Caroline Fournet is Professor of Law at Exeter Law School. She started her academic career as lecturer, and then senior lecturer, at Exeter Law School (2004-2011) before being appointed Rosalind Franklin Fellow and then Professor in Comparative Criminal Law and International Justice at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Groningen (Netherlands). In 2016, she was Visiting Professional in Chambers at the International Criminal Court. She holds a Maîtrise de droit from Université Jean Moulin – Lyon III (France, 1998); a Masters degree (LLM) from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Lund, Sweden, 1998), a D.E.A. de Droit Comparé des Droits de l’Homme from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Européennes (Strasbourg, France, 1999) and a PhD in Public International Law from the Faculty of Law, University of Leicester (2003).
My expertise is in international criminal law and procedure. I am the Editor-in-Chief of the International Criminal Law Review (Brill) and of the book series Studies in International Criminal Law (Brill). My research builds upon both my dual expertise in international criminal law and human rights law and my inter-disciplinary expertise (law, forensic sciences, criminology) to analyse international criminal law and procedure.
In recent years, my research on international crimes has taken a radically inter-disciplinary approach. It analyses the use of forensic evidence both in the investigation and prosecution of international crimes and in the identification of victims and the building of post-atrocity memory. I gradually acquired a unique expertise on the links between international criminal law and justice, transitional justice and forensic sciences. From 2012 to 2016, I was co-investigator on the multi-disciplinary research programme ‘Corpses of Genocide and Mass Violence’, funded by an ERC Starting Grant and led by social anthropologist Elisabeth Anstett and Holocaust historian Jean-Marc Dreyfus. This programme notably led to the creation of the academic journal Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Manchester University Press), for which I am co-editor (law). I am currently working on the use of forensic and medical evidence in atrocity trials, and in particular in the prosecution of international crimes of sexual violence.
C. Fournet, “Forensic Evidence: International Criminal Courts and Tribunals”, in Ruiz Fabri, H. (eds). Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law (MPEiPro), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022.
C. Fournet, “‘Face to face with horror’: The Tomašica Mass Grave and the Trial of Ratko Mladić“, (2020) 6:2 Human Remains and Violence 23-41.
C. Fournet, “Forensic evidence in atrocity trials: A risky sampling strategy?“, Special issue: Garrido, C. (eds). Forensic Medicine in contexts of mass violence, (2020) 69 Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, article 101852.
C. Fournet, “Forensic Truth? Scientific evidence in international criminal justice“, in Holtermann, Jakob v. H. and Sander, Barrie (eds). Symposium: Doing Justice to Truth in International Criminal Courts and Tribunals, (2017) Humanity Journal.
Select Conference Appearances
Oxford digital workshop, United Kingdom: ‘Numbers as Evidence: Determining the Number of Victims before International Criminal Tribunals and Courts’, Workshop ‘Body Counts – Methods, Sources and Evidence’, co-organised by the University of Aix-Marseille and the University of Oxford, 8-9 June 2021.
University of Copenhagen, Denmark: ‘‘Bones never lie and they never forget’ – The collection and use of medico-legal evidence in international criminal justice’, International Conference ‘The Global Sites of International Criminal Justice – Beyond, between and below the international criminal courts’, JustSites (Global Sites of International Criminal Justice) ERC-funded Project Start-Up Conference, 12-13 December 2019.
International Nuremberg Principles Academy, Nuremberg, Germany : Opening lecture ‘Crimes internationaux, Réponses nationales’, Antonio Cassese Initiative, Antonio Cassese Travelling School ‘Renforcement des capacités des magistrats en matière de répression des crimes internationaux au Burkina Faso, en Côte d’Ivoire et au Mali’, 31 October 2016.
International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands: ‘‘Dignity for the victims’ – Is the Indecent Disposal of Corpses an International Crime to Investigate and Prosecute?’, Office of the Prosecutor Guest Lectures, 13 March 2015.
Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo, Norway: Keynote speech ‘Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide’. Workshop on Methodological and Theoretical Perspectives in International Criminal Justice; Social Control and the Rule of Law Research Group (University of Oslo), Centre of International Criminal Justice (VU Amsterdam), Centre of the Politics of Transnational Law (VU Amsterdam), 24-25 April 2014.
Select Media Appearances
C. Fournet and M. Drumbl, ‘The Judicialized Infirmary: The Aesthetics of Prosecuting the Barely Alive’, Guest Post, Legal Sightseeing ECCC Phnom Penh, Legal Sightseeing, 2019.
C. Fournet, ‘The (expected) guilty verdict against Ratko Mladić’, blogpost, International Law Under Construction, Blog of the Groningen Journal of International Law, 2017.