Lawyering for International Criminal Justice

The research project explores how lawyers and prosecutors practising in the international, internationalised and hybrid criminal tribunals view themselves and their role. The wider context for the research is the ongoing debate about the future of international criminal justice and the motivations and self-perceptions of the various actors within it. Specifically, the research aims to examine the effects of practitioners’ motivations and self-perceptions on the institutions and discipline of international justice itself.

The research is underpinned by qualitative research interviews with over 60 practitioners working in the field of international criminal justice, conducted by the principal investigator between 2018 and 2019.


Initial findings from the research were presented in December 2019 in a Keynote Speech to the Annual Meeting of International Defence Counsel at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The research also informs the Professionals and Professionalism(s) in International Criminal Justice joint practitioner-academic international conference held at the University of Leeds in July 2023, which focuses on the professionals that populate international criminal justice and their assumptions about professionalism, professional behaviour, and professional sense of self within this field. 

Publications and outputs

  1. Batesmith, A., 'International Prosecutors as Cause Lawyers' Journal of International Criminal Justice, Volume 19, Issue 4, September 2021, Pages 803–830,
  2. Batesmith, A., 'How much empathy is too much empathy? War crimes lawyers, emotionalism and legal professionalism', conference presentation at the Socio-Legal Studies Association conference 2021, Cardiff University April 2021.
  3. Batesmith, A. and Westaby, C., 'Managing emotion in international justice: display rules, identity and emotional labour performance by international criminal lawyers' (forthcoming, 2023).