Federica D’Alessandra is the Deputy Director of the Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict (ELAC), and founding Executive Director of the Oxford Programme on International Peace and Security at the Blavatnik School of Government. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the School’s Alfred Landecker Programme, an Academic Affiliate of the Oxford Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, and on the Steering Committee of the Oxford Network of Peace Studies. Prior to joining Oxford, Federica held various appointments at Harvard University, including at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, and at the Harvard Law School, where she focused on mass atrocity response and prevention, transitional justice, national security, and human rights. Her current research spans a variety of pressing, contemporary issues on which she has published widely, including: international aggression; judicial accountability for mass atrocities; new institutional developments in international justice; States’ legal duties in mass atrocities situations; the role of new actors and new technologies in atrocity crimes documentation; and the UN accountability turn, among others.
Federica is often called upon to counsel governments, international organisations, and the private sector on international law and policy matters relating to her expertise. This includes actively participating in treaty negotiations and amendment, and regularly serving on expert panels tasked with standard-setting and the development of practical guidance and implementation tools. Her contributions have supported, for example, the aggression and starvation amendments to the Rome Statute; the UN Draft Articles on Crimes against Humanity; the International Criminal Court Guidelines for Civil Society Documentation; the Berkley Protocol on Open-Source Investigations; the UN Guidelines to facilitate the collection of information and evidence by military and other relevant criminal justice actors within a rule-of-law framework; the recommendations by the Group of Expert on Fact-Finding and Accountability; and Options for the Establishment of a Standing UN Investigative Mechanism, among others.
Federica is a leading figure in the international law and public policy space, currently serving as the inaugural Co-Chair of the International Bar Association (IBA) Government and Public Lawyers Committee, and Vice-Chair of its Rule of Law Forum, having previously served as Co-Chair of the IBA Human Rights Law and War Crimes Committees. She also serves on the board of a number of institutes and organisations, including the Simon Skjodt Center’s Ferencz International Justice Initiative at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the IBA Section on Public and Professional Interest, and the IBA Human Rights Institute.
She has received a number of awards and recognitions, including the William Reece Jr Award by LexisNexis and the International Bar Association in recognition of her work to improve the civil society’s capacity to document atrocities and engage with international accountability mechanisms. She has also been recognised by Forbes as one of '30 Under 30' leaders with 'the likelihood of changing the field of law and policy over the next half-century' (2019); among the 'Most Influential European Thinkers' (Forbes Italy, 2019); and as one of 18 'Italians of the Year' by the Italian Journalistic Agency (AGI, 2018).
Federica is a graduate of Milan’s Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Utrecht Universiteit, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She also studied at the Université Paris Sorbonne, and hold degrees in Law, Criminology, and Political Science.
F. D’Alessandra, K. Sutherland, ‘The Promise and Challenges of New Actors and New Technologies in International Justice’, Special Issue New Technology and the Investigation of International Crimes, 19(2) Journal of International Criminal Justice (JICJ) (2021).
F. D’Alessandra , S. Ashraph, J. Sane et el. Advancing Justice for Children: Innovations to Strengthen Accountability for Violations and Crimes Affecting Children in Armed Conflict, Joint Report by the Oxford Programme on International Peace and Security and Save the Children, May 2021.
F. D’Alessandra, K. Sutherland, H. Wu, Written Evidence Submission to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry on the UK Response to the Myanmar Crisis (2021).
F. D’Alessandra, H. Wu, R. Neilsen, K. Sutherland, Written Evidence Submission to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry on the UK Trade and Security Relationship with China (2021).
F. D’Alessandra, K. Sutherland, Written Evidence Submission to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry on Xinjiang (2020).
S. Ashraph, F. D’Alessandra, ‘Structural Challenges Confronted by UN Accountability Mandates: Perspectives from Current and Former Staff (Part 1)’, (Part 2), and (Part 3, with Amb. S. Rapp) Opinio Juris, Oct 14, 2020.
F. D’Alessandra, S. Rapp, S. Ashraph, ‘Anchoring Accountability for Mass Atrocities: Providing the Support Necessary to Fulfil International Investigative Mandates’ Opinio Juris, Sept 18, 2020.
F. D’Alessandra, S. Rapp, K. Sutherland, ‘Anchoring Accountability for Mass Atrocities: Providing the Support Necessary to Fulfil International Investigative Mandates: Perspectives from the Civil Society’ Opinio Juris, Sept 18, 2020.
F. D’Alessandra, S. Rapp, K. Sutherland, ‘Anchoring Accountability for Mass Atrocities: Providing the Support Necessary to Fulfil International Investigative Mandates: Perspectives from Prosecution Authorities’ Opinio Juris, Sept 18, 2020.
F. D’Alessandra, M. Gillett, ‘The War Crime of Starvation in Non-International Armed Conflict’ Journal of International Criminal Justice, (2019): 1-33.
F. D’Alessandra, Shannon Raj Singh, Comments on the International Law Commission’s Draft Articles on Crimes Against Humanity, International Bar Association War Crimes Committee, December 2018
F. D’Alessandra, S. Ashraph, Analysis of overcrowded and under-examined areas, following a mapping of organisations’ work on ameliorating domestic capacity to try serious international crimes, International Bar Association War Crimes Committee, July 2018
Bringing terrorists to justice before national courts: developing guidelines to facilitate the collection of information and evidence by military and other relevant criminal justice actors within a rule-of-law framework, United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, April 2017
D’Alessandra, F. and R. Heinsch, ‘Rethinking the Relationship Between Jus in Bello and Jus ad Bellum: A Dialogue Between Authors’ in Seeking Accountability for the Illegal Use of Force, L. Sadat (ed). (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018).
D’Alessandra, F. ‘Law not War: Ferencz’ 70 years fight for a more just and peaceful world’ Forum for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Occasional Paper Series, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, Brussels, February 6, 2018.
Green R., F. D’Alessandra & J. Calderon Meza, Accountability for the Illegal Use of Force – Will the Nuremberg Legacy Be Complete? Harvard International Law Journal, Vol. 58, Spring 2017.
D’Alessandra, F. ‘Accountability for Violations of the Prohibition against the Use of Force at a Normative Crossroads’, Harvard International Law Journal, Vol. 58, Spring 2017.
D’Alessandra, F. ‘The Accountability Turn in Third Wave Human Rights Fact-Finding’ Utrecht Journal of International and European Law, Vol. 33, Special issue 2017.
Bridging The Hague – Geneva Divide: Recommendations to Maximize Benefit and Minimize Harm for Human Rights Inquiries and Criminal Investigations at the Same Scenes of Mass Violence, Group of Practitioners in Fact-Finding & Accountability (US Holocaust Memorial Museum Simon Skjodt Center for Genocide Prevention, Hague Institute for Global Justice, January 2017).
Kay, S., QC, K. Sutherland, F. D’Alessandra, & G. Kehoe, Counsel Brief, Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity in North Korean Political Prisons, (International Bar Association, December 2016).
D’Alessandra, F., S. Couch, I. Georgieva, M. de Hoon, B. McGonigle Leyh, and J. Quispel, Handbook on Civil Society Documentation of Serious Human Rights Violations, (Public International Law & Policy Group, October 2016).
Ferencz, B. and F. D’Alessandra, ‘An International Jurisdiction For Corporate Atrocities: Observations of a former Nuremberg War Crimes Prosecutor’ Harvard International Law Journal Vol. 57, Spring 2016.
D’Alessandra, F., S. Couch, Field Guide on Civil Society Documentation of Serious Human Rights Violation, (Public International Law & Policy Group, November 2015).
Human Rights Documentation Toolkit, The first interactive platform for human rights and civil society documenters. A join project of the Public International Law & Policy Group, Physicians for Human Rights, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Eyewitness to Atrocities, SecDev Foundation, and others; thanks to generous funding by the US State Department.