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David Cohen

WSD-HANDA Professor of Human Rights and International Justice and Professor at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
David Cohen has served as founding Director of the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University since 2013. He is a leading expert in the fields of human rights, international criminal law and transitional justice. After 35 years at UC Berkeley, Cohen moved to Stanford, where he serves as the WSD Handa Professor in Human Rights and International Justice and Professor of Classics. Cohen has led human rights projects and judicial rule of law, trial, monitoring, and training programs in Indonesia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Philippines and Cambodia. He is currently co-directing projects on human trafficking, fair trial rights, religious freedom and freedom of expression, and environmental rights in Indonesia. He is also working with the ASEAN Council of Chief Justices to develop ASEAN judicial training programs encompassing human trafficking, environmental regulation, and mutual legal assistance. Together with Prof. Gary Darmstadt of the Gates Center for Gender Equality he is developing capacity building programs for women in government and civil society leadership positions in Ethiopia on issues such as child marriage, gender based violence, and women’s economic empowerment. He has published widely on transitional justice processes and human rights issues. Recent publications include: Justice on Appeal: Commentary on the Case 002/01 Final Judgment at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (co-authors Daniel Mattes and Caitlin McCaffrie), KRT Monitor Special Report (August 2017); The Tokyo War Crimes Trial: Law, History, and Jurisprudence (co-author Prof. Yuma Totani, Cambridge University Press 2018); Editor, Interpretations of Article 156A on the Indonesian Penal Code on Blasphemy and Criminal Defamation: A Legal and Human Rights Analysis (Institute for an Independent Judiciary [LeIP] Jakarta 2018) and Pelatihan Piloting Untuk Aparta Penegak Hukum: Penafsiran Hukum Penodaan Agama Berdasarkan Prinsip Hak Asasi Manusia (LeIP Jakarta 2018); Tōkyō saiban "shinwa" no kaitai: Paru, Rērinku, Uebbu san-hanji no sōkoku [The deconstruction of the Tokyo Trial 'myths': Battles among three justices, Pal, Roeling, and Webb]. Co-author Prof. Yuma Totani. Chikuma shobō, Tokyo (November 2018); Co-Editor, The Rule of Law for Human Rights in ASEAN, (co-editor Prof. Kevin Tan; World Publishing, Singapore 2020); Co-Editor, ASEAN Law and Regional Integration: Governance and the Rule of Law in Southeast Asia’s Single Market (co-editor Prof. Diane Desierto) Routledge 2020).