Cecile Aptel

Professor of Practice of International Law


Professor Cécile Aptel has been associated with The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University since 2011. Currently, she is the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Senior Legal Policy Adviser, and also Visiting Professor at Harvard University, and Extraordinary Professor at the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria. A recognized expert in the areas of international criminal justice, transitional justice, and also child rights, she has over 20 years of experience with the UN, managing legal and policy programs, notably at the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the International Independent Investigation Commission, and the UN Internal Oversight Services. Prof. Aptel has also worked for the European Union, think-tanks and NGOs. At the International Centre for Transitional Justice, she established and directed the Program on Children and Transitional Justice. She was awarded the Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship by the United States Institute of Peace in 2010. Her recent publications include: “Child Slaves and Child Brides” (Journal of International Criminal Justice, Oxford Uni. Press, 2016); “The Rights of Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law: a Human Rights’ Perspective’ (Africa and the ICC, 10 Years On, 2015); “Des limites et du potentiel de la justice pénale internationale” (Etudes interculturelles, 2014); and “Unpunished Crimes: The Special Court for Sierra Leone and Children” (The Sierra Leone Special Court and Its Legacy, Cambridge Uni. Press 2014).

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School Leadership


  • Board of Advisors
  • Asian Advisory Group
  • European Advisory Group
  • Latin American Advisory Group
  • MENASA Advisory Group