David J. Scheffer

Clinical Professor Emeritus
Director Emeritus of the Center for International Human Rights


Biography

David J. Scheffer is Clinical Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus of the Center for International Human Rights at the law school.  He retired on September 1, 2020.  From 2006 through 2020 he was the Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law and from 2006 to 2019 the Director of the Center for International Human Rights.  He taught international criminal law, international human rights law, and related subjects.  Scheffer created the International Externship Program and the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor (www.cambodiatribunal.org).

 

Professor Scheffer is Vice-President of the American Society of International Law, a Visiting Senior Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Tom A. Bernstein Genocide Prevention Fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.  From 2012 to 2018 he was the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Expert on U.N. Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials.  Professor Scheffer was the first U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001) and led the U.S. delegation to the U.N. talks establishing the International Criminal Court.  He signed the Rome Statute of the ICC on behalf of the United States on December 31, 2000.  He negotiated the creation of five war crimes tribunals and chaired the Atrocities Prevention Inter-Agency Working Group (1998-2001).

 

Professor Scheffer received the Berlin Prize in 2013 and the Champion of Justice Award of the Center for Justice and Accountability in 2018.  Foreign Policy magazine selected him as a “Top Global Thinker of 2011.”  He is a member of the New York, District of Columbia, and Supreme Court bars.  Professor Scheffer is a graduate of Harvard College, Oxford University (Worcester College), and Georgetown University Law Center.

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Areas of Expertise

  • International Criminal Law/Law of War
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Law
  • Business and Human Rights


Selected Publications

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Education

  • AB magna cum laude, Harvard University
  • BA (Honour School of Jurisprudence), Oxford University
  • LLM, Georgetown University

Prior Appointments

  • Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Director, Center for International Human Rights, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Senior Advisor and Counsel to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
  • U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues
  • Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Senior Vice President, U.N. Association of the U.S.A.
  • Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Senior Consultant, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives
  • International Affairs Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Associate, Coudert Brothers

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