Leila Sadat

Leila Sadat has been very busy since arriving at Washington University School of Law in 1992. In 1994, she started working on establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC). Leila was asked to Chair a newly created Committee on the Court by the President of the American Branch of the International Law Association. This led Leila to attend the Diplomatic Conference in Rome in 1998. At this conference the ICC Statute was negotiated and a treaty for the Court was adopted. Since 1998, Leila has followed, written about, observed and discussed the ICC’s work. This led to her appointment in 2012 as Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.

Leila’s next project was the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative. She started this project when she became the director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute in 2007. With a small group of very distinguished experts Leila set out to study the continuing scourge of crimes against humanity around the globe. Together they drafted the world’s first global treaty on crimes against humanity. The text was completed and model adopted in 2010. This treaty has been translated into seven different languages and was taken up by the United Nations International Law Commission last year.

“There is an obvious need for a treaty covering the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity. Unlike genocide and war crimes, crimes against humanity are not yet the subject of a comprehensive treaty prohibiting them. Protecting the victims-and future victims from these crimes is a daunting, but doable task if states are willing to commit resources to it. Imposing clear legal obligations on states is difficult, but it is essential for the promotion of International peace and security. The Harris Institute is proud to be leading the campaign to negotiate and adopt this new treaty. I am personally grateful for the tremendous support that Washington University has leant this effort. This effort would not have been successful without the backing of the School of Law and the financial support provided by Alumni, Cash Nickerson. Many current and former students have worked on this project. My hope is that in a few years I will be attending another diplomatic conference, along with my students, to negotiate a new convention on crimes against humanity.” -Leila Sadat

Learn more about Leila Sadat from the School of Law: Leila Sadat

Crimes Against Humanity in the Modern Age

Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity