The Cornell University Law School has named Judge Ra'id Juhi Hamadi Al-Saíedi, former chief investigative judge of the Iraqi High Tribunal, to be the school's first Clarke Middle East Fellow. He is a respected Iraqi jurist who served in the development and operation of the Iraqi High Tribunal, which tries Iraqis who are accused of committing genocide and other crimes against humanity during the late Saddam Hussein's rule, between 1968 and 2003. Ra'id's perspectives on Islamic law and legal reform in the Muslim world will be of great interest to scholars at Cornell working in these fields. He will be working as well on a book about the Iraqi High Tribunal.
Because of Cornell's concern about potential risks associated with welcoming Ra'id to campus, the university is undertaking all necessary precautions to enable his visit without jeopardizing the well-being and safety of the community. The university's administration is working closely with local, state and federal officials to conduct the proper due diligence and to address any potential concerns. Current information confirms that safety issues are being appropriately addressed. The Cornell University Police Department will continue to work with all interested parties to monitor the situation and take appropriate steps, as warranted.
The judge's work in Iraq and his expertise on the region's legal issues make him an exceptional person to become the first fellow hosted by the new program, Law School scholars said. As an active participant in the Iraqi judiciary during the tumult that has beset that nation since 2003, his experience will be an invaluable resource for scholars studying Iraq. Under the civil law system used in Iraq, Ra'id's role was to examine witnesses and collect evidence to determine whether sufficient grounds existed to refer particular cases for trial. Ra'id investigated and referred cases against Saddam Hussein to the Iraqi High Tribunal for trial, and he investigated and issued an arrest warrant for Moqtada al-Sadr for his alleged involvement in the murder of Abdul Majeed Al-Khoei. He also served as the official spokesperson for the Iraqi High Tribunal.
The Clarke Middle East Fund, administered through the Clarke Center for International and Comparative Legal Studies at the Law School, brings scholars and others together to discuss, research and study current legal and policy issues facing the region.