Michael P. Scharf (born April 25, 1963 in Shaker Heights, Ohio) is Co-Dean, Joseph C. Hostetler -- BakerHostetler professor of law, and the director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Scharf is also co-founder of the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which provides pro bono legal assistance to developing states and states in transition. Since 1995 PILPG has provided pro bono legal assistance to states and governments involved in peace negotiations, drafting post-conflict constitutions, and prosecuting war criminals. Since March 2012, Scharf has also been the producer and host of “Talking Foreign Policy,” a one-hour radio program aired on a quarterly basis on Cleveland’s NPR affiliate WCPN 90.3 ideastream.
In 2013, Scharf headed a Blue Ribbon Committee that drafted a statute for a War Crimes Tribunal for Syrian atrocities. See USA Today article.
In 2004–06, Scharf served as a member of the international team of experts that provided training and assistance to the judges of the Iraqi High Tribunal, and in 2008 he served as Special Assistant to the International Prosecutor of the Cambodia Tribunal.
In 2002, Scharf established the War Crimes Research Office at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, which provides research assistance to the Prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Court, the Cambodia Genocide Tribunal, and the Iraqi High Tribunal on issues pending before those international tribunals.
During the first Bush and Clinton Administrations, Scharf served in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, where he held the positions of Attorney-Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence, Attorney-Adviser for United Nations Affairs, and delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. In 1993, he was awarded the State Department's Meritorious Honor Award "in recognition of superb performance and exemplary leadership" in relation to his role in the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
An internationally recognized expert in international criminal law, Scharf has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Armed Services Committee; his interviews and op eds have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and International Herald Tribune; and he has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, the NBC Today Show, Nightline, The O'Reilly Factor, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Minnesota Public Radio, Public Radio International (PRI), The Charlie Rose Show, the BBC, CNN, Voice of America, and NPR. Scharf also hosts Grotian Moment, an award-winning International Criminal Law Blog. He is a frequent contributor of scholarly articles to the American Society of International Law.
Scharf is a fan of Star Trek and in 1994 co-authored an article titled "The Interstellar Relations of the Federation: International Law and Star Trek the Next Generation" in the Toledo Law Review which was subsequently republished in the book Star Trek Visions of Law and Justice.
Scharf and his law professor/student band perform regularly at the Barking Spider Tavern and have performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cleveland Aquarium.