Kinga Tibori-Szabó

Kinga Tibori-Szabó

Kinga Tibori-Szabó


Kinga Tibori-Szabó specialises in international criminal law, international humanitarian law and public international law. She has sixteen years of experience in the field of international criminal justice in The Hague, having worked for defence (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia), victims (Special Tribunal for Lebanon) and judges’ chambers (Kosovo Specialist Chambers). Kinga worked on cases involving charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and terrorism. In her defence- and victims’-related roles, Kinga worked for nine years with Peter Haynes KC.

As of January 2023, Kinga works as an investigations team leader for the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD), based in Iraq.

She is also a member of the New York State Bar.

Kinga’s publications include an award-winning monograph on the right of states to anticipatory self-defence and a practitioners’ guide to victim participation in international criminal justice. She is a frequent speaker on topics of international criminal law and public international law.

Reported Cases

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) – Defence (2007-2012)

Popović et al. case, IT-05-88 (trial and appeal)

Special Tribunal for Lebanon – Legal representation of victims (2012-2016)

Ayyash et al. case, STL-11-01 (pre-trial and trial)

Kosovo Specialist Chambers – Legal adviser for Judges’ chambers (2016-2022)

Several cases, including: Shala case, KSC-BC-2020-04 (indictment); Thaçi et al. case, KSC-BC-2020-06 (indictment, pre-trial); Gucati and Haradinaj case, KSC-BC-2020-07 (indictment, pre-trial, trial)


‘The use of force in the international legal system’ (co-author with Terry D. Gill), Cambridge University Press, 2023 (forthcoming)

‘Control and the Right to Self-Defence Against Non-State Actors’, in: R. Bartels, J. C. van den Boogaard et al. (eds), Military Operations and the Notion of Control Under International Law. Liber Amicorum Terry D. Gill, Springer, 2021;

‘Twelve Key Questions on Self-Defense against Non-State Actors’ (co-author), International Legal Studies, Vol. 95, 2019,

‘Siege’ and ‘Starvation’, in D. Djukic and N. Pons (eds), The Brill Companion to International Humanitarian Law, Brill, 2018;

‘The Intervention in Somalia – 1992-1995’ (co-author), in T. Ruys and O. Corten (eds), The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-based Approach, Oxford University Press, 2018;

‘Victim Participation in International Criminal Justice: Practitioner’s Handbook’ (co-editor), Springer, 2017;

‘The Downing of the Syrian Fighter Jet and Collective Self-Defence’, Opinio Juris, 23 June 2017,

‘The ’Unwilling or Unable’ Test and the Law of Self-Defence’, in C. Paulussen et al. (ed), Protecting fundamental rights in the international arena: public, private and European law perspectives, TMC Asser Press/Springer, 2015;

‘The Right of Self-Defence in the US White Paper on Targeted Killings’, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, July 2015,

‘Testing the Validity of US Self-Defence Arguments against the Khorasan Group in Syria’ (co-author), ICCT Commentaries, 9 October 2014,

‘Remarks on Henderson & Cavanagh Guest Post on Unit Self-Defence – Perspectives from the Courtroom’, Opinio Juris, 11 July 2014,

‘The 2nd Circuit’s Disclosure Order: A Fresh Opportunity to Revive the Imminence Debate?’, IntLawGrrls, 26 April 2014,

‘The al-Shabaab Mall Attack and the Right of Self-Defence’, IntLawGrrls, 4 October 2013,

‘Anticipatory Action in Self-Defence: Essence and Limits under International Law’, Springer, 2011 (Winner of the 2012 Francis Lieber Prize of the American Society of International Law)

‘Self-defense arguments in the Jihad discourse and their parallel counterpart in international law’, in C. M. Bassiouni and A. Guellali, eds., Jihad: Challenges to International and Domestic Law, TMC Asser Press, 2010.


Admission to Practice, New York State Bar, USA – 2013
LLM (traditional track, focus on US law), New York University, USA – 2012
PhD in Public International Law, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 2010
MPhil in International Relations, Central European University, Hungary – 2007
LLM in International and European Law, Utrecht University, The Netherlands – 2004
LLB in Legal Studies, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania – 2003

Appointments and Memberships

New York State Bar Association

Netherlands Forum on the Law of Armed Conflict and Peace Operations (LACPO), University of Amsterdam


English, Romanian, Hungarian – Fluent

French, Dutch – Intermediate

Kinga Tibori-Szabó

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Kinga Tibori-Szabó
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