Human Rights and Diplomacy Symposium

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

10:00 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.

Please join the Journal of Human Rights for our 2021 Symposium on Human Rights and Diplomacy, on Thursday, April 8th, 2021 from 10:00 am to 3:05 pm CDT. We welcome you to a sweeping look at pressing international human rights issues and the diplomatic processes that impact or protect them in a program led by globally renowned experts in law and diplomacy. Topics include the Rohingya crisis, human rights under Biden, accountability in peace agreements, the creation of a treaty on crimes against humanity, and online censorship of Kashmiri activism. We have some impressive speakers lined up for you this year, including former U.S. ambassadors, cease-fire negotiators, and internationally recognized human rights attorneys. The format entails a Q&A period after each speaker led by a Northwestern alumni and/or professor.

PDF of Program | One-Page Overview of Program



10:00-10:05 a.m.


10:05-11:00 a.m.

Topic: Ensuring Justice for the Rohingya: Role of Bangladeshi People

Q&A by Professor Thomas Geraghty

SPEAKER: Dr. Cameron Munter

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Topic: “Reform & Restore,” The Biden Admin. & Human Rights

Q&A by Professor Diane Amann

SPEAKER: Dr. Paul Williams

12:00-1:00 p.m.

Topic: “Negotiating Justice,” Accountability in Peace Processes

Q&A by Ms. Sara K. Andrews, Esq.

SPEAKER: Dr. Leila Sadat

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Topic: Forging a Convention on Crimes Against Humanity

Q&A by Professor Bridget Arimond

SPEAKER: Ms. Sehla Ashai, Esq.

2:00-3:00 p.m.

Topic: Diplomacy & Online Censorship of Kashmiri Activism

Q&A by Professor David Scheffer


3:00-3:05 p.m.



Ms. Sarah Hossain, 2016 Recipient of the International Women of Courage Award

Topic: Ensuring Justice for the Rohingya: Role of Bangladeshi People

Ms. Sarah Hossain is a Bangladeshi attorney who received the International Women of Courage Award in 2016 from the United States Secretary of State John Kerry, for “empowering women and girls, and for giving voice to the voiceless in Bangladesh through [her] relentless legal advocacy.” She currently works as a barrister at the bar of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and is an honorary executive director of the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST). She has also been involved in supporting human rights litigation before national and international courts, including the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the use of international and comparative human rights law.


Dr. Cameron Munter, Former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan & Former President/CEO of the EastWest Institute (EWI)

Topic: “Reform or Restore,” The Biden Administration & Human Rights

Dr. Cameron Munter has served as a diplomat, academic, executive and global consultant throughout his illustrious career. He was the President and CEO of the EastWest Institute (EWI), a nonprofit dedicated to international conflict resolution from 2015 to 2019, directing conflict resolution projects in Russia, China, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Balkans. From 2010 to 2012 under President Obama, Dr. Munter was the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, where he deftly guided U.S.-Pakistani relations through a strained period. He also served as the U.S. Ambassador to Serbia from 2007 to 2009 under President Bush. Dr. Munter was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic and volunteered to lead the first Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq. Previously, he was the Director for Central Europe at the National Security Council. After his service in Pakistan, Dr. Munter taught International Relations at Columbia University and Pomona College prior to his appointment at the EWI.

Dr. Paul R. Williams, Co-Founder of the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) & Rebecca I. Grazier Professor of Law and International Relations at American University

Topic: “Negotiating Justice,” Accountability in Peace Processes

Dr. Paul R. Williams holds the Rebecca I. Grazier Professorship in Law and International Relations at American University. Dr. Williams teaches at the School of International Service and the Washington College of Law and also directs the joint JD/MA program in International Relations. He is the co-founder of the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), a non-profit group, which provides pro bono legal assistance to states and governments involved in peace negotiations, post-conflict constitution drafting, and war crimes prosecutions. Over the course of his legal practice, Dr. Williams has assisted over two dozen peace negotiations and post conflict constitutions. A heavyweight in the field of transitional justice, he has advised governments across Europe, Asia, as well as North and Sub-Saharan Africa on state recognition, self-determination and state succession issues, and on drafting and implementation of post-conflict constitutions. Dr. Williams also previously testified before congressional committees concerning peace strategy in Kosovo to hold war criminals accountable. He is a leading scholar on peace negotiations and post-conflict constitutions, and is a highly sought-after international law and policy analyst, being interviewed on over 500 occasions by major media outlets including The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, BBC, and CNN.

Dr. Leila N. Sadat, Special Advisor on Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor & James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law at Washington University, St. Louis

Topic: Forging a Convention on Crimes Against Humanity

Dr. Leila N. Sadat currently serves as Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor. Trained in the common law and civil law systems, she is an internationally recognized authority and prolific scholar writing in the fields of public international law, international criminal law, human rights and foreign affairs. She has published more than 150 books and articles in leading journals, academic presses, and media outlets throughout the world and regularly lectures and teaches abroad. She is the Director of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative, a ground-breaking project to write the world’s first global treaty on crimes against humanity, and the current President of the International Law Association (American Branch) as well as a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute. In 2017, Dr. Sadat received an honorary doctorate from Northwestern University. In 2011, she became the first woman to receive the Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair in Paris, France. She has also been serving as the Director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute since 2007.

Ms. Sehla Ashai, Esq., Immigration and Human Rights Attorney, & Adjunct Professor at Texas A&M School of Law Immigration Law Clinic

Topic: Diplomacy & Online Censorship of Kashmiri Activism

Ms. Sehla Ashai is a Kashmiri-American attorney specializing in human rights, immigration, human trafficking and child protection. She currently serves at Of Counsel at Elbially Law, PLLC, and was an Adjunct Professor at the Immigration Law Clinic at the Texas A&M School of Law, leading the effort to file a petition in federal court in May demanding that ICE immediately release 11 medically vulnerable immigrants from the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, Texas. She was formerly the Director of Immigration Litigation at the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America. She has previously worked on relief projects in Haiti, provided legal aid to victims of violence, organized labor for taxi drivers, and acted as a program specialist in nonprofit program development.

Q&A Leads

Professor Thomas Geraghty, Class of 1967 James B. Haddad Professor of Law

Professor Thomas Geraghty is the Class of 1967 James B. Haddad Professor of Law, and formerly the Associate Dean for Clinical Legal Education and Director of the Bluhm Legal Clinic at the Northwestern University School of Law, which houses 35 clinical faculty members and enrolls 170 students each year. In addition to teaching, fund-raising, and administrative responsibilities, Professor Geraghty maintains an active caseload at the Bluhm Legal Clinic, concentrating primarily in criminal and juvenile defense, death penalty appeals, child-centered projects dealing with the representation of children and juvenile court reform. During the last 10 years, Professor Geraghty has also worked in Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi on research projects with law students involving juvenile justice, the legal problems of street children, the status of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, women in the legal profession, and freedom of the press, helping to design a clinical curriculum for the Addis Ababa University School of Law, performing an assessment of Legal Education in Ethiopia for ABA/ROLI and completing Justice Audit Bangladesh, a comprehensive analysis of the country’s criminal justice system.

Professor Diane Marie Amann, Special Advisor on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict to the ICC Prosecutor & Visiting Professor of Law

In addition to serving as a visiting faculty member at Northwestern, Professor Diane M. Amann holds the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and is Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, where she previously was Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives. An expert in child rights, international criminal law, and related fields of national and international law, Amann has served the Special Adviser to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict since 2012. Professor Amann’s scholarship addresses issues related to international criminal justice, human and child rights, constitutional law, and security governance, recently examining roles played by women professionals at the post-World War II international trials, and legal regimes designed to prevent and punish international crimes against and affecting children. She received the 2013 Prominent Women in International Law Award from ASIL’s Women in International Law Interest Group as well as the 2010 Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law from the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law.

Sara K. Andrews, Esq. Assistant Director of New Perimeter & Senior International Pro Bono Counsel, NLaw Class ‘04

Ms. Sara K. Andrews serves as Assistant Director of New Perimeter and Senior International Pro Bono Counsel. In this role, Ms. Andrews helps lead the strategic direction of the program. She also develops and works on New Perimeter projects and manages global teams of DLA Piper lawyers. Ms. Andrews has led and contributed to projects focused on legal education, law reform, access to justice, women’s rights and economic development throughout Africa, the Balkans and Latin America. She has developed partnerships with NGOs, government agencies and other joint venture partners. Before joining New Perimeter full-time, Ms. Andrews practiced in DLA Piper’s litigation group. During that time, she participated in New Perimeter’s Kosovo Law Reform Project. She was seconded to the Ministry of Justice in Pristina, Kosovo, providing legislative drafting assistance to the Kosovar Government on laws creating the Kosovo judicial and prosecutorial systems. She also provided training to Kosovar lawyers on legislative drafting techniques, legal ethics and oral and written advocacy. Ms. Andrews currently sits on the Board of Women Win, an international organization using sport as a strategy to advance women’s rights in developing countries.

Professor Bridget Arimond, Clinical Professor of Law

Director, LLM Program for International Human Rights

Professor Bridget Arimond is the Director of the LL.M. Program in International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law School and a Clinical Professor of Law with the law school’s Center for International Human Rights. She teaches Human Rights Advocacy at the LL.M. level and Human Rights Clinical Practice, through which she involves J.D. and LL.M. students in cases and projects applying the norms of international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law. Her international human rights work includes representation of clients and preparation of amicus curiae briefs in Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victim Protection Act cases; advocacy before U.S. courts and the UN Human Rights Committee regarding the Guantanamo detentions and military commissions; and preparation of memoranda for the Offices of the Prosecutor of international criminal tribunals.

Professor David J. Scheffer, Clinical Professor Emeritus

Director Emeritus of the Center for International Human Rights

David J. Scheffer is Clinical Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus of the Center for International Human Rights at the law school. Before retiring in September 2020, he taught international criminal law, international human rights law, and related subjects.  Scheffer created the International Externship Program and the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor. 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. He was also the first U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues and led the U.S. delegation to the U.N. talks establishing the International Criminal Court and signed the Rome Statute of the ICC on behalf of the United States. He has also negotiated the creation of five war crimes tribunals and chaired the Atrocities Prevention Inter-Agency Working Group. 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.”