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U.S. Candidate
International Court of Justice (2024-2033)
Professor Sarah H. Cleveland

Independence · Rigor · Humanity

Sarah H. Cleveland is a preeminent scholar and practitioner of international law, including a leading expert in the areas of international and comparative human rights law, the status of international law in domestic law, international humanitarian law, and national security. She holds the Louis Henkin Chair at Columbia University in New York, has served as a lawyer and adviser to the U.S. State Department, and is a distinguished international law expert through her longstanding work with multilateral legal organizations.

Cleveland was vice chair and a member of the U.N. Human Rights Committee (2015–2018). From 2010-2019, she was the independent U.S. observer member and member on the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), the Council of Europe’s expert advisory body on fundamental rights and the rule of law. She is currently a member of the Ad Hoc Conciliation Commission in Qatar v. United Arab Emirates, established under the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

From 2009 to 2011, Cleveland served as the counselor on international law to the Legal Adviser at the United States Department of State, where she guided the Office of the Legal Adviser’s work on international law interpretation and compliance. She remained an expert adviser on international law to the Office of the Legal Adviser until 2013. She continues to serve on the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law, a position she has held for over a decade.

Cleveland is a member of the International Bar Association and the American Society of International Law, where she has been a member of the Society’s Executive Council. She is a member of the American Law Institute, and served as co-coordinating reporter of the Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States (2018).

U.S. President Joe Biden:

“I am proud to call on all UN Member States to join the United States in voting for Sarah Cleveland to serve as judge on the International Court of Justice — which remains one of humanity’s most critical institutions to advance peace around the world.”

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden participate in a photo line with leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future