Andrew Cayley was in Bristol House under Peter Perfect from 1977 to 1982. After Brighton College he practised law in the south east of England joining the British Army in 1991 and serving as an infantry platoon commander in Belize (on attachment to the Kings Own Royal Border Regiment) and as a military prosecutor and command legal adviser in Germany and the United Kingdom.
Placed on loan service in 1995, as a military prosecutor, by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia he investigated and prosecuted war crime and crimes against humanity arising from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in 1991. He was on the prosecution team that secured the first conviction for genocide in Europe since the Second World War. This was the prosecution arising from events in Srebrenica where upwards of 9000 men and boys were murdered in less than two weeks. He led the investigation against Colonel General Ratko Mladic – now on trial in The Hague - and the first prosecution of members of the Kosovo Liberation Army for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in 1998 in Kosovo.
In February 2005 he was appointed Senior Prosecuting Counsel at the permanent International Criminal Court by the Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo. Here he investigated war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur Sudan. In 2007 the International Criminal Court charged the Deputy Minister of Interior of Sudan with serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Darfur since 2003.
In 2007 after departing from the International Criminal Court the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor, instructed him in his case before the Special Court for Sierra Leone. In 2009 he became the International Co-Prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia.
Currently he is the International Co-Prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia having been nominated by the Secretary General of the United Nations on 18 August 2009 and appointed by the King of Cambodia, His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, to that position on 27 November 2009. On 29 February 2012 it was announced by the Ministry of Justice that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, has appointed Andrew to be Queens Counsel.
- When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?
I cannot recall what I aspired to now. I loved History and English but my father wanted me to be a doctor so I recall a tension in what I wanted to do and what was expected of me.
- What are you now you've grown up?
Still the thirteen year old boy who arrived at Bristol House in September 1977. I have been lucky and have been encouraged by some wonderful people. I am now a Queen's Counsel and currently International Co-Prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Phnom Penh Cambodia.
- What is your best memory of school?
Best memory is not being on the Friday evening drill list at Bristol House in freezing February. This punishment usually required climbing down into the "areas" outside the basement of the house and collecting the accumulated rubbish and rotting food for an hour. Other good memories include playing Mynheer Cornelis in The Strong are Lonely by Fritz Hochwalder in 1980 and also leading the CCF colour parade, as a CPO Coxswain, in 1982 before a Vice Admiral who's name I now forget. Also the yearly Bristol Christmas party which was always well done with skits and plenty of cheer.
- What was the best piece of advice you were given
Don't get caught and if you do deny absolutely everything. Advice given to me by an unnamed but persistent offender in the UV in Bristol when I was a new boy. Times have changed I am quite sure.
Serious advice I still have framed on my desk :" The only guide to a man is his conscience the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions." From Churchill's Collected speeches I was given in the LVI.
- What do you do /did you do as a career
I have had an unorthodox career. I started life as a solicitor on the south coast of England with Thomas Eggar in 1989. Two lawyers in that firm were my greatest mentors: Michael Camps and Anthony Edwards. Two wonderful lawyers, in different ways, who had the decency to see beyond themselves and help those coming on in the firm. In 1991 I joined the British army, then went to the international courts prosecuting genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the nineties. Now I am newly minted Queens Counsel. I have had a wonderful career and I thank my wife and children,my parents and sister Jane (also an OB) and BC for that.
- What does your job involve?
I am principally an international criminal lawyer involved in the the prosecution of large scale crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. I have been involved in cases in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Uganda, Sudan, Sierra Leone and Cambodia. So trying to bring some degree of personal accountability in respect of criminal conduct during and in the aftermath of wars and civil unrest.
- What are the most challenging parts of your job?
The evidence I address is often very distressing. The victims often suffer in silence for years on end. The trials are very long and evidence degrades the older it is. Physical evidence disappears and memories fade. In Cambodia we are addressing events that took place over 30 years ago.
- What have you done that you are most proud of?
First my family : My wife Andrea and my four children Alexander, Anna, Edmund and Eleanor. The second, this year, being appointed one of Her Majesty's Queen's Counsel learned in the law. Third the successful prosecution of events in Srebrenica in 2001. Where we proved genocide for the murder of over 9000 men and boys in the space of a week. In the face of lies and propaganda we demonstrated that these tragic events took place and that was vital for the victims and the world.
- What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
48 hours in a day.
- What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
A photograph of my wife and children, an endless subscription to Private Eye and a good bottle of red wine (refillable from passing ships).
- How would you like to be remembered?
In passing I would not wish to be enlarged beyond that which I was in life. I saw terrible wrongs and as a member of the human race simply reacted and played a modest part in condemning those responsible. Like most people I am complex and I have many flaws but I hope my children remember me as someone who tried hard to stand firmly against the oppression and killing of defenceless and innocent people throughout the world. And that they might be inspired to follow a less conventional path in life. The temptation to follow a prosperous course, that private education generally opens, is very great. But there is much that needs to be done in a world which yields painfully to change. And I think there is a great deal that my children and indeed students of BC have to offer such a challenge. Self-confidence, sound education, resilience, sincerity, courage, honesty and integrity and most important the idealism of youth. These are values that are timeless but are required today more than ever before.