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Law & Criminology: Swansea University Research Excellence Scholarship: International Criminal Investigations

Start date: 1 January 2019

Swansea University is proud to offer 15 fully-funded PhD scholarships for students commencing study in October 2018 or January 2019.

The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of student excellence across a portfolio of 34 potential projects.

Since international criminal courts and tribunals re-emerged in the mid-1990s through the creation of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR) and the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it has become apparent that competent investigation of such large scale crimes at an international level is central to the successful prosecution of war criminals and, more broadly, the pursuit of truth and justice. It is obvious from an examination of international practice that any mistakes or oversights made at the investigative stage of proceedings will diminish the potential for a successful prosecution at every subsequent stage of the trial process which necessitates proof of all legal and factual elements of such crimes. However, despite the immense procedural and practical significance of investigations for the work and reputation of international criminal tribunals, aside from a few notable edited collections and practitioner best practice manuals, there has been surprisingly little academic analysis of international criminal investigations to date. This dissertation will conduct the first thorough examination of the major legal and practical challenges to international criminal investigations, the practice of investigations and the extent to which technology will change the conduct of investigations, and the types of evidence gathered by investigative teams, and how that evidence impacts upon later trials.

Given both the practical nature of the proposed research topic and the relative dearth of prior academic examination of this issue, the thesis will combine a factual examination of the international criminal investigation process with a comparative and critical analysis of the significance of investigations in the work of modern international criminal tribunals. The thesis will include relevant examples of international investigative practice from the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (IMT), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). In addition interviews with lawyers, judges, and investigators will be conducted by the PhD researcher.

Supervisors / Academic Contacts: Dr Yvonne McDermott Rees and Professor Helen Quane

The successful applicant will have access to our Postgraduate Research Student Training programmes.

Eligibility

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) a first class honours degree (or equivalent) and/or a distinction at master's level in law.

Professional experience in international criminal law and/or investigations of mass human rights violations would be desirable. 

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is available to UK/EU students only.

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Benefits

The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus an annual stipend of £14,553 (in line with the RCUK stipend amount) for 3 years. 

There will also be £1,000 per annum available for research expenses such as travel, accommodation, field trips and conference attendance.

Application

Please visit our website for more information.

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