The School of Law has received a $4 million endowment to establish a program on international justice and human rights, the first such program at any law school on the West Coast. The donation was made by Sanela Diana Jenkins, a survivor of the war in Bosnia who now lives and works in California and London.
By Lauri Gavel
THE SCHOOL OF LAW has received a $4 million endowment to establish a program on international justice and human rights — the first such program at any law school on the West Coast. The donation was made by Sanela Diana Jenkins, a survivor of the war in Bosnia who now lives and works in California and London. The program will be named the Sanela Diana Jenkins Clinic on International Justice.
"This commitment comes at a time when international justice has moved to the center of world politics," said School of Law Dean Michael H. Schill. "This clinic will be the cornerstone of the International Human Rights Program at UCLA School of Law, which is now well-positioned to become one the leading human rights law programs in the nation."
"Such work," Schill added, "has particular importance as Radovan Karadzic is now in The Hague for trial and the world's attention is focused again on Balkan justice."
Student and faculty participants in the clinic, which will be initially focused on Balkan issues, will seek to provide research and expertise to war crimes courts in The Hague and Sarajevo and work with a number of institutions on war crimes and justice policy throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The clinic will be directed by David Kaye, executive director of the school's International Human Rights Program. Kaye has longtime experience working with international courts and on the laws of armed conflict and human rights.
Also playing a leadership role will be Professor Richard Steinberg, faculty director of the International Human Rights Program. Steinberg is an international law expert widely known for his work on international trade and international organizations.
"I am so happy to be working with UCLA on this vital program, helping build a world-class clinic that will develop the next generation of human rights leaders,” said Jenkins. "It reflects the passion I feel about the issues my country has faced and that we are all facing in the world today."
Jenkins grew up in Sarajevo and was a university student when war tore Yugoslavia apart. She escaped Sarajevo in 1993, first to Croatia, where she was a refugee for 18 months. She managed to escape to England at the height of the war, but she lost her brother and many family members and friends in Sarajevo. She arrived as a refugee in London, but she succeeded in putting herself through an honors degree at university while at the same time providing for her parents and other surviving family members in Sarajevo.
Jenkins secured a job in finance and within three years was a director and co-owner of an international fashion business. She later moved to Los Angeles, where she now has diverse business interests, including in fashion and film.
"Sanela cares deeply about her country and is a person with a great heart and passion for the right to a dignified life," said Haris Silajdzic, President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. "The work she is going to do with this program at UCLA School of Law will make a huge difference, and I will work closely with her personally to make it a success."
Published: Monday, September 22, 2008
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