Xabier Agirre Aranburu works at the heart of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, investigating crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. As a senior analyst in the Office of the Prosecutor, he reviews and analyzes hundreds of witness statements, videos, pictures, and other evidence documenting atrocities committed by governments and criminal groups.

The ICC was established in The Hague in 2002 as a permanent court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. The Hague houses more than 150 international legal organizations.

“We work to solve the enigmas of crime using the highest standards of evidence,” Xabier said.  “We meet hundreds of victims and witnesses, including witnesses who once were members of criminal groups — it’s fascinating work.”

Originally from Spain’s Basque country, Xabier first arrived in The Hague in 1997 with a research grant from the Basque government.  For more than six years, he worked for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the court that indicted former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević.

Xabier first learned about work in The Hague through the Kroc Institute’s alumni network.  “The Kroc Institute introduced me to a whole new world of work and projects,” Xabier said. “My experience helped me learn to how to work effectively in a multicultural, multinational environment.”

Xabier also is a doctoral candidate in criminal law at the University of Freiburg in Freiburg, Germany. He returned to Notre Dame in 2009 to accept the Kroc Institute's Distinguished Alumni Award. 

- Renée LaReau, March 2009