Faculty Spotlight

Matiangai Sirleaf 




Matiangai Sirleaf is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University Pittsburgh Law School. Prof. Sirleaf writes and teaches courses in the areas of criminal law and international law. In Sept. 2018, Prof. Sirleaf gave a keynote speech at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference was entitled 20 Years Since the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court – the Status of International Rule of Law, and Access to International Criminal Justice in Africa. Prof. Sirleaf spoke on Regionalizing International Criminal Justice.


During the keynote, she argued that the Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (Malabo Protocol) re-conceptualizes the idea of international criminal and transitional justice as varying approaches meant solely to address the legacy of abuse in one nation, and proposes that these mechanisms can also encompass regional and transnational efforts to respond to international criminal law violations. She argued that the Protocol seeks to correct for perceived biases in international criminal justice. Her speech illuminated the ways in which the Protocol builds on the justice cascade in Africa. She provided a brief overview of the domestic, hybrid and international criminal trials in Africa that have informed the development of the regional court and argues that the Malabo Protocol offers the Continent an important, alternative vision of regional criminal justice. Her remarks were based on her article, The African Justice Cascade and the Malabo Protocol, which concludes that the regional court could arguably tailor criminal accountability to the context, needs and aspirations of the Continent.


During her trip to Kenya, Prof. Sirleaf was also interviewed on the politics of international criminal justice and the Rome Statute at twenty years on KUTV a television station in Kenya.