|Institutions||Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies|
|Alma mater||Yale Law School
Ruth Wedgwood is an American lawyer and university professor who holds the Edward B. Burling Chair in International Law and Diplomacy at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, in Washington, D.C.
Ruth Wedgwood is the daughter of labor lawyer Morris P. Glushien, former general counsel of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union who served as a World War II cryptanalyst, and Anne Sorelle Williams, an artist and translator raised in Paris. In 1982 she married her Harvard classmate, National Institutes of Health immunologist Josiah F. Wedgwood, a member of the Wedgwood pottery family, and grandson of Josiah Clement Wedgwood, a British Labour MP known for opposing Hitler's fascist regime. She was widowed in 2009, and has one son, Josiah Ruskin Wedgwood.
As the Burling Professor, Wedgwood chairs the graduate program on international law at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., supervising master's and PhD students.
She teaches, writes, and acts as legal counsel in the fields of constitutional law, international law, international investment arbitration, domestic and international criminal law, corporate compliance and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, United Nations politics (including peacekeeping and procurement), the law of armed conflict, comparative global constitutionalism, and human rights law. The international law program under her direction at SAIS also instructs students in international environmental law, competition law, financial regulatory law, trade law, Islamic law, Russian law, and Chinese law.
In 2003, Wedgwood was elected to serve as the U.S. member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, sitting in Geneva and New York for three months each year (re-elected to a second term by the states parties in 2006 and elected as special rapporteur in 2009), and currently serves as vice-chairman of Freedom House, a 60-year-old NGO founded by Eleanor Roosevelt that promotes democracy and human rights world-wide. She was the first female law clerk to renowned federal judge Henry J. Friendly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (see David Dorsen, Henry Friendly - Greatest Judge of his Era (Harvard University Press 2012), at page 109) and also served as law clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court. Wedgwood received her undergraduate education in economic history at Harvard where she was first marshal and graduated magna cum laude, and her legal education at Yale Law School, where she was the first woman to serve as executive editor of the Yale Law Journal and received the Peres Prize for the finest legal writing.
Since 1993, Wedgwood has served as a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committees on International Law, the CIA Historical Review Board, the Pentagon Defense Policy Board and the Davos World Economic Forum's Council on the International Global Agenda. She was U.S. delegate to the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, and is currently a member of the panel roster of conciliators and arbitrators of the World Bank Group International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.
Earlier in her career, she was a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, serving as chief counsel in headline investigations of Soviet Bloc espionage, overseas smuggling of controlled military technology, a landlord arson ring that destroyed dozens of occupied buildings in the Bronx and Harlem and vicitimized working-class families as well as Lloyd's of London and other insurance syndicates, Wall Street insider trading, corporate fraud, the Weather Underground, and the "G-Man Crew" and "Five-Percenters" youth gangs in New York City. As counsel to the chief of the Department of Justice Criminal Division, Wedgwood designed the trial procedures in the Kampiles spy satellite case that became the model for the Classified Information Procedures Act, and chaired a Justice Department-FBI working group to tackle procedures for undercover operations, informant use, and predicates for intrusive techniques in ordinary criminal investigations, in the aftermath of the Abscam case. She was also an adviser on Special Prosecutor criminal investigations, including the "Peanutgate" investigation of Carter adviser Bert Lance and the investigation of White House personnel involved in Studio 57.
In her teaching career, before coming to SAIS, Professor Wedgwood was a tenured member of the Yale Law School faculty, the Charles Stockton Professor of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, a visiting professor at the University of Paris I Sorbonne, the George H.W. Bush Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, directing the Ford Foundation-funded diplomatic roundtable on the United Nations during the tenure of U.N. Secretary-Generals Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan. She has traveled widely in areas of post-conflict transition in the Balkans and South Asia, and also served as an independent legal expert on issues of command responsibility in the prosecution of Tihomir Blaskic before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Wedgwood has led various non-profit, academic and policy groups, including as vice-president of the American Society of International Law; chair of the Council on International Affairs and the Committee on International Security Affairs of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; chair of the section on international law of the Association of American Law Schools; a member of the policy advisory group of the United Nations Association; expert consultant on the Hart-Rudman Commission on National Security in the 21st Century; and academic member of the American Society of International Law's Task Force on the U.S. relationship to the International Criminal Court. She is currently president of the American Branch of the International Law Association, and president-elect of the world-wide ILA.
Wedgwood has also written in American constitutional history, notably, "The Revolutionary Martyrdom of Jonathan Robbins", 100 Yale Law Journal 229 (1990), a study of early competing theories of the foreign affairs power that has won praise from historians as diverse as Joyce Appleby, Eugene Genovese, Bernard Bailyn, and Gerald Gunther.
As an internationally-known writer and thought-leader, Professor Wedgwood also serves on the board of editors for the American Journal of International Law, the Journal of Strategic Studies, and The American Interest magazine; the editorial advisory board of The National Interest magazine, the World Policy Journal of the New School University, and the National Defense University's Center for Complex Operations Prism security studies journal.
Professor Wedgwood has discussed foreign policy challenges and international law on the BBC, National Public Radio, the PBS News Hour, MSNBC, al Jazeera, and the Diane Rehm and Kojo Nnamdi shows; and writes for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Forbes, and other periodicals. She has delivered the Pope John XXIII Lecture at the Catholic University and the Hanify-Howland Memorial Lecture at the College of the Holy Cross on issues of the laws of war and human rights.
Wedgwood is a life member of the American Law Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Institute for Strategic Studies, the Atlantic Council, and the San Remo International Institute for Humanitarian Law.
International Law Views
Professor Wedgwood has testified before the U.S. Congress on issues including United Nations reform, protection of U.S. troops abroad under status of forces agreements, and U.S. human rights policy. In June 2010, on MSNBC daytime news, Wedgwood appeared to take the position that the Israeli Defense Forces had the legal right under the Law of the Sea to enforce its blockade against the Gaza flotilla, while in international waters, en route to the Gaza strip.
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- Greenhouse, Steven (May 25, 2006). "Morris P. Glushien, Union Lawyer, Dies at 96". New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
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- "Dr. J.F. Wedgwood Weds Ruth Glushien". New York Times. May 30, 1982. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
- "Human Rights Committee - Members". .ohchr.org. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
- Lecture by Ruth Wedgwood entitled The Work of the United Nations Human Rights Committee: Enforcing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- Lecture by Ruth Wedgwood entitled Human Rights Bodies: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council and Regional Human Rights Bodies in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
- * June 12, 2006 Debate at the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs, entitled The United Nations: Still Relevant After All These Years? -- participants: former U.N. Under-Secretary General Shashi Tharoor and Professor Ruth Wedgwood, moderated by journalist James Traub.