Steven Arrigg Koh is an Associate in Law at Columbia Law School. His research focuses on the ways in which the U.S. criminal justice system interacts with emerging systems of transnational and international criminal law. Koh has authored eight publications—on topics such as theories of criminal punishment, extradition, and the emerging enforcement practice of the International Criminal Court (ICC)—that have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as N.Y.U. Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, and Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law.
To inform his research, Koh previously engaged in a unique combination of high-level legal practice at both U.S. federal criminal and international criminal legal institutions. Koh has served as a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C. In that capacity, he advised U.S. federal and state prosecutors on international, criminal, and constitutional legal issues arising in U.S. criminal cases with transnational dimensions. He also worked as Counsel to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Counselor for International Affairs, the Attorney General’s top international law adviser. Additionally, as part of his duties, he participated in multilateral meetings of the Organization of American States’ (OAS) Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas in Lima, Peru, and Meetings of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas in Bogotá, Colombia. During this time, Koh also taught International and Transnational Criminal Law as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.
Koh also gained three years of international legal experience in two prominent international criminal courts in The Hague, Netherlands. First, in the Office of the Presidency of the ICC, he worked as a Visiting Professional and advised the Legal Adviser to the Presidency on a host of matters, including the enforcement of sentence agreements with States party to the Rome Statute of the ICC. Second, at the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, he served as an Associate Legal Officer working in Trial Chamber III on the Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić trial, one of the capstone cases in the Tribunal’s history, which involved charges of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.
After graduating from law school, Koh served as a law clerk for the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Additionally, Koh also worked as Senior Fellow and Interim-Attorney Editor at the American Society of International Law (ASIL) in Washington, D.C. At ASIL, he managed the editorial and publications process for three premier publications, International Legal Materials, ASIL Insights, and International Law in Brief.
Koh has also gained multiple international experiences in additional settings, including a tenure as Visiting Scholar at Seoul National University, Korea; study at the Cornell Summer Institute in International & Comparative Law at Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris, France; and work as a student advocate in Cornell’s International Human Rights Clinic, where he joined a legal team that represented the Robert F. Kennedy Center of Human Rights before the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and served on a mission to Colombia co-sponsored by Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Koh earned his J.D. from Cornell Law School, where he served as Senior Article Editor of the Cornell Law Review, won the CALI Excellence for the Future Award, and was named to the Dean’s List. Koh earned an A.B. degree cum laude from Harvard College, where he served as President of the Harvard Glee Club, and an M.Phil degree in Social and Developmental Psychology from the University of Cambridge, England.
Koh speaks conversational Spanish; has studied French, Arabic, and Korean; and is currently a member of the bar in New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.