UN chief appoints head of panel laying groundwork for possible war crimes probe in Syria

3 July 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Catherine Marchi-Uhel of France as the head of the independent panel to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for most serious violations of international law in Syria.

The panel, formally known as the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Those Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011, was established by the UN General Assembly in December last year.

Ms. Marchi-Uhel is the first Head of the Mechanism.

Since 2015, she had been serving as the Ombudsperson for the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), Al-Qaida, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities.

According to a statement issued today, she also has extensive experience in the judiciary and in public service, including in the fields of criminal law, transitional justice and human rights.

She was previously a judge in France and an international judge at the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, and at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

Ms. Marchi-Uhel also served as the Senior Legal Officer and Head of Chambers at the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and worked in legal positions at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with UN peacekeeping missions.

Source: UN