CV Ambassador Rolf Einar Fife

Cv image

Personal details
Name: Rolf Einar FIFE
Date of birth: 18 October 1961
Family status: Married, 1 child
Nationality: Norwegian
Professional title: Ambassador

Education and research

2009 – 2010    Visiting Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge

1978 – 1984    Candidatus juris, Law Faculty, University of Oslo

1986 – 1988    Arabic language studies (cand.mag.), University of Oslo

1978                French baccalauréat, after primary and secondary schooling successively in Italy and France



Fluency in English, French, Italian and Norwegian. Working knowledge of Spanish, German and Arabic.


Governmental functions and diplomatic postings

2019 –             Ambassador of Norway to the European Union, Brussels

2014 – 2019    Ambassador of Norway to France and Monaco

2002 – 2014    Director General for Legal Affairs and Legal Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1993 – 2002    Head of various units in the Legal Department, MFA

1990 – 1993    First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations, New York

1988 – 1990    Second Secretary, Embassy of Norway, Riyadh

1986 – 1988    Diplomat-trainee, MFA

1985 – 1986    Lawyer, Legal Department, MFA

1984 – 1985    Lawyer, Department for Polar Affairs, Ministry of Justice


Selected international positions and assignments

2009 – 2010    Chair, Council of Europe Committee of Advisers on International Law (CAHDI)

2007 – 2008    Vice-Chair, Council of Europe Committee of Advisers on International Law (CAHDI)

2003 – 2010    Head, Norwegian Delegation at negotiations with the Russian Federation on maritime delimitation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean

2004 – 2009    Focal Point of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court for preparations of the Kampala Review Conference for the ICC

2007                Head, Norwegian Delegation to the 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva

2007 – 2008    Head, Norwegian Delegation at negotiations with Iceland on Agreement concerning transboundary deposits on the continental shelf

2005 – 2006    Head, Norwegian Delegation at negotiations with Denmark/The Faroes and Iceland on delimitation of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, Northeast Atlantic Ocean

2005 – 2006    Head, Norwegian Delegation at negotiations with Denmark and Greenland on maritime delimitation between Greenland and Svalbard

2004                Chair, Council of Europe Workshop on Reform of European Court of Human Rights, Oslo

1995 – 2009    Head, Norwegian Delegation at successive negotiations on the International Criminal Court

2006                Chair, Council of Europe Expert Workshop on the International Criminal Court, Athens

2001 – 2002    Chair, Working Group on the First Year Budget of the International Criminal Court in the United Nations Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court

1998 – 2002    Chair, Working Group on drafting of Rules of Procedure and Evidence on Penalties of the International Criminal Court

1995 – 1998    Chair, Working Groups on Penalties in the Statute of the International Criminal Court throughout negotiations in preparatory committees and the Rome Diplomatic Conference


International Dispute Settlement

2015 – 2017    Member of the Arbitral Tribunal between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia (Land and Maritime Boundary)

2004 -             Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague

2017 -             Arbitrator and Conciliator under article 2 of Annexes V and VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

2017 -             Arbitrator designated pursuant to Article 2 (4) of the Schedule to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty

2009                Representative of Norway before the International Court of Justice in the case concerning the Kosovo Advisory Opinion

2007                Agent of Norway before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, in cases concerning Jurisdiction and International Responsibility in Peace Support Operations

2003                Head, Norwegian Delegation before the WTO Appellate Body in case concerning US Steel Safeguards (Definitive Safeguard Measures of Imports of Certain Steel Safeguards)

1993                Counsellor of the Norwegian Team before the International Court of Justice in the Case Concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Area Between Greenland and Jan Mayen


Selected other legal experience

2002 – 2014    Legal advice to the Norwegian Government on the full range of issues of international law, and on domestic laws to implement international legal obligations

2002 – 2014    Representative of Norway in 6th Committee of the UN General Assembly (starting in 1986 with negotiations on the draft International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, participation in various UN conferences and working groups)

2002 – 2014    International legal advice to the Government in relation to policy formulation on regional conflicts, peace and security and development issues

2014                Co-chair, 8th Liaison Committee Meeting, Establishment of Outer Limits of Continental Shelf beyond 200 NM, Subregional Meeting of Coastal States organized by Cabo Verde, Praia

2005 – 2014    Member of the Management Board of the Foreign Ministry, Oslo

1999 – 2009    Coordinator of Norway’s Submission before the Commission on the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf in the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean

2009                Head of Delegation in the examination before the Commission on the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf of Norway’s submission in the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean

2002 – 2014    Chair, Norwegian inter-ministerial commission on international humanitarian law

2002 – 2014    Chair, Norwegian inter-ministerial commission on the law of the sea and maritime boundaries

2002 – 2004    Headed legislative teams to prepare reforms of maritime baselines and new domestic legislation concerning territorial sea enlargement and contiguous zone

2001 – 2003    Coordinator, Norwegian Chair of the Governing Council of the United Nations Compensation Commission

1999 - 2002    Invited to make presentations on the International Criminal Court and issues of implementation, including at 1999 Inter-Governmental Regional Caribbean Conference on the ICC, with Caricom ministers and attorney-generals, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

1996 - 1997    Adviser, Norwegian delegation at negotiations with Denmark/Greenland and Iceland on maritime delimitation of tripoint and boundaries off the island of Jan Mayen

1994 - 1995    Adviser, Norwegian delegation in negotiations with Denmark/Greenland on agreement to implement the 1993 Judgment of the International Court of Justice in the Case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Area between Greenland and Jan Mayen

1991 – 1993    Delegate, United Nations Intergovernmental Group to Monitor the Supply and Shipping of Oil and Petroleum Products to South Africa, United Nations General Assembly, New York


Selected other activities

2020 –             Appointed member of the International Advisory Body of the Centre for Geopolitics of the University of Cambridge, UK

2017 –             Elected associate member of the Institut de droit international

2014 –             Invited to make lectures and presentations in international law notably at the Académie des sciences morales et politiques, Paris and the Sorbonne University

2002 – 2014    Chair of Norwegian Branch of the International Law Association

1999 – 2014    Member of the Editorial Board of Nordic Journal of International Law

1997 – 2014    Various teaching assignments in international law at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian Defence University College

1991 – 1993    Adviser, Chair, Advisory Committee on the UN Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa, United Nations General Assembly, New York


Selected publications (organized by topic)

  • Arctic

“Dispute Settlement in the Arctic: Continuity and Change”, in H. Ruiz Fabri, E. Franckx & T. Meshel (eds), A Bridge over Troubled Waters – Dispute Resolution in the Law of International Watercourses and the Law of the Sea, Brill Nijhoff, Leiden/Boston, 2020, 398-411.

“L’Arctique et l’Antarctique”, in G. Guillaume (ed.), La vie internationale et le droit, Editions Hermann, Paris, 2018, 391-404.

"Les régions polaires", in M. Forteau, D. Müller, A. Pellet & J.M. Thouvenin (eds.), Traité de droit international de la mer, Editions A. Pedone, Paris, 2017, 501-518.

“Legal status of Eastern Greenland (PCIJ, 1933)”, in E. Bjorge & C. Miles (eds.), Landmark Cases in Public International Law, Hart Publishing, Oxford & Portland, 2017, 133-157.

"Svalbard og traktaten av 1920: myter og virkelighet" (Svalbard and the Treaty of 1920: Myths and Reality), in H.C. Bugge, H. Indreberg, A. Syse & A. Tverberg (eds.), Lov, Liv og Lære – Inge Lorange Backer 70 år, Universitetsforslaget, Oslo, 2016, 201-219.

“Arctic Reflections Among Receding Sea-ice”, in International Law of the Sea—Essays in Memory of Anatoly L Kolodkin, Moscow, Statut, 2014, 206–21.

“Cooperation Across Boundaries in the Arctic Ocean : The Legal Framework and the Development of Policies”, in P. Berkman & A. Vylegzhanin (eds.), Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean, Springer, Dordrecht, 2013, 345-358.

“The Call for good Governance in the Arctic Ocean – the Legal Framework and the Development of Policies to Meet Rising Challenges and Emerging Opportunities”, in G. Witschel, I. Winkelmann, K.Tiroch & R. Wolfrum (eds.), New Chances and New Responsibilities in the Arctic Region, Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, 2010, 223-232.

“L’objet et le but du Traité du Svalbard (Spitsberg) et le droit de la mer" (The object and purpose of the Treaty concerning Spitsbergen and the Law of the Sea), in La mer et son droit, Mélanges offerts à Laurent Lucchini et Jean-Pierre Quéneudec, Editions A. Pedone, Paris, 2003 (ISBN 2-233-00420-5), 239-262.

The article appeared also in Russian in Moscow Journal of International Law, 2004, nr. 4, 170-202.

  • Law of the Sea

“Obligations of ‘Due Regard’ in the Exclusive Economic Zone. Their Context, Purpose and State Practice” in The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, 34 (2019), 43-55.

"Les obligations de ‘tenir dûment compte’ dans les dispositions de la CNUDM relatives à la ZEE: perspectives historiques et contemporaines" in C.Beaucillon & Y. Kerbrat (eds.), Usages pacifiques et militaires de la Zone économique exclusive : Étude des obligations des États côtiers et non côtiers de tenir dûment compte des droits des autres États en vertu de la Convention des Nations Unies sur le droit de la mer, IREDIES Conference Paper n°1/2018, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2018.

“Preface” in C. Banet (ed.), The Law of the Seabed – Access, Uses and Protection of Seabed Resources, Brill Nijhoff, Leiden/Boston, 2020, ix-xii.

“A Perspective on Development and the Law of the Sea - How to provide support for the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf” in J.C. Sainz-Borgo et al., (ed.), Liber Amicorum Gudmundur Eiriksson, University for Peace & O.P. Jindal Global University, 2017, 51-67.

"Norway", with P. Tresselt, in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea at 30: Reflections, United Nations, New York, 2013, 81-84.

Reports in the collection International Maritime Boundaries (American Society of International Law):

Report 9-26 (Add.1) in C. Lathrop (ed.), International Maritime Boundaries, (forthcoming), ASIL, 2020; Report 9-6 (3), on Treaty between the Kingdom of Norway and the Russian Federation concerning Maritime Delimitation and Cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean, in C. Lathrop (ed.), International Maritime Boundaries, volume VII, ASIL 2016, Brill/Nijhoff, 5167-5203; Report 9-4 (3), on Agreement of 2008 between Norway and Iceland concerning Transboundary Hydrocarbon Deposits and Agreed Minutes of 2008 concerning Right of Participation, in C. Lathrop (ed.), International Maritime Boundaries, volume VII, ASIL 2016, Brill/Nijhoff, 5123-5142; Report 9–25, on Agreement between Norway and Denmark/Greenland concerning Delimitation of the Continental Shelf and the Fisheries Zones in the Area between Greenland and Svalbard, in D.A. Colson & R.W.Smith (eds.), International Maritime Boundaries, volume VI, ASIL 2011, 4513–31; Report 9-26, on Agreed Minutes on the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles between the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway, in D.A. Colson & R.W. Smith (eds.), International Maritime Boundaries, volume VI, ASIL, 2011, 4532-4552.

"Le traité du 15 septembre 2010 entre la Norvège et la Russie relatif à la délimitation et à la coopération maritime en mer de Barents et dans l’océan Arctique", in Annuaire français de droit international, LVI, 2010, CNRS Editions, Paris, 399-412.

“Elements of Nordic Practice 2006: Norwegian Measures Taken Against Stateless Vessel Conducting Unauthorized Fishing on the High Seas”, 76 Nordic Journal of International Law, 2007, 301-303.

“Les modes de fixation des frontières maritimes : la négociation de l’accord", in Institut du droit économique de la mer, Le processus de délimitation maritime – étude d’un cas fictif, Colloque international, Monaco, Editions A. Pedone, 2004, 336-342.

The Duty to Render Assistance at Sea: Some Reflections after Tampa”, in J. Petman and J. Klabbers (eds.), Nordic Cosmopolitanism: Essays in International Law for Martti Koskenniemi, Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 2003, 469-484.

The Limits in the Seas: The Need to Establish Secure Maritime Boundaries – Some Thoughts on the Contributions of Earth Scientists to Legal Determinacy (…)”, in Proceedings of the Twentieth Anniversary Commemoration of the Opening for Signature of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, New York, 9 and 10 December 2002, United Nations, 2003, 81-110.

“Revision of Norway’s Straight Baselines” and other elements of Norwegian State practice in “Nordic Practice 2001/2003”, Nordic Journal of International Law, 2004, vol. 73, 551-553.

Norway’s Straight Baselines Around the Svalbard Archipelago”, 70 Nordic Journal of International Law, 2001, 555-563.

“Les accords faisant suite à l’arrêt rendu par la Cour Internationale de Justice en 1993 dans l’affaire entre le Danemark et la Norvège concernant la délimitation maritime dans la région située entre le Groenland et Jan Mayen», Annuaire du droit de la mer, Paris, 1999, 199-214.

  • International Criminal Law and International Criminal Courts and Tribunals
  1. Bergsmo, R.E. Fife, H. Friman, et al.: Internasjonal strafferett (International Criminal Law), Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, Brussels, 2020, ISBN 978-82-8348-125-9 (forthcoming), 1-71 and 405-415.

“Article 77 (Applicable penalties)” and “Article 80 (Non-prejudice to national application of penalties and national laws)”, in O. Triffterer (ed.), Commentary on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article by Article, 1st ed. 1999, Baden-Baden, 985-998 and 1009-1014; 2nd ed. 2008, 1419-1432 and 1443-1448; 3rd ed. 2016 O.Triffterer & K.Ambos (eds.), Beck-Hart, 1877-1890 and 1909-1914; 4th ed. 2020 K.Ambos (ed.), Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article-by-Article Commentary, Beck-Hart, (forthcoming). 

 “Norway” (International Adjudication of the Crime of Aggression Seen through a Critical Prism), in C. Kress & S. Barriga (eds.), The Crime of Aggression: A Commentary, Vol. 2, Cambridge University Press, 2017, 1242-1263.

“Criteria for prosecution of international crimes:  the importance for states and the international community of the quality of the criminal justice process for atrocities, in particular of the exercise of fundamental discretion by key justice actors”, in M. Bergsmo (ed.), Criteria for Prioritizing and Selecting Core International Crimes Cases, FICHL Publication Series No. 4, 2009, 21-24.

“The Legislative Response of the United Nations to Terrorism: Perspectives on Creative Forces and Sources of International Law”, in Festskrift til Carl August Fleischer, Oslo, Universitetsforlaget, 2006, 151-172.

Criminalizing Individuals for Acts of Aggression committed by States”, in M.Bergsmo (ed.), Human Rights and Criminal Justice for the Downtrodden – Essays in Honour of Asbjørn Eide, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden/Boston, 2003, 53-74.

The Draft Budget for the First Financial Period of the Court”, in Twenty-Fifth Memorial Issue: The Eve of the International Criminal Court: Preparations and Commentary, 25 Fordham International Law Journal, 2002, 606-624.

 “The International Criminal Court: Whence It Came, Where It Goes”, 69 Nordic Journal of International Law, 2000, 63-85. This article appeared in Russian in Moscow Journal of International Law, 2001/1, 60-87.

The Norwegian Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”, 70 Nordic Journal of International Law, 2001, 531-546. Appeared in an adapted version in The Rome Statute and Domestic Legal Orders, (C. Kreβ, B. Broomhall, F. Lattanzi & V. Santori, eds.) Volume II, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft Baden-Baden, 2005, 281-294.

Norway’s Response to ICTY Order for Disclosure of Information by SFOR, NATO and States participating in SFOR”, 70 Nordic Journal of International Law, 2001, 563-566.

 “Penalties”, in R. Lee (ed.) The International Criminal Court – Elements of Crimes The Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Criminal Court, Transnational Publ.s, New York, N.Y., 2001, 555-574.

Norway and the International Criminal Tribunals 1994-2000”, 69 Nordic Journal of International Law, 2000, 359-372.

“Penalties”, in R. Lee (ed.), The International Criminal Court, The Making of the Rome Statute: Issues, Negotiations, Results, The Hague/New York, 1999, 319-343.

  • Sources of International Law – Treaty Law

“Creative Forces and Institution Building in International Law” in A. Ciampi (ed.), History and International Law – An Intertwined Relationship, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham UK/Northampton MA USA, 2019, 2-21.

“Foreword”, in S. T. Helmersen, The Application of Teachings by the International Court of Justice, Cambridge University Press, 2021, xiii-xxii.

“Actes unilatéraux – Arroseur arrosé” in Dictionnaire des idées reçues en droit international, Editions Pedone, Paris, 2017, 23-28.

“The CAHDI European Observatory of Reservations to International Treaties: Law and Practice Relating to Reservations and Interpretative Declarations Concerning International Treaties”, in Council of Europe, The CAHDI Contribution to the Development of Public International Law, Council of Europe, 2016, 91-97.

"Le Guide de la pratique sur les réserves aux traités, une espèce endémique à la Commission du droit international?" in P. Bodeau-Livinec (ed.), Formes du droit international - Réflexions sur le devenir des travaux de la Commission du droit international des Nations Unies, (Actes du colloque du 22 juin 2015 de la Société française pour le droit international), Saint-Denis, Pedone, 2018, (forthcoming).

"Quand dire c’est faire – Le praticien face au Guide de la pratique de la CDI", in Société française pour le droit international, Actualités des réserves aux traités, Paris, Editions A. Pedone, 2014, 171-178.

“Les techniques interprétatives non juridictionnelles de la norme internationale”, in Revue Générale de Droit International Public, vol. 115, 2011, Paris, 367-372.

The Role of Intergovernmental Organizations in International Treaty-Making – Some Reflections on the Negotiations on the International Criminal Court ICC”, in From Government to Governance, 2003 Hague Joint Conference on Contemporary Issues of International Law, 2004 TMC Asser Press, The Hague, 51-55.

“Den internasjonale domstol i Haag” (The International Court of Justice in The Hague, Summary of Jurisprudence 1946-1994), TANO, Oslo, 1994, 182 p.


  • Selected other Publications

“Generating Incentives to Appoint Women to the International Bench: Experiences with State Practice”, in F. Baetens (ed.), Who is the Judge? Identity and Diversity on the International Bench, Oxford University Press, 2020, 49-59. 

“Fransk-norsk juridisk oppslagsbok” (French-Norwegian Legal Handbook), TANO, Oslo, 1991, 128 p.

“Fransk juridisk ordbok” (French-Norwegian Legal Dictionary), University of Oslo, Institutt for privatretts stensilserie, 1985, 231 p.

Commentaries on Norwegian statutory laws pertaining to international law in Norsk Lovkommentar (earlier: Karnov norsk kommentert lovsamling): entries on Norwegian Acts of legislation, with regular updates, since 1997, including on legislation concerning Norway’s EEZ and on the ICC.

Noen utviklingslinjer i Sikkerhetsrådets beslutningsprosess” (The decision-making process in the Security Council), Internasjonal Politikk, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Oslo, 53(4) 1995, 471-482.

"Noen hovedpunkter i den islamske kontraktsrett" (Main issues in Islamic Contract Law) Lov og Rett, Oslo, 1993, 610-619.

"En kort oversikt over de islamske regler om foreldreansvar ved samlivsbrudd" (A brief survey of Islamic rules on rights of custody over children after separation), Lov og Rett, Oslo, 1992, 40-46.

"En kort innføring i islamsk rett" (A brief introduction to Islamic Law), Lov og Rett, Oslo, 1990, 548-557.

"La question linguistique en Norvège et ses solutions juridiques", Jura Falconis, Leuven, 1985, 239-248.