About the Authors

Thanks for taking the time to read Justice in Conflict!

Mark Kersten
 Mark Kersten

Mark Kersten (creator and author)  is a Senior Consultant of the Wayamo Foundation and an Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of the Fraser Valley, in British Columbia, Canada.

Mark’s research and work focuses on: the investigation and prosecution of international crimes; mass atrocity responses and prevention; the effects of judicial interventions by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on conflict, peace, and justice processes; capacity-building and domestic accountability for international crimes; and the nexus between mass atrocities and transnational organized crimes.

In 2011, Mark founded the blog Justice in Conflict, which regularly publishes articles on the challenges of pursuing transitional justice in the context of ongoing violent political conflicts. His work has also appeared in various academic journals and edited volumes, as well as in media publications such as The Globe and MailForeign Policy, and The Washington Post. His full academic CV can be found here.

Mark has taught courses on genocide studies, the politics of international law, diplomacy, and conflict and peace studies at the London School of Economics, SOAS, and the Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict, and Justice. He holds an MSc and Phd in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a BA (Hons) from the University of Guelph.

In 2016, Oxford University Press published Mark’s book, Justice in Conflict – The Effects of the International Criminal Court’s Interventions on Ending Wars and Building Peace. The book seeks to re-imagine how to study the effects of the ICC on conflict, peace, and justice processes and applies a novel analytical framework to the cases of northern Uganda and Libya. Mark has previously been a Research Associate at the Refugee Law Project in Uganda, and as researcher at Justice Africa and Lawyers for Justice in Libya in London.

Alejandra Espinosa

Alejandra Espinosa is JiC’s Senior Editor. Aleja is an incoming fourth-year student at McGill University. She is currently completing a summer placement with the Ministry of the Attorney General in the Crown Law Office – Criminal division. Prior to law school, she worked on Indigenous and justice-focused policy at the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs and at the Nunavut Department of Justice. She also interned at the International Criminal Court, the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, and Nunavut Legal Aid. Aleja has an MA in Political Science from McGill University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Calgary. Aleja is passionate about (international) criminal law and human rights issues. In her spare time, Aleja loves cycling, catching up with friends, and dancing.

Former JiC Contributors

Barrie Sander

Barrie Sander (former contributor) – Barrie is a Ph.D. Candidate in International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva. His research focuses on historical narratives and conceptions of justice in international criminal law discourse. Barrie is also the co-founder of Just Innovate and previously qualified as a Solicitor of England and Wales at Herbert Smith LLP (now Herbert Smith Freehills). He has also gained experience at a variety of international institutions including the ICTY, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the EU Delegation to the UN in New York

Alana Tiemessen

Alana Tiemessen (former contributor) – Alana will be joining the University of Chicago in fall 2012 as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science and is presently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at UMass Amherst. Her current research focuses on judicial interventions and the International Criminal Court, transitional justice norms and practice, and the intersection of international security and human rights in failed states and post-conflict societies. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of British Columbia in 2011. You can follow her on Twitter and on Academia.edu

 Patrick Wegner

Patrick Wegner (former co-author, 2011-12) – Patrick has studied political sciences, sociology and public law at the Justus-Liebig-University in Gießen and the University of Leicester in England. He was then assistant of the executive board and managing director at the Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations (FRFG) in Germany from December 2008 to February 2010. Since March 2010 Patrick is writing a dissertation in the scope of the International Max Planck Research School on Successful Dispute Resolution as a scholarship holder of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. His supervisor is Prof. Andreas Hasenclever from the University of Tübingen. He is currently conducting research in northern Uganda.

Elke Schwarz
 Elke Schwarz

Elke Schwarz (former editor, 2011-12) – Elke is a PhD student in the International Relations Department at the London School of Economics. She is supervised by Kim Hutchings. Her PhD thesis focuses on how ‘life politics’ relate to the ethics of political violence in modernity and takes its cue from a question Sheldon Wolin posed in 1962: “Do the social and political forms of any given age constitute a particular method for adjusting to violence”. In light of this, she examines the relationship of politics and violence in contemporary modernity, where life itself has come to stand at the centre of political concerns. In this, she looks specifically to the work of Hannah Arendt, in comparison and contrast to Michel Foucault and Walter Benjamin, for a perspective that might provide a valuable dimension in addressing the question Wolin poses and aims to position Arendt in the nexus of life-politics-violence for her investigations. Originally from Germany, Elke previously studied International Conflict at King’s College and was a ballet dancer in Nashville, Tennessee for numerous years.

JiC also features the work of many guest-posters. If you are interested in contributing to JiC, please contact us.

21 Responses to About the Authors

  1. Dear Mark, I have just discovered your really interesting blog through The International Jurist and I have already subscribed since I’m also studying and working in the field of International Crime and Justice. I am looking forward to reading more posts on your blog!

  2. MARC STERN says:


  3. Mark Kersten says:

    Thanks for the comments Little Explorer and Marc Stern – I’m glad you have enjoyed the blog so far and hope you drop by when you get the chance!

  4. Jim Brown says:

    Your new blog looks interesting and I would like to follow, although I cant seem to locate an RSS link for the blog. have I missed something?

  5. Mark Kersten says:

    Dear Jim – thanks for your interest in the blog. It’s still a work in progress. I have now added an RSS feed. Sorry about the inconvenience of not having it up earlier.

  6. Carlos L. Yordan says:

    Good luck with your project. I am happy to hear that you are working with Mark Hoffman, who also was my Ph.D. supervisor. This is an interesting blog and I will visit frequently.

  7. Mark Kersten says:

    Dear Carlos,

    Thanks very much for your comment. What a nice surprise to have one of Mark’s former PhD students here! I mentioned it to him yesterday and he spoke very highly of you.



  8. Hello Mark-
    Someone linked me to your blog because they thought the subject matter would appeal to me — given my longstanding interest in northern Uganda, and the fact that I’m currently living in Gulu (working for a small local group called Information for Youth Empowerment Programme). I actually just got out of Lacor Hospital for an acute case of septicemia, so my energy is a bit low and I haven’t felt up to reading very much yet (thought I certainly plan to get around to looking at more posts when I’m better). But I read this page and was struck by the Katyn reference. My great grandfather was also killed at Katyn — and likewise, this is a part of my family history that has influenced my feelings about conflict, justice, collective memory, etc.
    As a fellow Uganda-inclined North American of Polish descent (wow, there’s a phrase — almost feel like it needs an official acronym! …. A tak przy okazji, czy Ty mowisz po polsku?), I’m wondering if you know about the Kojja and Masindi camps. If not, it’s something you might find interesting. When Anders’ Army left USSR territory, they took several thousand Polish refugees with them. These ended up scattered all over the British Empire, with 7,000 landing in Uganda. Of this group (which spent 9 years in Uganda), 4,000 were held in Masindi, while the remaining 3,000 were kept in a camp on the Kojja peninsula on Lake Victoria (guarded, incidentally, by Acholis, who were brought down by the British administration and whose grandchildren still live in a cluster of tukuls on the peninsula today). I know next to nothing about the Masindi group, but I’ve actually reached the remains of the old Kojja camp, and it’s both fascinating and deeply moving. …. I don’t know…. Maybe you already know about this, or maybe it doesn’t interest you. But if you haven’t come across this intersection of Polish and Ugandan history before, and if it’s something you’d be curious about, let me know and I’ll give you more info.
    Either way, be well.

    • Moloco says:

      The poles were among the first recorded refugees in Uganda. As was the case then ( and now), not much mixing between the “locals” and encamped refugees was encouraged by the Brits and hence the Acholis guarding them. Encampment, that insidious British invention, still is a grim trademark of refugee protection through out the developing world and indeed, the first mechanism of response in almost all humanitarian situations.

  9. Mark Kersten says:

    Dear Sara,

    What a wonderful message! Thank you! I am very much interested in this and had no idea about the connections between Uganda and Poland. I would absolutely love to learn more about it. I am in Gulu next week for about 10 days. Perhaps we could meet up there? I hope that this finds you in good health and look forward to connecting!

  10. Hey Mark,
    I will be in and out of Gulu next week (precisely: in Gulu July 30, 31 but super busy moving houses; then away for a few days; and then back Aug 5, for the foreseeable future) but would love to meet up if we can find a moment of overlap. Just please don’t say Coffee Hut because that place depresses me!
    I actually wrote a little vignette about stumbling on Kojja, for an email chain I keep up for people back home. It’s not much but it could give you some background on this bit of Polish history. If you’d like, I can send it to you at the email address you list above. Let me know.
    Anyway, keep me posted on your Gulu plans and maybe we can find some time to talk.

    Haya-do; nen calo wanen cabit ma bino! // No dobra; byc moze do zobaczenie w przyszlym tygodniu!


  11. Mark Kersten says:

    Dear Sara,

    Dzieki! I’ll be in Gulu after the 31st for about 10 days. I would also greatly appreciated sharing your little vignette. I’m excited to read it! Message me at the e-mail above (mark[dot]s[dot]kersten[at]gmail[dot]com. Hopefully we can meet up and I am more than happy for it not being at the Coffee Hut.

    • Tomasz Lachowski says:

      Dear All,
      I’ve just recently found your website. Since I am the PhD Candidate at the University of Łódź (Poland), currently preparing my PhD dissertation on the issue of ‘Transitional Justice in Public International Law’, I am just delighted to go through, at least, some of the articles/ essays you’ve posted. Its somehow ‘funny’ that as a first one I read Mark’s post on the Katyń Massacre and its consequences for the Polish society just in time of its anniversary.
      I am wondering, do you see any possible mechanisms that can be applied in order to achieve reconciliation and – according to your words – the establishment of truth in case of Katyń? Notably, having in mind that some, let’s say ‘grassroots’ or ‘quasi-official’ endeavors were carried out by the Polish side (e.g. the work of the mixed Polish-Russian team and its outcome, the book: ‘Białe plamy – Czarne plamy. Sprawy trudne w relacjach polsko-rosyjskich (1918-2008)’, (ed.) Adam D. Rotfeld, Anatolij W. Torkunow) or the pending case (II instance) before the European Court of Human Rights?
      Undoubtedly, the biggest efforts are taken by Poles to acknowledge (by use of the legal means) the Katyń Massacre as a genocide, instead of a war crime, what is not accepted by Russians.
      Nevertheless, the website is really good and I’m sure I’ll visit it again.
      Pozdrawiam z Łodzi!
      Tomasz Lachowski

  12. timothynkonge says:

    The blog is very insightful indeed,i was introduced to it by my lecturer D.R Ruhweza,i ahave special interest in post conflict justice,and have aclose look at the situation in northern Uganda,i will be glad if u keep me updated,thanx

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  15. This looks an excellent, well informed and intelligent blog.

  16. Don Royster says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the follow.Unlike yours, it is not serious stuff but I hope enjoyable. Keep up the good work here.

  17. Alison Hughes says:

    I have just found your site after listening to Radio 4’s Law in Action where they interviewed an “expert” on war crimes who gathers evidence under the the supposed legitimacy of their Commission for Int. Justice & Accountability – My ears pricked up and I thought ” Who ? ”
    They stated they gain the evidence for clients (?) to prosecute perpetrators when the possibility arises… I am no expert unlike your other commentators – I am a working class mother of 4 who follows world politics closely – but I was suspicious of this org. and on looking them up on the web found your reference to their “work” in Syria. I do not use Twitter or Facebook but follow my interests via incoming email ( when I have the time). I support a local charity which enables disabled children and young people to access mainstream activities in Barnet London ( I am a parent carer myself) and we ,of course ,meet families who are refugees from war-torn areas of the world, as well as fleeing poverty. SO, I shall hopefully read some interesting articles from your team in the future giving me a wider perspective than the limited information I absorb from the BBC. Many thanks in advance

  18. Hey, can law students contribute to the blog?

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