Professor Kevin Jon Heller

Professor Kevin Jon Heller

Professor Kevin Jon Heller holds the Chair in Criminal Law at SOAS, University of London. He was previously Associate Professor & Reader at Melbourne Law School, where he also served as Project Director for International Criminal Law at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, a joint project of Melbourne Law School and the Australian Defence Force.  He holds a PhD in law from Leiden University, a JD with distinction from Stanford Law School, an MA with honours in literature from Duke University, and an MA and BA in sociology, both with honours, from the New School for Social Research.

Kevin has published three books and more than 25 academic articles on international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and comparative criminal law. His books include The Nuremberg Military Tribunals and the Origins of International Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 2011); The Hidden Histories of War Crimes Trials (OUP, 2013) (edited with Gerry Simpson); and The Handbook of Comparative Criminal Law (Stanford University Press, 2011) (edited with Markus Dubber). He is currently writing a book entitled A Genealogy of International Criminal Law, which will be published by OUP in 2017, and is co-editing the Oxford Handbook of International Criminal Law, which will also be published by OUP in 2017. His articles have appeared in a variety of leading academic journals, including the European Journal of International Law, the American Journal of International Law, the Journal of International Criminal Justice, the Harvard International Law Journal, the Michigan Law Review, the Leiden Journal of International Law, the Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Criminal Law Forum, and the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review. For the past eleven years, he has been a permanent member of the international-law blog Opinio Juris, which on a normal day is read by individuals in more than 70 countries.


Kevin also has extensive practical experience in criminal and international law. After clerking on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, he practiced criminal defence in Los Angeles for three years, handling complex state and federal cases involving corporate manslaughter, racketeering, drug trafficking, and securities fraud. As an academic, he has been involved in the International Criminal Court’s negotiations over the crime of aggression, worked with Human Rights Watch on the trial of Saddam Hussein, served as one of Radovan Karadzic's formally-appointed legal associates at the ICTY for three years, and provided expert advice to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office on corruption laws in various African countries. He consults regularly with a variety of UN organisations (such as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) and human rights groups (such as Human Rights First) and is a core trainer for Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection, a Brussels-based NGO that conducts intensive IHL workshops in various locations around the world. He has also taught international law at KU Leuven in Belgium, for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia, for the Australian Defence Force, and at the Canadian Forces College.

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