January 12, 2010

Book Discussion: Michael Scharf and "Shaping Foreign Policy in Times of Crisis: The Role of International Law and the State Department Legal Adviser"


Michael Scharf, professor of law and director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University, will lead a discussion about his new book, "Shaping Foreign Policy in Times of Crisis: The Role of International Law and the State Department Legal Adviser," at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Lyndhurst at Legacy Village.

According to publisher Cambridge University Press, the book, which was co-authored by Paul R. Williams, grew out of a series of meetings that Scharf convened with all 10 former U.S. State Department legal advisers - from the Carter Administration to that of George W. Bush.

C-SPAN Book TV is scheduled to cover this event.

Based on insider accounts of the role that international law actually has played during times of crisis, the book explores whether international law is real law or just a form of politics that policymakers are free to ignore whenever they perceive it to be in their interest to do so.

The Cambridge catalog description further states : "Written in a style that will appeal to the casual reader and serious scholar alike, the book includes a foreword by the Obama administration’s State Department legal adviser, Harold Koh; background on the theoretical underpinnings of the compliance debate; an in-depth case study of the treatment of detainees in the war on terror, and a comprehensive glossary of the terms, names, places and events that are discussed in the book."

In 2004-05, Scharf served as a member of the international team of experts that provided training to the judges of the Iraqi High Tribunal. In 2006 he led the first training session for the investigative judges and prosecutors of the newly established U.N. Cambodia Genocide Tribunal, and in November 2008 he served as Special Assistant to the Prosecutor of the Cambodia Tribunal.

He and co-author Michael A. Newton wrote "Enemy of the State: The Trial and Execution of Saddam Hussein" published in 2008 by St. Martin’s Press.

Scharf is currently co-leader of a USAID-funded project to assist the government of Uganda in establishing a special war crimes chamber and truth commission.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, January 12, 2010 08:48 AM | News Topics: Authors, Events, Faculty, features

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