Past Program

Mar 28, 2011

The Second Annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law: "An American International Law?"


The Honorable Harold Hongju Koh, one of the country's leading experts in public and private international law, national security law, and human rights, was invited to deliver the second annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law at the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C. on March 28th. Harold Koh was most recently the legal adviser of the U.S. Department of State, a position he held from June 2009 until January 2013. He is Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School.


Harold Hongju Koh

Harold Hongju Koh is the Legal Adviser of the Department of State, the 22d to serve in that position. He is one of the country's leading experts on public and private international law, national security law, and human rights. He is on leave from Yale Law School, where he is the Martin R. Flug '55 Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. From 2004 to 2009, Koh served as the 15th Dean of Yale Law School. From 1993 to 2009, he was also the Gerard C. & Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. From 1998 to 2001, Koh served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

He previously served on the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Public International Law. A Marshall Scholar, Koh graduated from Harvard, Oxford, and Harvard Law School, and has received eleven honorary degrees and more than thirty awards for his human rights work, including awards from Columbia Law School and the American Bar Association for his lifetime achievements in International law. Following clerkships with Judge Malcolm Richard Wilkey of the D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, he served as Attorney-Adviser at the Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice and practiced law at Covington & Burling. As a Yale law professor since 1985, Koh has taught courses, authored or co-authored eight books, published more than 170 articles, testified before Congress, and litigated numerous cases involving international law issues.

A Fellow of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a former member of the Council of the American Law Institute, he has served on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and as a Counselor of the American Society of International Law. He has sat on the boards of Harvard University, the Brookings Institution, Human Rights First, the American Arbitration Association, and the National Democratic Institute. He has been named one of America's "45 Leading Public Sector Lawyers Under The Age of 45" by American Lawyer magazine and one of the "100 Most Influential Asian-Americans of the 1990s" by A Magazine.

About Lloyd N. Cutler

Lloyd N. Cutler (1917-2005), who has been described as the last "super lawyer," had a brilliant legal career. A founder of the Washington, DC law firm, Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, and White House Counsel to two US presidents, he fulfilled the calling of a public servant over his lifetime. He was a long-time champion of Salzburg Global Seminar and a friend and colleague to many of the distinguished jurists, attorneys and policymakers whom he encouraged to attend its sessions.

For almost 30 years, Cutler played a central role in guiding Salzburg Global Seminar, serving as board chairman from 1984 to 1994, and as the visionary who helped broaden the focus of Salzburg Global's distinguished series of law sessions.

As a lasting tribute to the Cutler legacy, Salzburg Global Seminar has established the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law whose mission is threefold: 

  1. To seek solutions to global problems in areas where the law is inadequate or unfolding
  2. To advance the role of independent judiciaries globally and promote universal access to justice
  3. To employ innovative methods to engage new audiences and raise awareness of legal principles and why they matter.

Lloyd Cutler's influence on both people and institutions is felt thoughout the United States and around the world. In his tradition and his name, Salzburg Global Seminar continues to advance the Rule of Law through the Lloyd N. Cutler Center with the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program and the Annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture.

To learn more about the Lloyd N. Cutler Center, please contact:

Advisory Board

B. Thomas Mansbach, Chair
Bailey Morris-Eck, Co-Chair
Stephen L. Salyer, President, Salzburg Global Seminar

Zoƫ Baird
Justice Stephen G. Breyer
Mark Ellis
Jonathan Fanton
Richard N. Gardner
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Richard Goldstone
C. Boyden Gray
Bianca Jagger
Justice Anthony Kennedy
Eva Nowotny
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (ret.)
Hisashi Owada
Deval Patrick
Peter Peterson
Whayne Quin
Alice Rivlin
John Thomas Smith, II
Sonia Picado Sotela
Paul Volcker
William H. Webster
James D. Wolfensohn