Conference Keynotes 2019

Confirmed Keynotes

This year will involve three keynotes from international experts.

Professor Juan E. Mendez, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2010-2016)

Juan E. Méndez is a Professor of Human Rights Law in Residence at the American University – Washington College of Law, where he is Faculty Director of the Anti-Torture Initiative, a project of WCL’s Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.  He was the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment between November 1, 2010 and October 31, 2016.  He is the author (with Marjory Wentworth) of “Taking A Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights” (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011), a Spanish and updated version of which will appear in 2019 by Fondo de Cultura Económica, México.  In early 2017 Professor Méndez was elected Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva, Switzerland.  In February 2017, he was named a member of the Selection Committee to appoint magistrates of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and members of the Truth Commission set up as part of the Colombian Peace Accords, a task the Selection Committee successfully completed in December of that year. He was an advisor on crime prevention to the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court from 2009 to 2011 and Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association in 2010 and 2011.  Until May 2009 he was the President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), of which he is now President Emeritus.  Concurrent with his duties at ICTJ, the Honorable Kofi Annan named Mr. Méndez his Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, a task he performed from 2004 to 2007.  A native of Argentina, Mr. Méndez has dedicated his legal career to the defense of human rights.  As a result of his representation of political prisoners, the Argentinean military dictatorship arrested him and subjected him to torture and administrative detention for more than a year. During this time, Amnesty International adopted him as a “Prisoner of Conscience.” After his expulsion from his country in 1977, Mr. Méndez moved to the United States.  He worked with Human Rights Watch on human rights issues in the western hemisphere from 1982 to 1994 and, between 1994 and 1996, as General Counsel.  From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Méndez was the Executive Director of the Inter‑American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica, and between October 1999 and May 2004 he was Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Between 2000 and 2003 he was a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, and served as its President in 2002. He has taught International Human Rights Law at Georgetown Law School and at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and he teaches regularly at the Oxford Masters Program (MSt) in International Human Rights Law in the United Kingdom, where he is a Visiting Fellow of the Kellogg College.  He is the recipient of several human rights awards: the Rafael Lemkin Award for contributions to the prevention of genocide by the Auschwitz Institute on Peace and Reconciliation (2010); the Goler T. Butcher Medal from the American Society of International Law (2010); the Louis B. Sohn and the Adlai Stevenson Awards from the UN Association of the US (Washington and Princeton Chapters); Doctorates Honoris Causa from the University of Quebec in Montreal (2006), the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina (2012) and the National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina (2015); the inaugural “Monsignor Oscar A. Romero Award for Leadership in Service to Human Rights,” by the University of Dayton (2000); the “Jeanne and Joseph Sullivan Award” of the Heartland Alliance (2003); the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award of the Institute for Policy Studies (2014); and the Eclipse Award of the Center for Victims of Torture (2016). His current field of practice is International Human Rights Law, with expertise in Transitional Justice, Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities, Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, and the Right to Personal Integrity. Mr. Méndez is a member of the bar of Mar del Plata and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the District of Columbia, U.S., having earned a J.D. from Stella Maris Catholic University in Argentina and a certificate from the American University Washington College of Law.


Professor Lorraine Hope, University of Portsmouth. A core member affiliated with the Information Elicitation programme of the UK National Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST)

Lorraine Hope is Professor of Applied Cognitive Psychology at the University of Portsmouth and a core member affiliated with the Information Elicitation programme of the UK National Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) ( She is also the Strategic Lead for the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG). Over the past 20 years, her research has resulted in the development of innovative tools and techniques, informed by psychological science and practitioner need, for eliciting accurate and detailed information and intelligence across a range of investigative contexts (e.g. Timeline Technique, Self-administered Interview, Structured Interview Protocol). Her work has had global impact and she regularly delivers tools, research, evaluation and training for investigative interviewing and information elicitation in international policing, intelligence and security sectors, including inter- and multi-national agencies, such the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG). Current projects include working with international investigators to develop policy recommendations for informing the conduct of investigative interviews in cross-cultural contexts. As a leader in interviewing research developments, and experienced in working with a range of stakeholders and end-users, Lorraine presents and publishes extensively on interviewing and applied memory topics.


Professor Laurence Alison, Director of the Centre for Critical Incident Research, University of Liverpool, UK.

Professor Alison is Director of Critical and Major Incident (CAMI) Research at the Department of Psychology, University of Liverpool. CAMI focuses on high profile critical and major incidents (from disaster management to terrorism). Prof Alison has over 28 years of experience working on applied projects for Law enforcement and the security services.

He currently provides training to FBI/CIA/DoD, The UKs National CT interviewing cadre and the British Army in the ORBIT framework for rapport-based interrogation methods.

He was key psychological advisor on over 450 critical and major incidents debriefs including the 7/7 bombings, the Sharm El Sheik attacks, the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the preparations for the London Olympics.

He was key advisor and research on a child sexual exploitation project that resulted in the largest operation in UK police history and which, across a 6-month period, led to the arrest of over 1,200 offenders, the safeguarding of over 1,000 children and a cost saving to UK government of £15million. He has over 200 published articles, books, edited books and government and industry reports.