University of Pittsburgh
September 10, 2008

Pitt's Center for International Legal Education Opens Rule of Law Lecture Series Sept. 25

Series' inaugural lecture offers an insider's account of Iraq's legal system following the fall of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party in 2003
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh's Center for International Legal Education (CILE) in the School of Law will launch its 2008-09 Rule of Law Lecture Series at 6 p.m. Sept. 25 in the Teplitz Memorial Courtroom of the Barco Law Building, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland. In the series' first lecture, "The Rule of Law in Modern Iraq: Personal Perspectives," Pitt law professor Haider Ala Hamoudi and U.S. Marine Colonel Paul Amato will speak about their work in Iraq following the fall of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Hamoudi served as both a legal advisor to the finance committee of the Iraq Governing Council as well as a project manager for the DePaul University/USAID program, which worked with Iraqi law schools to reform the country's legal education system after Hussein's overthrow, from 2003 to 2005. He continues to advise the Iraqi government, primarily through his work at the United Nations.

Hamoudi earned his bachelor's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his JD and JSD at Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. His legal expertise includes matters of commercial and Islamic law. Before his work in Iraq, Hamoudi worked as a law clerk in the Southern District of New York and eventually practiced as an associate at the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. He has spoken at numerous conferences sponsored by such organizations as the MacMillan Center at Yale University, the American Association of Law Schools, and the New York City Bar Association.

Amato served as the Rule of Law Officer and later the senior advisor for the 1st Iraqi Army Division Military Transition Team within Iraq's Anbar Province. While with the transition team, he assisted in the development of the province's criminal court system and trained units of the Iraqi Army. As the Plans Officer of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Baghdad and Babil Provinces, Amato led military units on a variety of combat and civil-military operations.

Amato earned his BA at Franklin & Marshall College as well as his JD at Pitt's School of Law, where he was managing editor of the "Journal of Law and Commerce." He is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and has litigated numerous court cases concerning matters of labor and commercial law.

The 2008-09 CILE Rule of Law Lecture Series, which continues through April 2009, seeks to present individuals with unique perspectives on the concept of rule of law and its history, theory, and practice. All series lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, contact D. Wes Rist, assistant director of CILE, at 412-383-6754 or, or visit