Human rights legal expert to speak Nov. 11 at Wayne Law

DETROIT – A draft treaty to address crimes against humanity will be the topic of a free lecture Tuesday, Nov. 11, sponsored by the Program for International Legal Studies at Wayne State University Law School.

Leila Sadat, an internationally recognized human rights expert and The Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, will present “A Convention for Crimes Against Humanity” from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at Wayne Law, 471 W. Palmer St. Lunch will be provided. No registration is required. Parking will be available for $7 (credit or debit cards only) in Parking Structure No. 1 across West Palmer Street from the law school.

Unlike the other two core crimes prosecuted by international criminal courts – genocide and war crimes – crimes against humanity has never been embodied in its own treaty. Sadat is the international leader of an effort to draft such a treaty.

In 2008, she launched the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative, an international effort to study the problem and to draft a global treaty addressing the punishment and prevention of crimes against humanity. The draft treaty is available in seven languages and is being debated by the United Nations International Law Commission and governments around the world.

“Leila Sadat’s initiative is one of the most exciting developments in the new field of international criminal law,” said Professor Gregory Fox, director of Wayne Law’s Program for International Legal Studies. “She is truly a pioneer, and I’m very excited to welcome her to the law school.”

Sadat is director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, and, in 2012, was appointed special advisor on crimes against humanity by International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Sadat has published more than 75 books and articles in leading journals and academic presses and serves on the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. In 2011, she was awarded the Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair in Paris – the only woman ever to receive the honor.

Sadat has held leadership positions in many professional associations and learned societies and practiced international commercial law in Paris for several years before joining the Washington University faculty. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Douglass College and her law degree from Tulane Law School. She also holds graduate law degrees from Columbia University School of Law and the University of Paris I – Sorbonne.

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