‘International Crime’ – Saturday Evening Lecture on 5th March

The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court will visit the University of Dundee next month to discuss the importance of scientific evidence in high-profile trials.

Fatou Bensouda, who leads the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC in The Hague, is one of four highly successful and inspirational women leading the next instalment of the Saturday Evening Lecture Series (SELS) at the University of Dundee. Her office investigates and prosecutes cases of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. 

She will be in conversation with Dorothy Bain QC to discuss the use of scientific and other evidence in the investigation of crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity which are tried at the ICC. 

The University’s Professor Sue Black and Professor Niamh Nic Daeid will introduce the event, entitled ‘International Crime’, which takes place at the Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill, on Saturday, 5th March. The talk is one of the first events to take place in this year’s Women in Science Festival, organised by the University to celebrate the role played by women in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths.

The use of forensic scientific evidence is becoming more impactful in cases of national and international significance.  As a consequence communication at the critical interfaces between scientists, lawyers and the public has never been more important. ‘International Crime’ will explore this topic and examine what current challenges to forensic science mean for justice.

“We are inordinately grateful that Mrs Bensouda could give us some time from her busy schedule to come to the University of Dundee,” said Professor Nic Daeid. “Her visit provides us with the opportunity to explore new collaborations and discuss how the work of our new Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science will be able to assist the International Criminal Court in assessing the scientific robustness of core evidence types used in their criminal proceedings.”

Fatou Bensouda has been the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor since June 2012, having served as a Deputy Prosecutor in charge of the Prosecutions Division of the ICC and minister of justice of The Gambia. She has held positions of Legal Adviser and Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Dorothy Bain QC is a leading Scottish lawyer and was the first woman to hold the post of Principal Advocate Depute, the highest-ranking prosecutorial position in Scotland. She became known for her prosecution of high-profile cases and her work and recommendations led to the formation of Scotland's National Sexual Crimes Unit in 2009.

Professor Black is Director of the University’s internationally renowned Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID). She has developed groundbreaking techniques in areas such as hand identification, which has directly led to the successful prosecution of a number of paedophiles identified from images of their hands found in obscene photographs and films.

Her colleague Professor Nic Daeid has been involved in the development of policy and practice in forensic science for a number of years and leads teams developing protocols for professional practice in fire investigation for both the UK and Europe.  Her research covers areas as diverse as the characterisation and linkage of illicit drugs to fire investigation and terrorism.  She is the Vice Chair of the Scientific Advisory board of the International Criminal Court.

Professors Black and Nic Daeid are directors of the new £10 Million Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Dundee.

‘International Crime’ takes place at the Dalhousie Building on Saturday, 5th March at 6pm. Free tickets for this event are available by visiting www.dundee.ac.uk/sels, emailing events@dundee.ac.uk, calling 01382 385108 or from the University’s Tower Building Reception.

Please note that overflow theatres may be in use and the Main Lecture Theatre is filled on a first come, first seated basis.

For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
Press Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
Tel: +44 (0)1382 384768
Mobile: 07854 953277
Email: g.hill@dundee.ac.uk