Justice Shireen Avis Fisher was appointed to the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2013, having previously served as a Justice of Appeal on the Special Court for Sierra Leone since 2009, and as President of the Special Court from 2012 to 2013. From 2005 through 2008 she was an International Judge in the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, adjudicating crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide cases arising out of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
She was appointed to the Bench of the U.S. State of Vermont in 1986, having been called to the State and Federal Bar ten years earlier. Before joining the judiciary, Justice Fisher worked as a Vista attorney with Vermont Legal Aid and established her own firm where she did private litigation and public defense.
Justice Fisher represented the International Association of Women Judges from 2002 through 2012 at the Hague Conference on Private International Law, participating in Special Sessions for the drafting and review of Hague Treaties on international family law.
She holds a PhD in international law from University College London, an LLM in human rights law from UCL, a JD from Catholic University of America, and a BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Justice Fisher has published articles on private and public international law and is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the International Criminal Law Practice Project, part of the Atrocity Crimes Initiative of the American Bar Association.
She is the recipient of the Global Jurist of the Year Award, presented by Northwestern University School of Law’s Center for International Human Rights “in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of international criminal law.”