Beth Van Schaack
Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights
Beth Van Schaack is the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at the Law School (2014-15) and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Security & Cooperation at Stanford University. She will be teaching International Criminal Justice and International Human Rights during the Autumn quarter, International Justice in the Winter, and a new Policy Lab on Legal & Policy Tools for Atrocities Prevention in the Winter and Spring.
Professor Van Schaack just stepped down as Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State. In that capacity, she helped to advise the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights on the formulation of U.S. policy regarding the prevention of and accountability for mass atrocities, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. In this position, she worked extensively within the interagency to help coordinate the deployment of a range of diplomatic, legal, economic, military, and intelligence tools to help expose the truth, capture and judge those responsible, protect and assist victims, enable reconciliation, deter atrocities, and build the rule of law.
Prior to her State Department appointment, Van Schaack was Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, where she taught and wrote in the areas of human rights, transitional justice, international criminal law, public international law, international humanitarian law, and civil procedure. She has been a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Council on International Law and served on the United States interagency delegation to the International Criminal Court Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda in 2010.
Van Schaack joined the Santa Clara faculty from private practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP where she practiced the areas of commercial law, intellectual property, international law, and human rights. Prior to entering private practice, Van Schaack was Acting Executive Director and Staff Attorney with The Center for Justice & Accountability, a non-profit law firm in San Francisco dedicated to the representation of victims of torture and other grave human rights abuses in U.S., international, and foreign tribunals. She was also a law clerk with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She continues to advise a number of human rights organizations, including: the Documentation Center of Cambodia, the National Institute of Military Justice, the International Justice Resource Center, the Syrian Commission on Justice & Accountability, and Accountability Council.
Van Schaack is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School.