Beth Van Schaack

Professor of Law - On Leave 2016/2017 School Year

In 2012, Professor Van Schaack was appointed Deputy to U.S. Ambassador-At-Large for War Crimes Issues in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice. She is on leave for the school year 2014-15.  She is a Visiting Scholar for the remainder of the academic year with the Center on International Security & Cooperation at Stanford University.

Professor Van Schaack joined the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty from private practice with Morrison & Forester LLP, where she practiced in the area of commercial law, international law, and human rights. She was trial counsel for Romagoza v. Garcia, a human rights case that resulted in a plaintiffs’ award of $54.6 million, and on the defense team for John Walker Lindh. She also served on the United States delegation to the International Criminal Court Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda.

Prior to entering private practice, Van Schaack was involved in human rights litigation as the Executive Director and Staff Attorney of 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. She also clerked with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia from 1997-98.


J.D., Yale Law School, 1997

B.A., Stanford University, 1991

Areas of Specialization

International Law, International Human Rights, Transitional Justice, International Criminal Law & Humanitarian Law, Civil Procedure, Corporations, Conflicts of Law, Comparative Law

Affiliations and Honors

  • Santa Clara University President’s Special Recognition Award for distinguished academic achievement.
  • Executive Editor, JustSecurity blog,
  •  Legal Advisor, The Documentation Center of Cambodia (1995-present)
  • Legal Advisor, The Center for Justice & Accountability (1999-present)
  • Legal Advisor, Accountability Council (2010-present)
  • Legal Advisor, Syria Commission on Justice & Accountability (2013-present)
  • Open Society Institute Justice Fellow (1997-1999)
  • Howard Holtzman Fellow in International Arbitration, Asmara, Eritrea (Summer 1997)