Class I (2003-2004)

2. Francesca Del Mese

Sponsor Club: United Kingdom, District 1260

Francesca Del Mese is a practising barrister from London, UK. She won major scholarships to study law for three consecutive years from the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple (one of the four ‘Inns’ that English barristers are obliged to join), as well as being awarded a Blackstone Entrance Exhibition, life membership of the English Bar. She practices from one of the most prominent chambers in the UK that undertakes criminal and human rights work. She has represented in many high-profile cases, in the High Court and Court of Appeal, including protest cases, serious violence, large-scale drug importations, challenges to police brutality and youth crime work. Whilst still a trainee barrister she gained special leave from the Lords to appear in the Court of Appeal in a case she bought herself, challenging the Under-Sheriff of London in relation to human rights and environmental protest. She also attended the House of Lords to assist in the campaign for

Bob Geldof’s Band Aid land in Ethiopia, where lawyers successfully prevented the displacement of over 300,000 people from their homeland by a multi-national organisation. She has lectured on human rights to practising lawyers as part of the continuing professional education scheme, as well as to university students in the UK.

In 2003 Francesca travelled to East Timor twice, where she spent time with the UN Serious Crimes Unit assisting in the preparation of indictments against crimes against humanity suspects. In November 2004 she travelled to Sierra Leone in West Africa, where she worked in the hybrid UN Special Court for Sierra Leone. She spent time as the only international lawyer present dealing with one of the 9 suspects in custody, investigating and preparing the case for trial. She spent time in the high security prison and interviewing Sierra Leonean suspects and potential witnesses. Francesca is British / Italian and has travelled extensively, as well as having undertaken a great deal of voluntary work. This includes having worked with gypsies and former prisoners in Eastern Europe, working with people with severe mental and physical handicaps, and organising holidays for young adults from underprivileged backgrounds.

Upon graduating, Francesca will work in the arena of international transitional justice, namely representing in war crimes trials, and strengthening accountability for war crimes mechanisms. She will be deployed to a destination as yet to be determined by her new employers the British Government / the OSCE (either the Sudan or the Balkans). She may also return to represent in the trials in Sierra Leone early next year.