Leila Sadat

James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law

Leila Sadat

View all WashU Experts


Leila Sadat is an internationally renowned human rights expert specializing in international criminal law, public international law and foreign affairs.

The James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law at Washington University School of Law and director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute since 2007, she is a devoted teacher and award-winning scholar, publishing more than 100 books, articles and essays in leading journals, academic presses and media outlets 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, Sadat 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 was a member of the U. S. Commission for International Religious Freedom.

WashU in the News


WashU Expert: Trump Administration ‘war’ against The Hague not over

WashU Expert: Trump Administration ‘war’ against The Hague not over

The Trump Administration announced the U.S. will deny or revoke visas for International Criminal Court staff, a move aimed at deterring a potential investigation by the court into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The decision represents a rejection of the international rule of law, said Leila Sadat, director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute.