Pitt Law Assistant Professor Charles C. Jalloh has been named this year’s recipient of the Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Faculty Scholar Award. The BIR award, which is supported by a top ranked Pittsburgh-based national law firm, is aimed at supporting faculty at Pitt Law to carry out a substantial scholarly project that addresses a controversy within the law or that has major impact on the legal community as a whole or the city of Pittsburgh in particular.
Jalloh plans to use the award towards a high-visibility collaborative project aimed at identifying best practices for the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s only permanent criminal tribunal. The project, which has already begun and will be carried out over the coming year, is being undertaken in collaboration with the International Bar Association and with faculty members from other law schools.
Jalloh joined Pitt Law in 2009. Since then, he has been part of ongoing efforts to help build a program in this fast growing area of international law at the law school. As part of this, he has pursued scholarly research as well as sought innovative learning opportunities for Pitt students. These included taking 11 students on a field trip to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Tanzania in March 2010, helping CILE to arrange for several tribunal leaders, including two former chief prosecutors (Hassan B. Jallow and Stephen J. Rapp) and the former ICTR president (Erik Mose), to visit the law school in 2010 and 2011, respectively, as well as convening the first major international conference to assess the legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in April 2012. The latter resulted in a substantial book that is the first to assess the contributions of the SCSL to international criminal law, published by Cambridge University Press.
His impetus to take up identifying lessons learned for the ICC comes from his commitment to finding practical solutions to real world problems. “I was pleasantly surprised to have been selected for this competitive award by the Dean [William “Chip” Carter], from undoubtedly many other deserving proposals from my faculty colleagues”, he said. “I am grateful to Dean Carter for his foresight in recognizing that this type of research has the potential to make a big impact on a young field like international criminal law, and particularly so for a new court like the ICC, which is still going through growing pains.” He went on to say, “I thank the partners and lawyers at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney for their leadership role supporting faculty scholarship here at Pitt Law, and for recognizing that with a little help, legal academics could play an important role carrying out research that may help advance the law - here at home, as well as abroad. I hope that other Pittsburgh area firms will emulate their excellent example, and look forward to sharing the results of our research with them.”
The collaborative study will benefit from Jalloh’s experience practicing international criminal law at both the domestic and international levels. He started his career as Counsel at the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section of the Canadian Department of Justice, from where he went on to serve as the Defense Legal Advisor in the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), an Associate Legal Officer in Trial Chamber I at the ICTR, and as a Visiting Professional at the ICC. At the SCSL, he had the honor of representing the former Liberian President Charles Taylor as a court-appointed duty counsel and, at the ICTR, he was part of the small team of attorneys that assisted the Trial Chamber with judgment drafting in the cases involving Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, the “architect” of the horrific 1994 Rwandan genocide, and four other senior military officers from the Rwandan army who masterminded the killing of up to a million people in just 100 days.
Professor Jalloh has published several books and articles in the area of international and criminal law. He holds various pro bono positions serving, inter alia, on the Advisory Panel to the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; the Advisory Board of the War Crimes Committee, International Bar Association; and as an elected Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law’s International Criminal Law Interest Group.