Alain is a lawyer registered with the Geneva Bar (CH) and holds an LL.M from Columbia University (New York). He has worked for the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in several trials including the trial in The Hague of the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor.
He also appeared at the trial of Kaing Guek Eav, or “Duch”, before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh where he acted as a lawyer for the civil parties (victims of the crimes of the Khmer Rouge). Mr. Werner also represented the victims in the case against former President of Chad, Hissène Habré, in front of the Extraordinary African Chambers in Dakar, Senegal. Alain Werner also represents Liberian plaintiffs in the first criminal case for war crimes in Switzerland against Alieu Kosiah.
In 2019 he was awarded the”Bâtonnier Michel Halpérin for Excellence” by the Geneva Bar Association.
In November 2020, Mr. Werner was selected as an Ashoka fellow, the world’s biggest network of social entrepreneurs and change leaders. This fellowship is an important recognition of the unique modus operandi of Civitas Maxima, and highlights the innovative method applied by Civitas Maxima and the GJRP.
Deputy Director, Head of Legal Unit
Emmanuelle leads the legal team at Civitas Maxima. Since 2013, she has been working on the organization’s strategic litigation cases and has been conducting investigation on international crimes including conflict related sexual and gender based violence (CRSGBV). She also works on capacity building of Civitas Maxima’s partner organization, the Global Justice and Research Project. As part of CM’s Knowledge and Training pillar, Emmanuelle also provides training to share CM’s know-how on strategic litigation and how to build extraterritorial cases
For more than 12 years she has been working on international cases including at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the African Extraordinary Chambers and war crimes cases at national level.
In addition, Emmanuelle acts as consultant for the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI) and also provides trainings on different aspects of international investigation (including CRSGBV) for both NGOs and UN. She is a Justice Rapid Response rostered expert for International Investigation and SGBV. She graduated with degrees in International Law and Human Rights from the University of Paris II Panthéon Assas (Master) and the University of Aix en Provence (Master).
Gaëlle is a French qualified lawyer with an LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She holds a professional lawyer’s certificate (CAPA) from the École des avocats Rhône-Alpes.
Before joining CM, Gaëlle worked as a United Nations Judicial Affairs Officer in Bouar (Central African Republic), where she garnered strong field experience in capacity-building efforts involving local partners. Previously, she had worked for over three years for defense teams for some of the most high-profile cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague (Netherlands) and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). She has also worked at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague and at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in San José (Costa Rica).
Senior Legal Counsel
Maddalena is an international jurist from Italy with over 13 years of experience in international humanitarian law, international criminal law and international human rights law. Maddalena graduated in law at the University of Bologna and holds an LLM in international law and international relations from the Brussels School of International Studies – University of Kent.
In 2007, after an internship at the office of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Maddalena joined UNMIK as UN Volunteer Legal Officer to work on cases ethnic based crimes, financial crimes and extradition issues. She later joined the Trial Chambers of the ICTY as a Legal Officer in 2008. In 2014, she relocated to Cambodia to work as a Legal Officer for the Trial Chamber of the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT). Mrs. Ghezzi also temporarily worked as Human Rights Officer with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, where she dealt with a wide range of legal issues such as transitional justice and the right to the truth.
Elsa contributes to a number of Civitas Maxima’s European cases concerning alleged international crimes in Liberia and Ivory Coast. She also supports Civitas Maxima’s capacity building efforts with GJRP.
Elsa is a French jurist holding a master’s degree in International Public Law from the University of Strasbourg as well as a master’s degree in Human Rights Law and a ‘university degree’ in International Criminal Law from the University of Paris-Nanterre. She worked on international cases at the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Laura-Lou is a French qualified lawyer with an LL.M. in Public International and European Law from Erasmus University (Rotterdam). She holds a Professional Lawyer’s Certificate (CAPA) from the Haute École des Avocats Conseils de la Cour d’appel de Versailles. Laura-Lou has more than 8 years of experience working in the fields of international criminal law, human rights law, transitional justice, sexual and gender-based violence, financial crimes, and corporate accountability.
Laura-Lou is also currently a Senior Counsel at Global Diligence LLP. Before deciding to join CM, Laura-Lou worked for Project Expedite Justice (PEJ) between 2017 and 2021. As the Sudan Country Director for PEJ, she led investigations and strategic litigations related to the Darfur genocide, supported Sudan’s transitional justice process through capacity building and training activities, and led the development of an e-learning platform housing a curriculum on best investigating and documentation practices. Upon passing the French bar in 2018, Laura-Lou also assisted a French lawyer on domestic criminal cases and on a universal jurisdiction case related to the Rwandan genocide before the Appeal Court of Paris (France). Previously, she has worked in defense teams before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague (Netherlands).
Junior Legal Counsel
Meera is an US lawyer with a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She also holds a Juris Doctor with an International Law Certificate from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a Master of Science in International Politics from Trinity College Dublin. Previously, Meera completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy with honors at Boston University. She deepened her studies in international criminal law and legal approaches to terrorism with practitioners and experts at the American University Washington of Law and the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague. Meera has a range of experience in the fields of international criminal law, human rights law, comparative and transnational criminal law, refugees, and counter-terrorism.
In parallel of her studies, she worked for the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations Office in Geneva, where she drafted statements and a resolution draft for the Human Rights Council. She also worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross at the International Review of the Red Cross, conducting research on developments of international humanitarian law within the United Nations system and reviewing submissions on domestic prosecutions of international crimes. Previously, she served as a Law Fellow with Sustainable Development Strategies Group, working on areas of human rights and transnational crime. During her law school career, Meera worked on extraditions and mutual legal assistance at the United States Office of International Affairs of the US Department of Justice and successfully represented refugees before the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Maria Teresa Tienda Rivera
Maria Teresa Tienda Rivera is a Spanish lawyer with experience in international human rights law and international criminal law. She holds a master in International Law from the University of Geneva and an LL.M from Duke Law School.
She started her career in human rights advocating before the UN Human Rights Council and other UN human rights mechanisms in Geneva, Switzerland. After a brief period working as a lawyer in Spain, Maria Teresa worked as a visiting professional at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2020, she became programme officer in International Justice at the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), where she also currently works.
Maria Teresa collaborated with Civitas in 2018 as mandataire, and then joined as legal counsel in August 2021. She is qualified to practice law in Spain and has working knowledge of the US legal system.
Communications and Outreach
Communications and Outreach Manager
Rebecca designs and leads Civitas Maxima’s communication strategy, relating to our legal cases and other activities. She is also in charge of the organization’s media presence. In addition, Rebecca develops both national and international Outreach projects, with the help of various media and artistic consultants. She also coordinates with our Liberian partners.
Rebecca is a communication specialist with more than seven years experience in different areas of communication. She specialises in communication for development and digital communications – with a focus on design. She holds a Honours degree in International Relations and Peace and Conflict studies (London Metropolitan University) and is currently a Masters candidate in Communication for Development (Malmö University).
Julia contributes to the maintenance of Civitas Maxima’s communication strategy with a focus on digital tools and social media. She also participates in the translation and design of various communication products as well as press relations.
Julia studied communications and political sciences at Sciences Po Grenoble with the aim of working for the non-profit sector. During her Master’s degree, she completed two internships at the United Nations before joining Civitas Maxima.
Head of Private Fundraising
Born in Geneva and educated there, in America and in the UK, Amanda holds a BA from Oxford University and a postgraduate degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. After working at Sotheby’s London in charge of departmental clients and sales, Amanda was deputy director of a London gallery.
Since moving back to Geneva in 2009, Amanda has devoted her professional life to brand development, events management and fundraising for a range of enterprises. In the past couple of years she has devoted her expertise to philanthropy, working for local nonprofit entities including B8 of Hope and Research for Life. She joined Civitas Maxima in November 2018 where she is responsible for promoting the mission of the organization, enhancing its visibility and developing fund-raising actions.
Nakil coordinates the organization’s institutional fundraising requirements. Besides reporting to existing donors, Nakil researches, identifies and engages in prospective institutional donors. He also contributes to the definition and the implementation of CM’s fundraising policy and strategy.
Nakil has previous experience working as a fundriaser for both private and development sectors. He holds a bachelor in History and Social Anthropology (Fribourg University) and a masters in International History (The Graduate Institute, Geneva).
Finance and Administration
Head of Finance and Administration
Jeanette manages and coordinates the organization financial and administrative needs. She also closely collaborates with GJRP’s financial officer, building their finance and accounting capacity. She joined the organization in 2014.
Jeanette has worked for both private and non-profit sectors, and has more that 16 years of experience in accounting and finance. Jeanette holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy (Aquinas University of Legazpi, Philippines).
Laura is responsible for the organization’s administrative needs by providing the team with logistic support.
Laura is an administrative professional with over 5 years of experience between Italy and United Kingdom. She has worked for the local government, international and non-profit sector. Laura holds a Master’s degree in Social Policies and Services obtained at the University of Turin in Italy.
Accounting and Admin Assistant
Feven works principally in accounting and provides assistance on HR related matters. She ensures that all records are up to date and helps develop our accounting system and tools. Feven also provides general administrative support.
Feven holds a professional maturity in Economy and services, type economy and continues her studies at the University of Applied Sciences Geneva in the International Business Management (IBM) program.
Strategic Partners and Funders
- Our sister organization, the Global Justice and Research Project, Monrovia, Liberia
- Agro Companies International SA, Switzerland
- Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, U.S.
- Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), Switzerland
- Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law, Freetown, Sierra Leone
- Courrégé & Foreman, France
- Flomo Theater Production Inc., Liberia
- Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Switzerland
- Hannes Snellman
- Human Rights Watch, International Justice Program, U.S.
- Inoks Capital SA, Switzerland
- International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Law and Policy Forum, Switzerland
- Jacquemoud & Stanislas, Switzerland
- Liberia Visual Arts Academy, Liberia
- New Narratives, West Africa
- Oak Foundation, Switzerland
- Ochsner & Associés, Switzerland
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Liberia and Switzerland
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Switzerland
- Secretariat for the Establishment of War Crimes Court in Liberia (SEWACCOL), Liberia
- Swiss Incorp, Switzerland
- The Advocates for Human Rights, U.S.
- The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), U.S.
- The Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform, Liberia
- The Institute for International Criminal Investigations, The Hague, The Netherlands
- The Karl Popper Foundation, Switzerland
- The Sigrid Rausing Trust, London, UK
- The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, Geneva, Switzerland
- The University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre, UK
- White & Case LLP, Geneva, Switzerland
- Walleyn & Blanmailland, Belgium
- Zennström Philanthropies, London, UK