and states representatives at meetings of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, ICC-NGO roundtable meetings, Hague Working Group meetings as well as meetings of regional institutions including the AU and the EU.
Worked to foster ICC contacts with NGOs in situation countries and other countries/regions where ICC activity was underway or was likely.
Provided ongoing analysis of, and researched, drafted and participated in outreach to disseminate reports on ICC-related issues, including complementarity, use of intermediaries, victim and witness protection, and relationships with NGOs and governments.
In collaboration with other Justice Initiative and Open Society Foundations (OSF) staff, worked with civil society actors, diplomats and government officials in Africa to build support for the Court on the continent, and on efforts to foster a better working relationship between the ICC and the AU.
Mobilized and led efforts to provide external and internal expert assistance to strengthen key sectors of the ICC's work including on witness protection, investigations and prosecutions, and on how to ensure a better relationship with NGOs.
Informed and mobilized the OSF network and other relevant actors in support of protection of partners on the ground who were at risk because of ICC-related activity.
Convened and/or participated in meetings, trainings or workshops on substantive and procedural aspects of the ICC's work
Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI).
01/2007 to 03/2008
Correlated transcript evidence and conducted analysis of complex legal documents for use in court by contracting counsel.
Conducted legal research on behalf of contracting counsel.
Assisted contracting counsel in preparation for trial.
Assisted contracting counsel in the preparation of motions, responses, replies and addresses.
Assisted the investigator in the taking down of defense witness statements, documentation of such statements and preparation of defense witnesses for appearance in court.
01/2007 to 03/2008
LecturerFourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone
Taught Introduction to Human Rights module to first year undergraduate students.
01/2007 to 03/2008
LecturerInstitute of Public Administration and Management, University of Sierra Leone
Taught two separate courses-Administrative Law, and Legal Environment in Management to graduate students reading for Masters degrees in Public Administration.
01/2007 to 03/2008
Conducted trainings on child rights and the administration of juvenile justice for police officers, community leaders and civil society in Sierra Leone.
Served as DCI's focal point for juvenile justice institutions in Freetown, Sierra Leone and represented juveniles in conflict and contact with the law in the country's juvenile court
Office of the Principal Defender, Special Court for Sierra Leone, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
06/2006 to 12/2006
intern and ConsultantHuman Rights Watch － New York, USA
Assisted with Human Rights Watch's work on justice for serious crimes in Northern Uganda through research, analysis and advocacy.
Performed research and drafted memoranda, including on traditional justice mechanisms utilized in Northern Uganda.
Assisted with Human Rights Watch's work on the Special Court for Sierra Leone and justice for serious crimes in Liberia.
Assisted with Human Rights Watch's engagement with UN staff and the NGO community in New York on work related to international justice and human rights in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda
Sierra Leone Court Monitoring Program (SLCMP) (now Center for Accountability and Rule of Law in Sierra Leone-CARL SL), Freetown, Sierra Leone.
06/2004 to 08/2005
Executive DirectorDefense for Children International (DCI), Freetown, Sierra Leone
Responsible for the overall administration and direction of the organization, supervised all trial monitors including by developing training manuals and conducting trainings on judicial monitoring, report writing, international justice, Sierra Leone domestic law, human rights, and humanitarian law.
Developed new programs including expansion from monitoring only the Special Court for Sierra Leone to monitoring of other judicial institutions including the Sierra Leone domestic courts, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Sierra Leone Human Rights Commission, and the implementing of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone.
Developed fundraising strategies for the program including seeking out donors/funding institutions, writing and submitting funding proposals, managing grants for the program and submitting periodic reports to donors in line with agreed guidelines and regulations.
Edited monitoring reports, researched and wrote commentaries for publication on the SLCMP website and monthly Newsletter "The Monitor" on issues relating to the work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Human Rights Commission, and the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Developed strategies and facilitated the involvement of domestic civil society in judicial accountability and rule of law issues in Sierra Leone.
Developed outreach programs on judicial accountability issues including coordinating and moderating the SLCMP weekly radio program.
Served as chief liaison with senior members of the Special Court's staff, civil society, and international and domestic organizations on issues relating to the work of the Court in Sierra Leone.
Collaborated with the Special Court outreach program to enhance civil society participation in the work of the court.
Conducted trainings on human rights and humanitarian law, trial monitoring and justice sector reform for civil society, local court staff and law enforcement officers in Sierra Leone.
Collaborated with the Justice Sector Development Program in the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice on the country's justice sector reform efforts.
02/2004 to 06/2004
Legal InternNew York University, University of Amsterdam － Amsterdam, USA, The Netherlands, NY
Conducted legal research, analyzed transcripts, and summarized motions and decisions for defense counsel and for the Principal Defender.
Offered legal and administrative support to various defense teams.
Attended trials and prepared daily reports for the Principal Defender
Child Protection Unit, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), Sierra Leone, guest lecturer on international criminal law.
07/2003 to 12/2003
InternLeiden University － Hague, The Netherlands
Prepared training manuals and conducted trainings for NGO workers, peacekeepers and police officers on child rights, child protection and juvenile justice in Sierra Leone.
Conducted research and prepared memorandum on child rights and juvenile justice, which was used by UNAMSIL as part of its technical support to Sierra Leone for the drafting of a Child Rights Bill for the country, Summer school tutor on transitional justice.
08/2002 to 02/2003
Conducted research and evaluated the administration of customary law in Sierra Leone and the criminal procedure in the High Court of Sierra Leone.
Conducted trainings for U.N.
peacekeepers, NGO workers and police officers on human rights and humanitarian law, and the administration of juvenile justice in Sierra Leone.
Analyzed various human rights instruments and their applicability in Sierra Leone under the supervision of the UNAMSIL Rule of Law and the Child Rights Specialists.
01/2000 to 12/2002
Fourah Bay College, FBC, University of Sierra Leone
Co-founded, including undertaking registration and recruitment of membership for the FBC Human Rights Clinic as the first university/student based clinic in the West African region.
Developed, coordinated and supervised all clinic members and projects.
Networked with local and international NGOs about human rights projects in Sierra Leone in which clinic members could be involved.
Undertook successful advocacy with University administrators to start teaching human rights as a module for first year students of the University of Sierra Leone.
Developed curricula for human rights education for secondary school students and established human rights clubs in various secondary schools in the country.
Involved in advocacy for the successful implementation of the country's transitional justice processes, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Developed fundraising strategies, submitted grant proposals to funding institutions, supervised use of grants and submitted periodic reports on the use of said funds in line with agreed guidelines, April-May 2005, Campaign to Enact the Gender Acts in Sierra Leone.
Worked with the NGOs and Sierra Leone Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights to conduct trainings for civil society members and community leaders on women's rights issues for the enactment of the Gender Acts of 2007 in Sierra Leone
April 2002 to June 2003, Post-Conflict Reintegration Initiative for Development and Empowerment, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Sensitized ex-combatants about the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Special Court for Sierra Leone and sexual and gender-based violence in Sierra Leone
UNIVERSITY GUEST LECTURES.
Central European University, Budapest, Hungary-summer school tutor on litigation and advocacy before regional human rights bodies.
Education and Training
May 16 2011
Use of child soldiers in armed conflict; the case of Sierra Leone-Presentation to students and faculty at the Notre Dame Law School, Indiana, USA (By the Legal Voices for Children and Youth, the International Human Rights Society and the Public Interest Law Forum, February 13 2006
Washington DCThe Special Court for Sierra Leone, Achieving Justice?-Panel with Stephen Rapp, US Ambassador at-large for War Crimes at Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, New York (June 12 2010), US Institute of Peace and Silverdocs Film Festival Screening of War Don Don, Washington DC (June 22 2010), HBO Documentary Screening of Ward Don Don, New York (September 23 2010), and US Capitol Hill Documentary Screening of War Don Don
September 30 2010
Bay College Human Rights ClinicPreventing Human Rights Violations by Cultivating Respect for The Rule of Law in Sierra Leone-Presentation to Students and Faculty of Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone at Public Lecture in Freetown, Sierra Leone (By The Fourah
LL.M: International Human Rights LawUniversity of Notre Dame, Law School － Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
Council of Legal Education, Sierra Leone Law School, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Utter Barrister (B.L) (Bar Final Certificate)
Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LL.B. HonsFourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone － FreetownSierra Leone
Activities and Honors
Member, Sierra Leone Bar Association
Member, American Society for International Law
Associate Member, American Bar Association
Selected Conference, Seminar and Workshop Presentations
How Independent Should International Judges Be?-Presentation to faculty and students of the University of Baltimore as part of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) annual lecture on "Hot Topics in International Adjudication (By Univ. of Baltimore's Center for International and Comparative Law and ASIL's International Courts and Tribunals Interest Group, October 6 2016)
Legal Challenges Facing the African Human Rights System and Ways to Address Them: Compliance and Implementation of Decisions and Provisional Measures of the African Court and Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights-Presentation at a Forum on Law and Practice of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Johannesburg, South Africa (By The Litigants Group of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, June 14 2016)
Strengthening the African Human Rights System; Opportunities and Obstacles-Presentation done to NGO representatives in Washington DC (By the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights, March 24 2015)
The ICC and the African Union: Is it feasible to Entrust a Regional Human Rights Court with Criminal Jurisdiction?- Lecture presented to students and practitioners of the University of Leiden Summer Program, The Hague, The Netherlands (By University of Leiden, July 15 2014)
Communicating Justice: How Civil Society and Independent Trial Monitoring Complement ICC Outreach and Public Information-Presentation to diplomats, academics, ICC staff and NGO representatives in The Hague, The Netherlands (By The Hague Institute for Global Justice, May 22 2014)
Empowering Victims, Survivors and Affected Populations, The Sierra Leone Experience-Presentation at South-South Dialogue on Advancing Domestic Accountability for International Crimes in Kenya, Nanyuki, Kenya, (By Freedom House, July 12 2012)
Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Peace Processes-Presentation at Reintegration of Ex-combatants Advanced Training Course for Decentralization, Demobilization and Reintegration Experts, Langraaf, The Netherlands (By Transition International, July 28 2012)
Hybrid Tribunals, The Case of Sierra Leone (Special Court for Sierra Leone, The Charles Taylor trial, interaction with Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Sierra Leone)-Presentation as Guest Lecturer at Seminar on International Criminal Law and Human Rights at the New York University (NYU), New York (By Center for Global Affairs, April 9, 2012)
Transitional Justice in Cote D'Ivoire, Potential for Interactions between the International Criminal Court and National Accountability Mechanisms-Presentation at National Dialogue on Peace, Reconciliation and Strengthening Democracy: Taking Advantage of a Unique Time in Ivorian Political History, Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire (By Open Society Initiative for West Africa and The Association of Female Lawyers in Cote D'Ivoire, July 27-29 2011)
Questions of Complementarity: What Relationship between the proposed African Court on Justice and Human and Peoples' Rights, the International Criminal Court and National Judicial Systems?-Presentation at Seminar for African and European Civil Society on Accountability and Justice, Pretoria, South Africa (By European Union, April 11-12, 2011)
Positive Complementarity: Implementing the Rome Statute in ICC situation countries, Experiences from the Democratic Republic of Congo Mobile Gender Justice Courts-Presentation at Conference on The Rome Statute of the ICC and Complementarity, Nairobi, Kenya (By African Legal Aid, December 3-4 2010)
Domestic Perceptions of the Charles Taylor Trial in Sierra Leone and Liberia- Presentation to academics, students, diplomats and international tribunal staff at Supranational Criminal Law Lectures, The Hague, The Netherlands (By University of Leiden, 16