Stefan Trechsel was born in Bern in 1937. His father was the pastor of Boltigen im Simmental and his mother came from a Jewish family in Berlin. He attended school in Burgdorf and continued his studies in Bern. He passed the bar exam in 1963, went on to receive his doctorate in 1966 and took up the position as a private lecturer in 1972. Trechsel spent one year as a fellow in Washington, D.C. He was a state prosecutor in Bern from 1971 to 1975. Throughout he career he has taught at the Universities of Fribourg, Bern and Zurich as well as holding the position of Professor for Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure first at the University of St. Gallen from 1979 to 1999 and from 1999 to 2004 at the University of Zurich. In 2006 Trechsel assumed new functions as a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague from which he retired in 2013. While he works as an academic in penal law, his practical experience has mainly been in international human rights protection.
In 1975 Trechsel was elected member of the European Human Rights Commission of which he was President from 1995 to 1999. Trechsel is a member of various scientific bodies including the Steering Committee of the International Criminal Law Society and served for 12 years on the Board of Trustees and Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law and Criminology. He has participated in expert committees of the Confederation and the cantons of Zurich and St. Gallen for legislation in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure and immigration law.
This biography has been translated and adapted from: http://www.rwi.uzh.ch/lehreforschung/alphabetisch/trechsel/person.html last accessed 14 May 2014.