Thursday, April 25, 2024

Stern Center, Great Room, 6 p.m.

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War in Gaza: An International Lawyer’s Perspective

Leila Nadya Sadat, the James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law at Washington University and a Visiting Fellow at the Schell Center for Human Rights at Yale

The current war in Gaza has roiled the international community. It has also been deeply upsetting to many in the United States. Historians, politicians, and pundits have weighed in on the origins of the conflict and its current conduct. International law, a discipline based upon global values, norms, and standards, offers a different perspective. This lecture will address the conflict from the perspective of the international lawyer, and discuss, in particular, the work of the United Nations, the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which have been tasked with bringing peace to the region and, in the case of the ICC and the ICJ, evaluating the legality of the parties’ conduct. In addition to explaining the role of international law and institutions, the lecture will reflect upon the gaps and shortcomings of the international legal system when faced with a seemingly intractable conflict.

This program is sponsored by the Program in Middle East Studies in collaboration with the Office of the President, the Provost’s Office, and the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Headshot of Leila Nadya SadatProfessor Leila Nadya Sadat is the James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law at Washington University and a visiting fellow at the Schell Center for Human Rights at Yale. She served as special adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor from 2012-2023 and was recently appointed to the Moscow Mechanism of the OSCE. A devoted teacher and prolific scholar, she is recognized for her expertise in international law, human rights, and international criminal law, publishing over 170 articles and books in leading journals, academic presses, and media outlets throughout the world. Sadat was the first woman to receive the Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair (2011) and has received many awards for her work including an Honorary Doctorate from Northwestern University, the Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award from Washington University, and the Klatsky Humanitarian Award from Case Western Reserve School of Law. In 2008, Sadat launched the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative to write the world’s first global treaty on crimes against humanity and continues to spearhead its negotiation at the UN. Closer to home, she has been working on gun violence as a human rights crisis, recently publishing Torture in our Schools? with the Harvard Law Review, addressing mass school shootings in America. She is chair of the International Law Association (American Branch), a member of the American Law Institute and the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and has held leadership positions in many other learned societies including the American Society of International Law. Sadat holds law degrees from Columbia and Tulane Law Schools, and the University of Paris I – Sorbonne. Prior to entering the academy, she clerked for U.S. Appeals Judge Albert Tate, Jr., at the French Cour de Cassation and Conseil d’état, and practiced international commercial law in Paris, France for several years.