case western reserve university



Case school of law to host debate over whether Saddam Hussein can receive a fair trial

With an Iraqi tribunal continuing its preparations to try Saddam Hussein for war crimes, some international and human rights lawyers are asking whether the inexperience of the judges and the publicity surrounding the case will make it impossible for Hussein to receive a fair trial.

Two legal experts with intimate knowledge of the law and the charges against the former Iraqi leader will debate the questions of whether Hussein can get a fair trial and whether he has any legitimate defense on Thursday, January 13, 2005 from 12-1 p.m. at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland. The debate will take place in Room A59 and is free and open to the public. One hour of CLE credit will be available, pending approval.

Gerald Korngold, dean and McCurdy Professor of Law said, “We are pleased to bring this expertise to our community for one of the world’s most significant war crimes trials.”

Arguing Hussein’s side will be Curtis F.J. Doebbler, an international human rights lawyer and one of the attorneys representing him before the Iraqi Special Tribunal. Doebbler has represented individuals before international human rights bodies in the United Nations, European, African and Inter-American systems for the protection of human rights, and advised governments and non-governmental organizations on international human rights law. A story about his representation of Hussein recently appeared in the Village Voice:

Arguing the other side will be Michael Scharf, professor of law and director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case and its War Crimes Research Office, and one of the trainers of the Iraqi judges who will preside over Hussein’s trial. A former State Department official and author of eight books, Scharf has won two national book awards and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His op-ed, "Can This Man Get A Fair Trial?" was published in the December 19 Washington Post, and he has appeared on National Public Radio, CNN, ABC World News Tonight, "The O'Reilly Factor," and "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” to discuss the impending trial. A story about Scharf's work with the Iraqi Special Tribunal recently appeared in the Associated Press:

For more information about this event call (216) 368-3304 or visit the Cox Center Website at Scharf can be reached at (216) 368-3299 or


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Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.