Leslie Haskell serves as counsel, researching and advocating on international justice issues, including universal jurisdiction, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court. Her most recent work has involved documenting the critical role that specialized war crimes units play in fighting impunity on the basis of universal jurisdiction and highlighting key best practices.
Haskell first joined Human Rights Watch in 2007 as a researcher and spent nearly four years working on Rwanda, primarily on justice and reconciliation after the 1994 genocide. Haskell conducted extensive field research on Rwanda’s community-based gacaca courts – responsible for trying more than one million genocide suspects – and the conventional court system. She carried out research in West Africa in 2011, including on election-related violence in Nigeria and sexual violence against women who had fled Cote d'Ivoire for Liberia following post-election violence there in late 2010. Haskell also advised on the campaign to bring to justice the former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré.
Before joining Human Rights Watch, she worked as a lawyer at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania. She also previously worked as a criminal defense and civil litigation attorney in the United States. Haskell is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and has degrees in international relations and French from Northwestern University.