Susana SáCouto

Professorial Lecturer-in-Residence
Director, War Crimes Research Office

Office: Room Y110B
Phone: 202-274-4184
Email: vCard


Susana SáCouto directs the War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) of the Washington College of Law (WCL), which promotes the development and enforcement of international criminal law (ICL) and international humanitarian law (IHL), and WCL’s Summer Law Program in The Hague, which offers JD and LLM students the opportunity for intensive study in in The Hague. She is also Professorial Lecturer-in-Residence at WCL, where she teaches courses on ICL, advanced topics in international criminal law and procedure, and international legal responses to conflict-based sexual and gender violence, as well as an experiential learning course dealing with these areas of law. Ms. SáCouto’s background includes extensive practical experience with organizations working on ICL, IHL and/or human rights issues at both the domestic and international level, including Women Empowered Against Violence, Inc., the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Center for Human Rights Legal Action in Guatemala, and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. She also served as co-chair of the Women’s International Law Interest Group of the American Society for International Law (2006-2009 term), and was awarded The Women’s Law Center 22nd Annual Dorothy Beatty Memorial Award for significant contributions to women’s rights.

Recent publications include: Investigative Management, Strategies, and Techniques of the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor, in THE LAW AND PRACTICE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: A CRITICAL ACCOUNT OF CHALLENGES AND ACHIEVEMENTS (Oxford University Press 2015) (with Katherine Cleary); The Relevance of the United Nations War Crimes Commission to the Prosecution of Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes Today, 25 CRIM. L. FORUM 349-381 (2014) (with Dan Plesch and Chante Lasco); The Adjudication Process and Reasoning at the International Criminal Court: the Lubanga Trial Chamber Judgment, Sentencing, and Reparations, in 30 IUS GENTIUM: COMP. PERSP. ON L. & JUST. 131 (Yves Haeck & Eva Brems eds., 2014) (with Katherine Cleary); Gaps in Gender-Based Violence Jurisprudence of International and Hybrid Criminal Courts: Can Human Rights Law Help? , in STRENGTHENING THE PROTECTION OF SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS IN THE AFRICAN REGION THROUGH HUMAN RIGHTS 305-330 (Ebenezer Durojaye & Charles Ngwena, eds) (Pretoria University Law Press, 2014); Perspectives on Crimes of Sexual Violence in International Law, 19 ILSA J. INT’L AND COMP. L. 263-275 (Spring 2013); and Victim Participation at the International Criminal Court and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: A Feminist Project? , 18 MICH. J. GENDER & L. 297 (2012).



Areas of Specialization

  • International Criminal Law
  • International Law
  • International Human Rights

Degrees & Universities

  • B.A., Brown University
  • M.AL.D., The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • J.D., Northeastern University Law School

  • Selected Publications

    • Susana SáCouto & Katherine Cleary, Investigative Management, Strategies, and Techniques of the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor, in The Law and Practice of the International Criminal Court: A Critical Account of Challenges and Achievements (Oxford U. Press 2015).
    • Susana SáCouto, Dan Plesch, & Chante Lasco, The Relevance of the United Nations War Crimes Commission to the Prosecution of Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes Today, 25 Crim. L. Forum 349 (2014).
    • Susana SáCouto & Katherine Cleary, The Adjudication Process and Reasoning at the International Criminal Court, 30 Jus Gentium: Comp. Persp. on L. & Just. 131 (2014).
    • Susana SáCouto, Gaps in Gender-Based Violence Jurisprudence of International and Hybrid Criminal Courts: Can Human Rights Law Help?, in Strengthening the Protection of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the African Region Through Human Rights (Ebenezer Durojaye & Charles Ngwena, eds., Pretoria U. Press 2014).
    • Susana SáCouto, Perspectives on Crimes of Sexual Violence in International Law, 19 ILSA J. Intl. & Comp. L. (Spring 2013).
    • Susana SáCouto, Victim Participation at the International Criminal Court and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: A Feminist Project?, 18 Mich. J. Gender & L. 297 (2012).
    • Susana SáCouto, Introduction to Amicus Brief on The Practice of Cumulative Charging before International Criminal Bodies, 22 Crim. L. Forum. __ (June 2011).
    • Susana SáCouto & Katherine Cleary, The Katanga Complementarity Decisions: Sound Law but Flawed Policy, 23 Leiden J. Intl. L. 363 (June 2010).
    • Susana SáCouto & Katherine A. Cleary, The Importance of Effective Investigation of Sexual Violence and Gender-Based Crimes at the International Criminal Court, 17 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Policy & L. 337 (2009).
    • Susana SáCouto & Katherine A. Cleary, The Gravity Threshold of the International Criminal Court, 23 Am. U. Intl. L. Rev. 807 (2008).
    • + More Publications...

    • Susana SáCouto, Introduction to Panel on Gender Crimes at the International Level, in Proceedings of the Third International Humanitarian Law Dialogs, 42 Studies Intl. Leg. Policy 191 (Elizabeth Andersen & David Crane eds., 2010).
    • Susana SáCouto, Introductory Note for The International Criminal Court: Appeal of the Prosecutor Against the “Decision on the Prosecution’s Application for a Warrant of Arrest against Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir", 49 Intl. Leg. Materials 922 (2010).
    • Susana SáCouto & Katherine Cleary, The Women’s Protocol to the African Charter and Sexual Violence in the Context of Armed Conflict or Other Mass Atrocity, 16 Wash. & Lee J. Civ. Rights & Soc. Just. 173 (Fall 2009).
    • Susana SáCouto & Katherine Cleary, The Confirmation of Charges Process at the International Criminal Court, in Protección Internacional de Derechos Humanos y Estado de Derecho, 331-380 (Joaquín González Ibáñez, ed., 2009).
    • Susana SáCouto & Katherine A. Cleary, Victims’ Participation in the Investigations of the International Criminal Court,, 17 Transnatl. L. & Contemp. Probs. 73 (Winter 2008).
    • Susana SáCouto & Katherine Cleary, Introductory Note to the International Tribunal for Rwanda: Appeals Judgment in the Case of Prosecutor v. Tharcisse Muvunyi, 47 Intl. Leg. Materials 875 (2008).
    • Susana SáCouto, Reflections on the Judgment of the International Court of Justice in Bosnia’s Genocide Case against Serbia and Montenegro, 15 Hum. Rights Br. 2 (Fall 2007).
    • Susana SáCouto, Advances and Missed Opportunities in the International Prosecution of Gender-Based Crimes, 15 Mich. St. J. Intl. L. 137 (2007).
  • + Selected Presentations

    • Susana SáCouto, Presentation, Expediting Proceedings: Examining the Jurisprudence and the Practice of the International Criminal Court (Hosted by the Coordinator of the Group of Friends of the International Criminal Court, Colombian Embassy, The Hague, Neth., June 2011).
    • Susana SáCouto, Moderator, Accountability for Past Policies and Practices (Human Rights and Obama Administration, American University Washington College of Law, D.C., Apr. 28, 2011).
    • Susana SáCouto, Panelist, International Humanitarian Law: Emerging Issues in the Law of Armed Conflict (Experts Roundtable, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law, D.C., Mar. 2011).
    • Susana SáCouto, Panelist, The International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda (Peace & Conflict Resolution Program, American University Washington Semester Program, D.C., Mar. 2011).
    • Susana SáCouto, Presentation, Victim Participation at the International Criminal Court and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: A Feminist Project? (Justice? – Whose Justice? Punishment, Mediation or Reconciliation?: Second Biennial War Crimes Conference, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies London, University of London, London, Eng., Mar. 2011).
    • Susana SáCouto, Presentation, The International Criminal Court and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (International Law & Organizations Program of the American University Washington Semester Program, D.C., Feb. 2011).
    • Susana SáCouto, Moderator, From Investigations to Sentencing: State Cooperation with the ICC in Enforcing International Criminal Law (International Law Bares Its Teeth: How States and International Organizations Enforce Customary Norms and Treaty Obligations, American University Washington College of Law, D.C., Feb. 2011).
    • Susana SáCouto, Presentation, Lessons Learned from the ICC (International Gender Justice Conference, convened by Cambodian Defenders Project, Phnom Penh, Camb., Nov. 2010).
    • Susana SáCouto, Presentation, Victim Participation before International and Hybrid Criminal Tribunals (Center for International Law and Policy Speaker Series, New England School of Law, Oct. 2010).
    • Susana SáCouto, Panelist, Plenary: The Prohibition Against Torture and Cultural Relativism (The XVIIIth International Congress of Comparative Law, July 2010).
    • Susana SáCouto, Moderator & Panelist, The Case-Based Reparations Scheme of the International Criminal Court (WCRO Event at Review Conference of Rome Statute Establishing International Criminal Court, Kampala, Uganda, June 2010).
    • Susana SáCouto, Presentation, International Criminal Court’s Trust Fund for Victims (8th Resumed Sess. Assembly St. Parties Meeting, N.Y.C., Mar. 25, 2010).