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Two IU centers to study Libyan human rights violations under State Department grant

Two Indiana University research centers will share a $100,000 grant from the United States Department of State for the study of human rights violations in Libya.

The IU Maurer School of Law Center for Constitutional Democracy and the IU Center for the Study of the Middle East will collaborate with the Istituto Superiore Internazionale di Scienze Criminali in Siracusa, Italy, on the gathering of evidence of human rights violations in support of the investigation of the Libya Inquiry Commission appointed by the United Nations' Human Rights Council.

Libyan Flag

Libyan Flag

The project will be under the supervision of three faculty members at the Maurer School of Law: Ambassador Feisal Amin Rasoul Istrabadi, University Scholar in International Law and Diplomacy and director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East; David C. Williams, John S. Hastings Professor of Law and executive director of the Center for Constitutional Democracy; and Timothy William Waters, associate professor of law.

"We are pleased to receive this grant and look forward to working with the State Department and the UN," said Istrabadi. "The funding confirms the strength of Middle Eastern studies and human rights at Indiana University."

The Libya Inquiry Commission is chaired by M. Cherif Bassiouni, an IU alumnus and Distinguished Research Professor of Law Emeritus at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. The other two commissioners are Philippe Kirsch, the first president of the International Criminal Court, and Asma Khader, a Jordanian women's rights lawyer and former cabinet minister. The team's research is expected to be completed in 2012.

Istrabadi focuses his research on the processes of building legal and political institutions in countries in transition from dictatorship to democracy. He served as a legal advisor to the Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs, was principal legal drafter of Iraq's interim constitution, and was ambassador and permanent representative of Iraq to the United Nations from 2004-07.

Williams has written widely on constitutionalism and consults with a number of reform movements abroad. He has advised elements of the Burma democracy movement and served as a consultant to the government of Liberia. Waters' scholarly interests include the structure of the inter-state system, ethnic conflict, human rights and transitional justice. He monitored implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords in Bosnia and helped draft the indictment of Slobodan Milosevic at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal.