Michael Scharf

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For the American poet and critic, see Michael Scharf (poet).
Michael P. Scharf
Professor of International Law
Michael P Scharf.JPG
Born (1963-04-25) April 25, 1963 (age 52)
Nationality United States
Fields International law
Institutions Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Alma mater Duke University
Duke University School of Law

Michael P. Scharf (born April 25, 1963 in Shaker Heights, Ohio) is interim dean, Joseph C. Hostetler -- BakerHostetler professor of law, and the director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Scharf is also co-founder of the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG),[1] a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which provides pro bono legal assistance to developing states and states in transition. Since 1995 PILPG has provided pro bono legal assistance to states and governments involved in peace negotiations, drafting post-conflict constitutions, and prosecuting war criminals. Since March 2012, Scharf has also been the producer and host of “Talking Foreign Policy,” a one-hour radio program aired on a quarterly basis on Cleveland’s NPR affiliate WCPN 90.3 ideastream. Archived broadcasts are available here.


In 2013, Scharf headed a Blue Ribbon Committee that drafted a statute for a War Crimes Tribunal for Syrian atrocities. See USA Today article.

In 2004–06, Scharf served as a member of the international team of experts that provided training and assistance to the judges of the Iraqi High Tribunal, and in 2008 he served as Special Assistant to the International Prosecutor of the Cambodia Tribunal.

In 2002, Scharf established the War Crimes Research Office at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, which provides research assistance to the Prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Court, the Cambodia Genocide Tribunal, and the Iraqi High Tribunal on issues pending before those international tribunals.[2]

During the first Bush and Clinton Administrations, Scharf served in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, where he held the positions of Attorney-Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence, Attorney-Adviser for United Nations Affairs, and delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. In 1993, he was awarded the State Department's Meritorious Honor Award "in recognition of superb performance and exemplary leadership" in relation to his role in the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

An internationally recognized expert in international criminal law, Scharf has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations[3] and the House Armed Services Committee;[4] his interviews and op eds have appeared in the Washington Post,[5] Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and International Herald Tribune; and he has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, the NBC Today Show, Nightline, The O'Reilly Factor, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,[6] Minnesota Public Radio,[7] Public Radio International (PRI),[8] The Charlie Rose Show,[9][10] the BBC, CNN, Voice of America,[11] and NPR. Scharf also hosts Grotian Moment, an award-winning International Criminal Law Blog. He is a frequent contributor of scholarly articles to the American Society of International Law.

Personal interests[edit]

Scharf is a fan of Star Trek and in 1994 co-authored an article titled "The Interstellar Relations of the Federation: International Law and Star Trek the Next Generation" in the Toledo Law Review which was subsequently republished in the book Star Trek Visions of Law and Justice.[12]

Scharf and his law professor/student band perform regularly at the Barking Spider Tavern: See Performance and have performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: [See Rock Hall Performance 1 and Performance 2, and Cleveland Aquarium. See Aquarium Performance.



Articles and op-eds[edit]


  1. ^ "Public International Law & Policy Group". Publicinternationallaw.org. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ Farah, Douglas. "Mortland, Shannon. (June 18, 2007.) "Case law prof's dedication to preventing atrocities leads to renown for war crimes tribunal work." Crain's Cleveland Business". Accessmylibrary.com. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Is a U.N. International Criminal Court in the U.S. National Interest?" (July 23, 1998). Washington, D.C.:U.S. Government Printing Office. Available on the Internet from the Coalition for the International Criminal Court.
  4. ^ http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/congress/2006_h/060726-scharf.pdf
  5. ^ "Kevin Sullivan and Peter Finn. (July 24, 2008). "Karadzic Case Offers Court a Chance to Repair Its Image: Hague Tribunal Stumbled In Prosecution of Milosevic" ''Washington Post''". The Washington Post. July 24, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, "Trying Saddam," June 30, 2004". Pbs.org. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Minnesota Public Radio, "Karadzic Trial a Test for War Crimes Tribunal," July 30, 2008 (1 hour interview). Audio available at". Minnesota.publicradio.org. July 30, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ "PRI "The World," "Saddam’s Final Chapter," July 16, 2008, Newton and Scharf interview about Saddam on Trial. Audio available at www.theworld.org". Theworld.org. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Charlie Rose Show: A conversation about Osama Bin Laden's crimes". Charlierose.com. October 29, 2001. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Charlie Rose Show, October 29, 2001, video available on Google". Google. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ Voice of America, "US Professors and Students Laid Groundwork for Charles Taylor Trial," July 12, 2007[dead link]
  12. ^ Star trek visions of law and justice – Google Boeken. Google Books. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 

External links[edit]