Judge Sylvia Steiner has comprehensive experience in criminal and international law, in particular the international law of human rights and international humanitarian law. She was a lawyer from 1977 to 1982, and subsequently Federal Public Prosecutor from 1982 to 1995, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. From 1989 to 1995, she was a member of the Penitentiary Council of São Paulo, where she served as a vice-president for four years. In 1995, she was appointed to the Federal Court of Appeal, where she served as a judge until her election to the International Criminal Court in 2003.
Judge Steiner obtained her law degree at the Law School of São Paulo University. In 1999 she received her specialist degree in criminal law at Brasilia University and in 2000 obtained her master’s degree in international law at the Law School of São Paulo University. Judge Steiner has written extensively on human rights, the rights of women and children, criminal law and international criminal law. She is a founding associate member of the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences, and was Deputy Director of the Brazilian Criminal Sciences Journal for four years. She is also a member of the Brazilian Judges for Democracy Association. Judge Steiner has been a member of the Executive Council of the Brazilian Section of the International Jurists Commission. As a lecturing professor, she has addressed classes and given lectures at the most important universities in Brazil and at conferences in Latin America, Europe and Africa. She was a member of the Brazilian delegation to the Preparatory Commission of the International Criminal Court from 1999 to 2002. She was also a member of the Official Working Group on the Implementation of the Rome Statute in 2003, in Brazil.