Robert Petit, Head of the IIIM

Robert Petit


Mr. Petit is a national of Canada and was appointed by the UN Secretary General to head the IIIM on 22 March, taking his position on 2 May 2024.

Mr. Petit brings to the position 35 years of criminal justice experience in both national and international settings.  Since 2017, he was the senior United Nations official to lead the United Nations Follow-On Mechanism on the Democratic Republic of the Congo in relation to the murders of two members of the Group of Experts in March 2017.  Mr. Petit also served as Senior Counsel and Team Leader in the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section of Justice Canada.

Previously a Crown Attorney in Canada, Mr. Petit has held various international senior prosecutorial positions, including as International Co-Prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Senior Trial Attorney at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and Prosecutor of the Serious Crimes Unit, United Nations Mission in East Timor. He was also legal advisor to the international administrator of one of the five regions of Kosovo, and as legal officer for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, supervised the investigations, indictments, and prosecutions of numerous perpetrators of crimes committed during the Rwandan Genocide.

Mr. Petit holds an Advanced University Law Degree from the University of Montreal, Canada, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in History from the same university.  He is fluent in English and French.

Michelle Jarvis, Deputy Head of the IIIM

Michelle Jarvis


Ms. Jarvis, a national of Australia, has worked in the international criminal justice field for 22 years and is presently the Deputy Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (Syria) (IIIM), having taken up the post in December 2017. Prior to that she was the Deputy to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), where she had oversight of legal issues across the Office of the Prosecutor. She acted as counsel in a series of cases before the ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda setting significant international criminal law precedents.

Ms. Jarvis has worked extensively to bring visibility to the experiences of marginalized groups during accountability processes and to strengthen legal responses, including initiating the IIIM’s proactive thematic strategies on a victim/survivor-centred approach, gender, children/youth and broader justice objectives to promote inclusive justice for Syria. She has co-authored two books and numerous articles on the subject of gender and armed conflict and she initiated and was the inaugural Coordinator of the Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Network, set up within the International Association of Prosecutors. Ms. Jarvis has contributed to capacity building efforts to address mass atrocity in (post) conflict zones around the world, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Colombia, Cambodia and Syria. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Center for Climate Crime Analysis and a member of the high-level Advisory Group for the Anchoring Accountability for Mass Atrocities project by the Oxford Program on International Peace and Security.

Prior to her work in international criminal law, Ms. Jarvis was a litigator in Australia, where her roles included improving women’s access to justice. Ms. Jarvis holds a Master’s degree in law from the University of Toronto as well as degrees in law and economics from the University of Adelaide.