Prof. Kevin Jon Heller is Professor of International Law and Security at the University of Copenhagen and Professor of Law at the Australian National University. He was previously Professor of Criminal Law at SOAS, University of London, and Associate Professor and 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 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 four 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 eight African countries. From 2016-2018 he served as the plaintiffs’ expert witness in Salim v Mitchell, a successful Alien Tort Statute case against the psychologists who designed and administered the CIA’s torture program, and he is currently an expert witness for the defence team of Ramzi Bin al Shibh, one of the defendants in the 9/11 trial at Guantanamo Bay. In 2019, he joined the Advisory Board of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales, and in 2020 the UN appointed him Senior Advisor for International Humanitarian and Criminal Law to the Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Da’esh in Iraq (UNITAD).