Leila Nadya Sadat

Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law, 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. 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

  • "The Proposed Restatement Fourth of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States: Treaties - Some Serious Procedural and Substantive Concerns," B.Y.U. L. Rev. – (2015) (forthcoming)
  • "Impunity through Immunity: The Kenya Situation and the International Criminal Court (with Benjamin Cohen)
  • "Seeking Accountability for the Unlawful use of Force" (edited volume, in progress)
  • "Peacetime Crimes Against Humanity: The Civilian Population Requirement"
  • "From Auschwitz to Isis: Crimes Against Humanity in the Modern Age"

Selected Recent Books

  • Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity (2d ed. Leila Nadya Sadat, ed., Cambridge 2013)
  • International Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (4th ed., Carolina, 2013) (with Bassiouni, Paust, et al.)
  • 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

  • "Genocide in Syria: International Legal Options, International Legal Limits, and the Serious Problem of Political Will, "Impunity Watch L.J. 1 (2015)[SSRN]
  • "Codifying the Laws of Humanity and the “Dictates of the Public Conscience” Towards a New Global Treaty on Crimes Against Humanity, " in On the Proposed Crimes Against Humanity Convention 17 (Bergmo & Song, eds., 2014) [SSRN]
  • "Crimes Against Humanity: Limits, Leverage and Future Concerns, " in The First Global Prosecutor(Martha Minow & Alex Whiting, eds.) (Univ. of Michigan Press, 2014)
  • "Can the ICTY Šainović and Perišić Cases Be Reconciled? "108 American Journal of International Law 475 (2014)[SSRN]
  • "Seven Canons of ICC Treaty Interpretation: Making Sense of Article 25’s Rorschach Blot," 27 Leiden Journal of International Law 755 (2014)[SSRN]
  • "Crimes Against Humanity in the Modern Age, " 107 American Journal of International Law334 (2013)[SSRN]
  • "America’s Drone Wars, "45 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 215 (2013)[SSRN]
  • "Avoiding the Creation of a Gender Ghetto in International Criminal Law," 11 International Criminal Law Review 655 (2011) (symposium in honor of Judge Patricia Wald)[SSRN]
  • “On the Shores of Lake Victoria: Africa and the Review Conference for the International Criminal Court,” AFLA Quarterly 10 (2010) [SSRN]

Representative Scholarship

  • “The Nuremberg Paradox,” 58 American Journal of Comparative Law 151 (2010) [SSRN]
  • “Extraordinary Rendition, Torture, and Other Nightmares from the War on Terror,” 75 George Washington University Law Review 1200 (2007) [SSRN]
  • "The International Criminal Court and the Transformation of International Law" (Transnational, 2002)

Recent Activities

  • Expert Commentator, Workshop on the Drafting of a Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity, 19-21 November 2015, International Nuremberg Principles Academy Germany
  • Srebenica, twenty-years later, 9th International Humanitarian Law Dialogs, August 20 – September 1, 2015
  • Crimes Against Humanity in Peacetime, International Criminal Court Lecture Series, The Hague, The Netherlands, July 9, 2015
  • International Criminal Law’s "Colour" Problem, Global Conference on Colorism, Washington University, April 1-2, 2015
  • International Criminal Law Colloquium, Columbia Law School, December 5, 2014