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Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Follow Saddam's Trial on Case Western's Blog

The trial of Saddam Hussein, scheduled to begin October 19, is expected to be among the most important trials in legal history. To help journalists, academics, and the public keep abreast of and understand developments related to the trial, the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law has launched the Saddam Hussein trial blog and interactive website at: http://www.law.case.edu/saddamtrial.

The new website features the key documents related to the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST), answers to frequently asked questions, and expert debate and public commentary on the major issues and developments related to the trials of Saddam and other former Iraqi leaders.

The site is the first to publicly post an English translation of the newly revised IST Statute and Rules of Procedure, which were promulgated on August 11, 2005, by the Iraqi Provisional Legislature. It also includes English translations of such hard-to-find documents as the Iraqi Penal Code and the Iraqi Code of Criminal Procedure, which will be relevant to the Saddam Trial.

“This new, interactive website is an extension of the valuable work the faculty and students at our law school have been doing to train and advise the judges who will preside over the Saddam Hussein trial,” said Gerald Korngold, dean and McCurdy Professor of Law. “We are pleased that our Cox international law center has been able to make such a significant contribution to these historic judicial proceedings.”

Contributors to the site include a panel of 12 renowned legal experts who will provide commentary on the critical issues and breaking news related to the trial. Issues debated on the website include: Does Saddam Hussein have a right to represent himself; should his trial be televised gavel to gavel; will the trial be fair; is the IST legitimate; should the IST impose the death penalty; and can Saddam Hussein be convicted of genocide for the crimes alleged?

Expert contributors include:

  • Michael Scharf, professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, who has led training sessions for the IST judges and provides ongoing research assistance to the tribunal as head of its academic consortium
  • Cherif Bassiouni, Distinguished Research Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law and president of the International Human Rights Law Institute, who helped draft the IST Statute
  • Laura Dickinson, associate professor at University of Connecticut School of Law, who served as senior advisor to the deputy assistant secretary of state for human rights in the Clinton administration
  • Linda Malone, Marshall-Wythe Foundation Professor of Law and director of the Human Rights and National Security Law Program at the College of William and Mary School of Law, who serves as a member of the IST’s academic consortium
  • Col. (Ret.) Michael Newton of Vanderbilt School of Law, who helped draft the IST Rules of Procedure
  • Christopher Rassi, deputy director of the Case School of Law War Crimes Research Office, who has served as a legal assistant to the judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
  • Leila N. Sadat, the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law and author of the award-winning book The International Criminal Court and the Transformation of International Law
  • William Schabas, director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights and one of the world’s leading authorities on human rights and war crimes trials
  • David Scheffer, former U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, who has worked for the past 10 years to bring Saddam Hussein to justice
  • Ruth Wedgwood, the Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy and director of the International Law and Organization Program at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, who has served as the U.S. Expert Member on the U.N. Human Rights Committee
  • Paul Williams, professor of law and international relations at American University’s Washington College of Law and executive director of the Public International Law and Policy Group, who helped draft Iraq’s new constitution

In addition Scharf, who along with Williams was nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for the work he has done assisting in the trials of major war criminals, is available to provide commentary for reporting on the Saddam Hussein trial. He can be reached at Michael.Scharf@case.edu; phone: (216) 368-3299; cell: (216) 534-7796.  [Mark Godsey]

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