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David Logan served as Dean at Roger Williams School of Law from 2003 to 2014, making him one of the nation's longest-serving law deans. In 2014, he returned to full-time teaching and research.

A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Professor Logan clerked for a federal...

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Young Alum Making Her Mark in International Human Rights

Posted by David Logan on 06/14/2011 at 12:38 PM

We are always proud to see our graduates continue to pursue academic excellence after they graduate from RWU law. Sarah Mazzochi (’10) is but one recent example. Sarah has earned her LL.M in International Legal Studies from American University, and is now working in Washington, D.C. at the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Sarah is publishing up a storm.  Here are the pieces she has published recently:

  • The Two Percent: The Practical Application of International Law on the Death Penalty in the United States, 38 Syracuse Journal of International Law & Commerce 32 (2010).
  • Humanitarian Intervention in a Post-Iraq, Post-Darfur World: Is There Now a Duty to Prevent Genocide Even without Security Council Approval?, 17 Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law _ (forthcoming Spring 2011).
  • The Age of Impunity: Using Aut Dedere Aut Judicare and Universal Jurisdiction to End Impunity for Acts of Terrorism Once and For All, 32 Northern Illinois Law Review _ (forthcoming Spring 2012).  
  • The Great Debate:  Lessons to be Learned from an International Comparative Analysis on Same-Sex Marriage, 16 Roger Williams Law Review _ (forthcoming Fall 2011).
  • A New Twist on an Old Idea:  How Year-Round Schooling and Re-Vamped Out-of-School Care Can Improve the Lives of Women in Washington, DC, 19 Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law _ (forthcoming Fall 2011).

Here is what my colleague Peter Margulies has to say about his talented former student:

Sarah Mazzochi, Class of 2010, has focused on the challenging field of international human rights; Sarah has done significant work on both Guantanamo detainees and the death penalty. On Guantanamo, Sarah recently published a Human Rights brief on a proceeding before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAC) in the complex case of Djamel Ameziane. Ameziane, an Algerian national who was sent to Guantanamo in 2002, does not wish to be returned to Algeria, where he asserts he will face torture as a result of his membership in the persecuted Berber minority. The IAC earlier had asked the US not to return Ameziane to Algeria; at the most recent hearing, Ameziane’s lawyers asked the IAC to urge the US to resettle the detainee in a third country where he would not face the possibility of torture. Since a number of Guantanamo detainees are from Algeria, Ameziane’s case may be a bellwether on this vigorously
contested issue.

Sarah has also published a fine article on the death penalty, The Two Percent: The Practical Application of International Law on the Death Penalty in the United States, in the Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce. The article analyzes the impact of international law, such as the ban on execution of defendants who were juvenile at the time of their conduct, on the US Supreme Court, which ruled in Roper v. Simmons that the juvenile death penalty was unconstitutional. Sarah also argues that customary international law supports abolition of the death penalty. Developing a novel approach based on regional trends, Sarah observes that virtually all other Western democracies have barred the death penalty, and that the United States legal system has more in common with these democracies than with states such as North Korea, Sudan, and Iran which continue to practice capital punishment. This article, like Sarah’s Guantanamo work, heralds a most promising career in international human rights for one of our graduates.