Welcome to the Center for the Rule of Law
COL Maritza Ryan, Professor and
Head, Department of LawDr. Robert J. Goldstein, Graduates Chair in Constritutional Law and Director of the West Point Center for the Rule of Law
We enrich cadet experiences by connecting them to powerful internships, called AIADs, and other experience-based learning.
Forum for International Exchange
The CRL also provides a world-class forum for thoughtful national and international legal debate and policy development to advance the rule of law.
Center Mission Statement:
1. To position West Point — as the premiere institution in the world for both academic excellence and military leadership — to take a leading role in the promotion of the rule of law as essential to our security, prosperity, and identity as a nation founded upon this ideal.
2. To educate and imbue the present and future leaders of our Army and our nation with a sophisticated appreciation for the rule of law as a central tenet of our professional military ethic, fostering a deep understanding of the principles underlying the rule of law.
3. To inspire and contribute meaningfully to cutting-edge, national and international legal debate and policy development vital to the future of our nation and the world.
In the last year the West Point Center for the Rule of Law (the "Center") has begun to flourish, with completion of its facility in the Department of Law (D/Law), the hiring of a full-time director, holding its second major conference, sponsoring lectures for Cadets and supporting a wide array of internships this summer.
The Center hosted the U.S. premiere of the 2009 restoration of Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today (1948) to Cadets, accompanied by a panel discussion by the Hon. Stephen J. Rapp, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes; Mr. Ben Ferencz, Esq., who prosecuted 22 German officers for killing over 1 million people; and Ms. Sandra Schulberg, award-winning director and producer of the restoration.
Following our successful Inaugural Conference on the Future of International Criminal Justice in 2009, featuring Attorney General Eric Holder, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Her Majesty Queen Noor, U.S. Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora, and Dan Rather.
In April 2010 the Center brought together over 100 participants consisting mainly of Cadets and Midshipmen from all the national service academies, along with law students from Pace Law School to participate in Climate Change: Ethics, Law & National Security. The Conference featured Andrew Revkin of the New York Times, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, former EPA Director Christine Todd Whitman, the Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives of the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the Maldives.
The West Point Department of Law's Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) Program is funded in-part by the Center which has worked cooperatively to create new summer internship opportunities for Cadets. One such AIAD resulting from the suggestion of former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, is "Point-to-Point" which took Cadets to the distressed slums of West Point, Monrovia, Liberia to study the restoration of the rule of law in the aftermath of that country's Civil War which left 150,000 killed. Participating Cadets will collect data and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a specific area of Liberia's legal system. Supported by the Center, the Cadets will then produce a film documenting the Project as an educational tool to teach the meaning and importance of the rule of law. The Center also supports the D/Law's flagship War Crimes Staff Ride which was created to give Cadets the opportunity to fully grasp the significance of humanitarian law.