Professor Sarah Cleveland’s selection for the International Court of Justice

Professor Sarah Cleveland, a renowned expert in international law.

Professor Sarah Cleveland, a renowned expert in international law with a wealth of experience in multilateral forums, will be put forward by the U.S. National Group to the Permanent Court of Arbitration for election to the International Court of Justice in 2023. We wholeheartedly endorse her election.

The International Court of Justice’s work is highly valued by the United States. The International Court of Justice is crucial to the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the advancement of the rule of law as the primary judicial body of the United Nations. The United States continues to acknowledge the Court’s contributions to upholding global peace and security as well as, more generally, to achieving UN goals and principles.

Professor Sarah Cleveland is a committed student of international law who possesses the skills, wisdom, and devotion to the rule of law needed to assist the Court in its crucial work in the years to come. She is a fantastic pick for this important post. We request support from other UN members for Professor Cleveland in 2023.

In addition to teaching international law, serving as the Counselor on International Law in the Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser (2009–2011), and serving as Vice Chair and a member of the UN Human Rights Committee, Professor Cleveland has had a long and distinguished career in the service of international law (2015–2018). She has been a faculty member at Columbia University Law School in New York since 2007, where she currently holds the Louis Henkin Chair in Human and Constitutional Rights. A member of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s Ad Hoc Conciliation Commission for Qatar v. United Arab Emirates, Professor Cleveland also served as the United States’ observer and representative on the European Commission for Democracy Through Law (Venice Commission) from 2010 to 2019. She has taught international law as a visiting professor at institutions in Italy, Switzerland, the UK, and France’s Sciences-Po University and University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II). She has written extensively on the subject of international law and has taken part in cases involving that law in the United States and before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She continues to hold the positions of Commissioner for the International Commission of Jurists, Council Member of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, and Member of My Advisory Committee on International Law.

Professor Cleveland graduated with honors from Brown University with a Bachelor’s degree. She then attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar for her Master’s degree and Yale University Law School for her J.D. She served as a law clerk for both Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the US Supreme Court and Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer of the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

We fully support Professor Cleveland and hope that the International Court of Justice will be able to take use of her knowledge and experience.

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