Professor Sarah Cleveland Elected to U.N. Human Rights Committee

U.S. Government Nominated Cleveland as Independent Expert to the Committee, Which Monitors State Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

New York, June 24, 2014—Columbia Law School Professor Sarah H. Cleveland has been elected as the United States’ independent expert on the Human Rights Committee, a United Nations treaty body that monitors state implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

A leading expert in international and comparative human rights law, Cleveland was elected on June 24 in a vote by the more than 165 states parties to the multilateral treaty, one of two that comprise the “International Bill of Rights.” She was nominated to the post by the U.S. government in March.

Cleveland replaces Gerald L. Neuman, a former member of the Columbia Law School faculty, in the position also once held by the late Louis Henkin, the renowned Columbia law professor who is credited with founding the study of human rights law. Cleveland is the Louis Henkin Professor of Human and Constitutional Rights and faculty co-director of the Law School’s Human Rights Institute.
Her scholarship often focuses on the interface between international human rights and national law, and she also has long been involved in implementing human rights obligations in practice. From 2009 to 2011, she was the Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, where she helped supervise the department’s legal work relating to human rights and international justice, among other responsibilities. 
Cleveland’s four-year term on the Human Rights Committee begins Jan. 1, 2015.