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Miriam Cullen

Miriam Cullen


  • JUR Centre for international law, Conflict and Crisis

    Karen Blixens Plads 16, 2300 København S, Søndre Campus, Bygning: 6A-4-12

    Telefon: +45 35 32 33 36Mobil: +45 53 36 95 92

Completed PhD research (successfully defended 14 March 2017)

The UN Security Council and International Criminal Justice

Leaders, diplomats and officials, from politics and the various criminal tribunals alike, continue to magniloquently claim that ‘without justice there can be no lasting peace’. But noble as the phrase resounds, its modern usage misconstrues its UN origins. In the founding negotiations of the UN Charter the advancement of ‘justice’ had little to do with individual criminal responsibility. Whether the connection made between peace and criminal justice is anything more than a matter of political necessity borne out of the requirements of Article 39 of the UN Charter is a question which has been examined elsewhere. What is of crucial concern to this thesis is whether an ongoing conflation of mandates chisels away at the foundational principles upon which the international legal system is based, in particular the principle of separation of powers. Relying on critical legal positivism, separation of powers is conceptualised not as a legal norm per se but as a deep structure principle on which a system of law is predicated. In finding a positive answer to that question, the thesis goes one step further to ask whether the associated consequences threaten the integrity, and perhaps even longevity, of international criminal law.


Ms Cullen was a Visiting Doctoral Student at the University of Oxford, a Visiting Professional in the Immediate Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court and a Visiting Researcher at the TMC Asser Institute. She previously held sole responsibility for teaching and examining KU's postgraduate course on International Criminal Law and Procedure. Ms Cullen has appeared on Danish television and radio and provided commentary on the application of international criminal law in current conflicts.

Prior to joining the Faculty at KU, Ms Cullen taught international humanitarian law on behalf of the Australian Red Cross as part of Macquarie University's "Global Leadership Programme" and managed Parliamentary Committee Inquiries in the Legislative Council of the New South Wales Parliament. She previously held positions in the International Legal Division, the International Security Division and the Afghanistan Desk of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Ms Cullen has been a consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and represented Australia in negotiations on the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (human rights) in New York. Before this, she assisted defence counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and was employed for several years at the Victorian Law Reform Commission and the Monash University Faculty of Law.

Ms Cullen is a member of the Research School on Peace and Conflict (Norway) and the International Association of Penal Law and for several years was on the Board of Directors of TraumAid International, a not-for-profit NGO which provides mental health services to victims of violence in Uganda and the Congo.


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