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United Nation’s first Ombudsperson for al Qaeda Terrorist Sanctions Committee speaks at SIU School of Law


Judge Prost

Judge Kimberly Prost speaks at SIU School of Law – January 28, 2013

This week the SIU School of Law community had the opportunity to hear the unique perspective of the first and only person to hold the office of Ombudsperson for the United Nation’s al Qaeda Terrorist Sanctions Committee.  Judge Kimberly Prost served for almost twenty years as a federal prosecutor for the Canadian Department of Justice.  She has also served as the Head of the Criminal Law Section of Canada’s Commonwealth Secretariat, Chief of Legal Advisory Section of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, and as a member of Canada’s delegation for the negotiation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

Prost shared many interesting stories from her work as the Ombudsperson, but one of the most interesting things she discussed was the way the office was set up and worked. Until recently, Prost was the only person in her office.  As part of her duties, she visits individuals who have been added to the al Qaeda Terrorist Sanctions List and are trying to get off the list, a process known as “delisting.”  Many students found it interesting that a member of the United Nations who delists terrorists not only meets with the individuals herself, but also that she does this many times by going into their country with no type of security team.  She explained that in many instances she has to go into their country rather than communicating through Skype because of their lack of access to internet.

Students were also treated to stories of first-hand experiences including one of the most publicized delistings, that of Yassin Abdullah Kadi, as well as her experience meeting with a member of Osama bin Laden’s inner circle, his brother-in-law Sa’d Abdullah Hussein Al-Sharif. While she did not go into specifics, she did explain to the students that many of the interactions she has with individuals and companies on the list were not what even she expected them to be.

Judge Prost’s stories were extremely unique, and our students learned quite a bit from her visit. She encouraged them to be open to life’s opportunities because you never know where your career path is going to go - a great lesson for students. We are very grateful to her for visiting the law school and sharing her experiences with our community.

Read article about Judge Prost in The Southern Illinoisan