Kwai Hong Ip succeeds David Schwendiman to become the Acting Specialist Prosecutor of the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) as of midnight on 31 March 2018.
Mr Ip’s term as Acting Specialist Prosecutor will last until a new Specialist Prosecutor is appointed. He has exactly the same authorities as a Specialist Prosecutor and there will be no interruption in the work of the SPO in any respect.
Mr Ip is a British barrister with extensive experience of both international prosecutions and the Western Balkans, who has been Mr Schwendiman’s Deputy both as Specialist Prosecutor and as Lead Prosecutor of the Special Investigative Task Force (SITF), the forerunner of the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office.
Mr Ip joined the SITF in June 2012 as Deputy Lead Prosecutor and served as Acting Lead Prosecutor between August 2014 and May 2015 after the departure of the original Lead Prosecutor, Ambassador Clint Williamson, and before the arrival of Mr Schwendiman.
From November 2009 until he joined the SITF, Mr Ip served as a trial counsel in the Office of the Prosecutor at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague.
Between October 2005 and October 2009, Mr Ip served in Bosnia and Herzegovina as an international prosecutor in the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnian and Herzegovina, appearing before the Special Department for War Crimes in the State Court.
Here, Mr Ip investigated and prosecuted four cases arising from the events in Srebrenica in 1995. One of these was the first trial for genocide at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which resulted in the first convictions for genocide in that court, and one case was transferred from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
In addition to his legal career, Mr Ip was formerly a Royal Air Force Officer, serving as a military aviation Mission Commander and Helicopter Navigator with operational experience in a number of operations including Northern Ireland, and supporting NATO forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mr Ip was also previously a military prosecutor in the Royal Air Force, an Assistant Legal Advisor to the KFOR Commander, and a Legal Officer in the UNMIK Department of Justice.
Mr Ip has practised law in both England and the United States as a barrister at the Bar of England and Wales and as a member of the State Bar of California. He studied at King’s College London, University of London, the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, and the Inns of Court School of Law, London.
The European External Action Service is responsible for the process of selecting a successor to Mr Schwendiman.