On Oct. 25, Leila Sadat of Washington University School of Law delivered the 2023 Klatsky Endowed Distinguished Lecture in Human Rights and received the Cox International Law Center Humanitarian Award for Advancing Global Justice.
The author of several award-winning books on human rights and international criminal law, a decade ago, Sadat launched the initiative to establish a Convention on Crimes against Humanity modeled upon the Genocide Convention. She convened a group of experts to discuss the concept, prepared a draft treaty and then convinced the UN International Law Commission to take it up. The ILC reported the convention favorably to the United Nations General Assembly, which is poised to recommend it for adoption. Joining the likes of Raphael Lemkin, Sadat will be one of a few private citizens in history to have authored a major human rights convention. In her lecture, Sadat provided the inside account of her quest — an unforgettable international law story.
The Klatsky Endowed Distinguished Lecture in Human Rights was created in 2001 by Bruce J. Klatsky, chair and CEO of Phillips Van Heusen Corp., and a member of the board of directors of Human Rights Watch. The Klatsky endowment also provides annual fellowships for two CWRU law students at Human Rights Watch. The list of past Klatsky Lecturers is a veritable "who's who" among the most impactful human rights luminaries on the planet, including: Samantha Power (US Ambassador to the UN), Harold Koh (Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights), Prince Zeid Bin Ra'ad (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights), Sir Christopher Greenwood (Judge of the International Court of Justice), Ken Roth (Executive Director of Human Rights Watch), Nicholas Koumjian (head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar), Catherine March-Uhel (head of the UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria), Michael Reisman (President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights), Albie Sachs (anti-Apartheid activist and later Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa), Sean Murphy (member of the UN International Law Commission and President of the American Society of International Law), Paul Williams (President of the Public International Law and Policy Group) and Fatou Bensouda (Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court).