Three Decades of Progress

Gund Hall front entrance

The Frederick K. Cox International Law Center marks its 30th anniversary this year. In honor of the occasion, we’re taking a look back at some of the remarkable accomplishments of our past three decades.

  • 1991: A multimillion-dollar gift from the Gund Foundation endows the Cox International Law Center. That same year, CWRU launches its LLM program for lawyers from outside the United States, which now enrolls more than 130 foreign students a year. 
  • 2001: Bruce J. Klatsky, chair and CEO of Phillips Van Heusen Corp. and a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch, provides a special endowment to the law school for a human rights lecture series and an annual fellowship for two students to Human Rights Watch. 
  • 2002: The Cox Center’s War Crimes Research Office and War Crimes Research Lab are established, now 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. 
  • 2004: Cox Center creates 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, is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone for its work, which led to the successful prosecution of Liberian President Charles Taylor.
  • 2007: CWRU approves semester-long foreign internships at international tribunals. That same year, CWRU adds three specialized LLM degree programs. 
  • 2008: CWRU wins the World Championship of the Jessup International Law Moot Court competition.
  • 2009: CWRU launches fundraising initiative resulting in an endowment for internship support in honor of the late Henry King (1918-2009), a CWRU professor and former Nuremberg prosecutor. 
  • 2011: CWRU Jessup Team wins the Baxter Award for best brief in the worldwide competition. The Cox Center develops a Human Rights Documentary Film series, which brings in filmmakers to lead discussions of the films.
  • 2012: CWRU becomes the only law school with its own talk radio show when it debuts “Talking Foreign Policy” radio program, hosted by Michael Scharf, on WCPN, Cleveland’s NPR station. 
  • 2013: CWRU launches first international law massive open online course (MOOC) on Coursera. To date, over 135,000 students from 139 countries have taken the “Introduction to International Criminal Law” free MOOC. CWRU creates Maritime Piracy Prosecution Project, providing assistance to tribunals in Kenya, Mauritious and the Seychelles. CWRU launches its SJD program, which now enrolls 60 foreign students a year.
  • 2014: CWRU debuts first concurrent degree program with Comilas University in Madrid, through which students can spend their 3L year abroad and graduate with both a foreign LLM and our JD degree in just three years. Subsequently, CWRU has added concurrent degree programs with Middlesex University in London and University of Paris. 
  • 2015: Our Canada-U.S. Law Institute celebrates its 40th anniversary.
  • 2016: Immigration Law Clinic is established. Under the law school’s new capstone requirement, 3L students earn a semester of credit externing at any international institution. The Cox Center launches annual Trade Law Conference, organized by Co-Director Juscelino Colares. The new Master of Arts in Financial Integrity degree launches. 
  • 2018: Students and faculty create the Yemen Accountability Project. Funded by a grant from the John F. and Mary A. Geisse Foundation, 70 students working under the supervision of Professor James Johnson produce whitepapers, a conflict narrative, a crime-based matrix, draft indictments and analytical dossiers to lay the groundwork for eventual prosecutions. 
  • 2019: Cox Center submits its first Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, in a case concerning the interpretation of the Hague Child Abduction Convention. The International Criminal Court cites a report on crimes against the Rohingya people written by several CWRU law professors and alumni.  
  • 2020: Cox Center hosts the 10th annual American Society of International Law Midyear Meeting.
  • 2021: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court cites the Amicus Brief written by Dean Scharf and colleagues in the Ntaganda case.