Washington DC, 5 April 2023 (TDI): The United States (US) has endorsed Professor Sarah Cleveland for election to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In a statement released today, Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his support for Professor Cleveland’s nomination to the ICJ. “We are pleased to nominate Professor Sarah Cleveland for election to the International Court of Justice.”

“Professor Cleveland is an esteemed scholar of international law who also has extensive experience in multilateral settings.

Her knowledge, experience, and dedication to the rule of law make her an outstanding choice for this important position,” Blinken further added.

Experience and expertise of Sarah Cleveland

To mention, Professor Cleveland is currently the Louis Henkin Chair in Human and Constitutional Rights and Faculty Co-Director of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia University Law School in New York.

She has also taught at Harvard and Michigan law schools, University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and Sciences-Po University in France, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland & the European University Institute in Italy.

Furthermore, Professor Cleveland fulfilled the role of vice chair and member of the UN Human Rights Committee. She has also served as a US member of the European Commission for Democracy Through Law (Venice Commission) of the Council of Europe.

She is presently a member of the Ad Hoc Conciliation Commission for Qatar v. United Arab Emirates in the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Sarah Cleveland
Columbia Law Professor Sarah Cleveland to be nominated to the International Court of Justice

From 2009 to 2011, Professor Cleveland served as Counselor on International Law in the US Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser.

She continues to serve as a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists, a Council Member of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, and a member of the US Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law.

As a noted expert in US foreign relations law, Professor Cleveland was also the Co-Coordinating Reporter of the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the US.

Early education of Sarah Cleveland

Before joining academia and government, Professor Cleveland began her career in public interest practice representing migrant farmworkers.

She earned her Bachelor’s Degree with honors at Brown University, her Master’s Degree at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and her J.D. at Yale University Law School.

Additionally, she clerked for Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer on the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and then for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the US Supreme Court.

The International Court of Justice is an important institution for the peaceful settlement of disputes, and the US values its work.

In a nutshell, Professor Cleveland’s expertise and commitment to the rule of law make her an excellent candidate for the Court, and the US strongly supports her election in Fall 2023.

As Secretary Blinken said, “Professor Cleveland has been an excellent ambassador for international law and possesses the strength, commitment, and vision to help guide the Court in its important work in the years ahead.”

“We hope that other countries will join us in supporting her election to the International Court of Justice.”

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