Dr Fidelma Donlon, an Irish lawyer, has been appointed to the position of the Registrar of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers as of April 2016.
A highly experienced senior court administrator and a respected academic and lawyer, Dr Donlon was previously the Head of the Specialist Chambers and Registry Court Planning Team where she managed the strategic and organizational establishment of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers during 2015-2016.
As part of her longstanding career in international criminal justice, Dr Donlon has extensive experience as a senior manager at various criminal tribunals as well as significant experience in justice sector reform and judicial capacity building projects.
From 2010 to 2013, she served as Deputy Registrar of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, overseeing Registry functions for the successful completion of the Charles Taylor trial and several contempt trials. Dr Donlon was also an advisor to the Special Court of Sierra Leone in 2008, offering expert advice on residual issues including the Court's ongoing legal obligations after the completion of trials and appeals. She authored the expert Report on, and designed, the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Dr Donlon also has international criminal justice experience specifically related to the Balkans. In 2004, she was appointed Deputy Registrar of the War Crimes, Organized Crime, Economic Crime and Corruption Chambers of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), where she managed the set up of the Chambers and the successful transfer of cases from the ICTY and the start of trials at the new court.
From 2002 to 2004, Dr Donlon was the Head of the Criminal Institutions and Prosecutorial Reform Unit within the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she managed the establishment of the War Crimes and Organised Crimes Chambers of the BiH State Court and contributed to the national judicial reform strategy – working closely with the BiH Government, donor States and international organizations.
During her career she has administered court budgets, negotiated and managed funds from donor States as well as negotiated laws and treaties with multiple Governments and ensured their implementation.
Dr Donlon is a graduate of University College of Dublin and the Law Society of Ireland. She obtained her Doctorate in Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland with the thesis "The Completion Strategies of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and the Special Court for Sierra Leone – Lessons for Complementarity and the Prosecution of Crimes by National Courts".
She has lectured in International Criminal Law and published widely on the topics of tribunals and international justice and human rights.