Celebrating 30 years: A brief history of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center

Frederick K. Cox, Executive Director of the Gund Foundation and members of the Gund family
1991

The Cox International Law Center is endowed by a multi-million dollar gift of the Gund Foundation. That same year, CWRU launched its LLM program for foreign lawyers which now enrolls more than 70 students a year.

Bruce J. Klatsky, Chairman and CEO of Phillips Van Heusen Corporation and a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch, provided a special endowment to the law school for a human rights lecture series and an annual fellowship for two students to Human Rights Watch.

Pictured: Frederick K. Cox, Executive Director of the Gund Foundation and members of the Gund family.

Photo of War Crimes students and memos (2002)
2002

Cox Center War Crimes Research Office and War Crimes Research Lab are established, currently directed by James Johnson, former Chief of Prosecutions of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. To date, the Office has provided over 250 research memos to international tribunals, piracy courts, INTERPOL and the U.S. military commissions.

  2003

The Institute for National Security Law and Policy is established. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law (established in 1968) moves to a double issue symposium format. 

Pictured: Co-Dean Michael Scharf, then director of the Cox Center, poses with students in the War Crimes Research lab.

Photo of Charles Taylor in court
2004

Cox Center establishes the International Humanitarian Award for Advancing Global Justice; UN Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs Hans Corell is the inaugural recipient.

 2005

Cox Center War Crimes Research program, in association with the Public International Law and Policy Group, are nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone for work leading to the successful prosecution of Liberian President Charles Taylor.

 2006

Cox Center launches the bi-weekly War Crimes Prosecution Watch e-newsletter, which currently has 15,000 subscribers.

Pictured: Liberian President Charles Taylor appears before the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Jessup Cup Trophy
2007

CWRU approves semester-long foreign internships at international tribunals. That same year, CWRU adds three LLM degree programs.

 2008

CWRU Jessup International Law Moot Court team wins the Jessup World Championship, and CWRU student Margaux Day wins the Best Championship Round Oralist Award.

  2009

CWRU launches fundraising initiative resulting in an endowment for internship support in honor of the late Henry King (1918-2009), CWRU professor and former Nuremberg Prosecutor.

Pictured: The Jessup Cup, awarded to the Case Western Reserve University School of Law for winning the 2008 Jessup World Championship.

Talking Foreign Policy
2011

CWRU Jessup Team wins the Baxter Award for best brief in the world-wide competition. The Cox Center establishes 
a Human Rights Documentary Film series, which brings in the filmmaker to lead a discussion of the film.

 2012

The Cox Center launches “Talking Foreign Policy,” a quarterly radio program produced by WCPN 90.3 FM Ideastream, Cleveland’s NPR station. In 2017, the program was renewed for a fifth year.

 2013

CWRU launches first international law MOOC (free online course) on Coursera. To date, over 125,000 students from 139 countries have taken the “Introduction to International Criminal Law” MOOC. CWRU launches Maritime Piracy Prosecution Project, providing assistance to tribunals in Kenya, Mauritius and Seychelles. CWRU launches its SJD program, which now enrolls 50 foreign students a year.

 2014

CWRU establishes first concurrent degree program with Comillas University in Madrid under which students can spend their 3L year abroad and graduate with both the foreign LLM and our JD degree in just three years. Subsequently, CWRU has added concurrent degree programs with Middlesex University in London, University of Paris and Zhejing University in China. 

Pictured: Co-Dean Michael Scharf poses for a photo after recording an episode of "Talking Foreign Policy" on WCPN.

Case Western Reserve Law Student Garo Yaghsezian at the University of Paris
2015

Our Canada-U.S. Law Institute celebrates its 40th anniversary.

 2016

Immigration Law Clinic established. Under Law School’s new capstone requirement, 3L students earn a semester of credit externing at any international institution. Dean Michael Scharf named among the most cited law professors in international law, according to Brian Leiter’s Law Reports. Law School launches Master of Financial Integrity degree. 

 2018

The Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law celebrates its 50th Anniversary.  The Journal, which publishes an annual double volume symposium issue, is one of the oldest and most-cited international law journals in the country.  

 2019

With funding from the Geise Foundation, the Cox Center launches the Yemen Accountability Project (YAP) to document war crimes and crimes against humanity for eventual international prosecution.  70 students joined YAP under the supervision of the director of the Cox Center War Crimes Office, Jim Johnson.  Also in 2019, the Cox Center submits its first Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court.

Pictured: Garo Yaghsezian, a recent graduate of the law school's Foreign Concurrent Degree Program.