Leila Nadya Sadat


Leila Nadya Sadat

Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law and Israel Treiman Faculty Fellow, Director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute and the Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor. Blogs: Windows on the World: A Commentary on international law, global justice,.... and Lex lata, lex ferenda (The law as it is, the law as it should be)  


B.A., 1980, Douglass College
J.D., 1985, Tulane University
LL.M., 1987, Columbia University
D.E.A., 1988, University of Paris - Sorbonne 

Curriculum Vitae




Jamie Roggen - (314) 935-6432

Phone / Email

Phone: (314) 935-6411
E-mail: sadat@wustl.edu 


Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 564


Courses Taught

Civil Procedure
Criminal Law
European Union Law
Foreign Affairs
International Criminal Law
International Human Rights
Jessup International Law Moot Court Team
Public International Law
Terrorism and Human Rights


Leila Sadat is an internationally recognized human rights expert specializing in international criminal law and justice. The Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law and director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute since 2007, she is a dedicated teacher and award-winning scholar, publishing more than 90 books and articles in leading journals and academic presses throughout the world. She is currently serving as an Israel Treiman Faculty Fellow at Washington University Law School. In December 2012, International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda appointed her as Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity. Earlier that year she was elected to membership in the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. In 2011, she was awarded the Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair in Paris, France, the first woman to receive such an honor. 

In 2008, she launched the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative, an international effort to study the problem of crimes against humanity and draft a global treaty addressing their punishment and prevention. The draft treaty is now available in seven languages and is currently being debated by the UN International Law Commission and governments around the world. From 2001-2003 Sadat served on the U. S. Commission for International Religious Freedom. Bilingual in English and French, Sadat has lectured or taught at academic institutions throughout the world, and holds or has held leadership positions in many professional associations and learned societies. Prior to joining the faculty at Washington University, she practiced international commercial law in Paris, France for several years. Sadat clerked for Judge Albert Tate, Jr., U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and for both the French Conseil d’Etat and the Cour de Cassation. Sadat earned her B.A. from Douglass College, her J.D. from Tulane Law School (summa cum laude) and holds graduate law degrees from Columbia University School of Law (LLM, summa cum laude) and the University of Paris I – Sorbonne (diplôme d’études approfondies).


Representative Publications

Forthcoming Scholarship and Works in Progress

  • “A Rawlsian Approach to International Criminal Justice and the International Criminal Court,” 19:1 Tulane Journal of International & Comparative Law (forthcoming) [SSRN]
  • “Unpacking the Complexities of International Criminal Tribunal Jurisdiction,”
    Routledge Handbook of International Criminal Law (eds. W. Schabas and N. Bernaz) Routledge (forthcoming) [SSRN]
  • “The Specificity of International Criminal Law”
  • L’effet inutile of The Genocide Convention”
  • “Justice and Deterrence in International Criminal Law”
  • “Africa and the International Criminal Court”

Selected Recent Books

  • Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity, (ed. L. SadatCambridge University Press (2011) [more] 
  • The Theory and Practice of International Criminal Law: Essays in Honor of M. Cherif Bassiouni (eds. L. Sadat & M. Scharf), Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (2008) 

Selected Recent Articles and Essays

  • “The Nuremberg Paradox,” 58 American Journal of Comparative Law 151 (2010) [SSRN]  
  • “On the Shores of Lake Victoria: Africa and the Review Conference for the International Criminal Court,” AFLA Quarterly 10 (2010) [SSRN]
  • “Transjudicial Dialogue and the Rwandan Genocide: Aspects of Antagonism and Complementarity,” 22 Leiden Journal of International Law 543 (2009); reprinted in Proceedings of the Second International Humanitarian Law Dialogs 123 (ASIL 2009) [SSRN]  
  • “A Presumption of Guilt: The Unlawful Enemy Combatant and the U.S. War on Terror,” 37 Denver Journal of International Law 539 (2009) 

Representative Scholarship

  • “Extraordinary Rendition, Torture, and Other Nightmares from the War on Terror,” 75 George Washington University Law Review 1200 (2007) [SSRN]

Recent Activities

  • Presented “A Proposed Convention for Crimes Against Humanity,” John Marshall Law School
  • Served as a panelist on “Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity,” International Law Weekend, 92nd Annual Meeting of the American Branch of the International Law Association, Fordham Law School