Loyola University Chicago

Rule of Law for Development Institute

School of Law

Michelle Oliel

Associate Legal Officer, UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Co-founder and Executive Director, Stahili Foundation

Human Rights Adviser, Lori E. Talsky Center for Human Rights of Women and Children

Michelle Oliel (Canada) is an international human rights lawyer and educator with experience in international criminal law, development, rule of law, and humanitarian affairs. Michelle currently serves in the Trial Chamber of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on case of Prosecutor v. Ratko Mladić. She has previously assisted the Judges on a number of cases on appeal and at trial and has worked on the Dominic Ongwen defense team at the International Criminal Court. Michelle’s expertise includes sexual and gender-based violence and children in armed conflict.

Michelle is a tireless advocate for the rights of the child. She has provided expert consultations to the ICC Prosecutor in relation to her office’s engagement with children and serves as the Executive Director and Co-founder of Stahili Foundation, where she works with communities to help children regain their right to family. Michelle also serves as a Human Rights Adviser for the Lori E. Talsky Center for Human Rights of Women and Children at Michigan State University, where she oversees the monitoring of the use and recruitment of child soldiers in 12 conflict situations. Michelle lectures at the University of Amsterdam, has also worked for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan, and on behalf of a number of politicians including the former Prime Minister of Canada. 

Michelle was named a recipient of the 2016 Odyssey Award at the University of Windsor (Canada) and nominated for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s 2016 Human Rights Award for her work promoting children’s rights. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from York University (Canada), a Juris Doctor from the University of Windsor (Canada), and an LL.M. in public international law from Utrecht University. Michelle is the author of the book "Undervalued and Manipulated? Evaluating China's foreign exchange arrangements under the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization".