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UCLA School of Law Receives Major Donation to Establish International Justice Clinic

$4 million gift from Sanela Diana Jenkins is first of its kind for any West coast law school

Lauri Gavel                                 
Director of Communications 
UCLA School of Law 
(310) 206-2611 

LOS ANGELES, September 8, 2008 - UCLA School of law today announced a $4 million endowment it received to establish the Sanela Diana Jenkins Clinic on International Justice, the first endowed program on international justice and human rights 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.

"This commitment comes at a time when international justice has moved to the center of world politics," said UCLA 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 has particular importance as Radovan Karadzic is now in The Hague for trial and the world's attention is focused again on Balkan justice."

"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 Sanela.  "It reflects the passion I feel about the issues my country has faced and that we are all facing in the world today."

Sanela 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 the Balkans at the height of the war to England, but she lost her brother and many family members and friends in Sarajevo.  She arrived as a refugee in London, but she put herself through an Honors degree at university while at the same time providing for her parents and family in Sarajevo.  She 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's donation provides an opportunity to join faculty expertise and student interest in human rights with her real-life insights, resulting in unique opportunities for UCLA to directly contribute to the furtherance of global justice.  Student and faculty participants in the Clinic, which will be initially focused on Balkan issues, will aim 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. 

"Sanela cares deeply about her country and is a person with a great heart and passion for the right to a dignified life," said Dr 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."

The Faculty Director of the International Human Rights Program, Professor Richard Steinberg, is among the preeminent international law experts in the world today, widely known for his work on international trade and international organizations.  The Clinic will be directed by David Kaye, Executive Director of the Law School's International Human Rights Program, who has longtime experience working with international courts and on the laws of armed conflict and human rights.  Further information on human rights law at UCLA may be found at http://www.law.ucla.edu/humanrights/.

About UCLA School of Law
Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship.  With approximately 100 faculty and 970 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession.