Promoting justice, globally

The International Rule of Law & Security (IRLS) program, jointly developed by the McCain Institute for International Leadership and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, promotes global rule of law, human rights, sustainable international development, and national and international security through its academic and operational components.

Through our operational program, we manage international development projects focused on improving the rule of law, good governance, and the security and stability of developing countries. Our academic program equips the next generation of lawyers with the skills and knowledge necessary to use their legal careers to promote sustainable global development, equitable justice systems and respect for the democratic rule of law around the world.

JD, MLS, and LLM students studying IRLS at ASU Law
IRLS Fellows receiving training


The International Rule of Law & Security program is led by Ambassador Clint Williamson. Amb. Williamson has decades of experience serving in various senior roles in international justice, global development, and national security in the U.S. government, the United Nations and the European Union, including as the U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues. Amb. Williamson’s experiences helped shape both the operational and academic components of the IRLS program. He serves both as an expert on rule of law issues in global projects run by the IRLS program, and as a distinguished professor of practice teaching ASU Law students about the past, present and future of international criminal justice.
Clint Williamson by a wall

IRLS Academic Program

The International Rule of Law & Security program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University is an academic and experiential learning program designed to prepare students for jobs that promote justice, human rights, sustainable economic development and equality under the law across the globe.

International Development

The International Rule of Law & Security program is committed to helping countries in transition to develop and strengthen their legal systems. The program tackles current challenges and plans for the future through programs that are sustainable and rooted in a thorough understanding of the local context. The program integrates training and education to ensure that the next generation of leaders is equipped with the skills to improve their local and national legal systems and governance structures. The program’s approach is based on best practices from international development experts with decades of field experience, faculty members, and a vast network of in-country partners across the globe who have successfully worked on similar challenges. Current and past initiatives and areas of expertise include:

School of International Law in Pakistan
Mass Atrocity Simulation

International Crisis Response Simulation

This two-day intensive program places ASU Law students in a simulated crisis to test and develop their skills in responsive action. The simulation is similar to those undertaken by U.S. government officials and provides a practical learning experience and serves as a laboratory for decision-making, conflict analysis, and international cooperation. Students are divided into teams representing countries or international organizations and must work within their teams to assess information they receive in real time, develop policy approaches and strategies to resolve emerging challenges and present their approaches in plenary sessions to other teams and to the simulation’s advisors.

The Latest

ICTY logo
In the News: International Rule of Law & Security
Amb. Williamson: Statement on the Denial of Mladić’s Final Appeal
Blog: International Rule of Law & Security
Op-Ed: Renewing Justice for Atrocities
Remembering Senator John Mccain’s Message In Munich
Blog: International Rule of Law & Security
Remembering Senator John McCain’s Message in Munich
Risks of a New Constitution
Blog: International Rule of Law & Security
Chile: The Risks of a New Constitution
mcCain Institute
In the News: International Rule of Law & Security
The West cannot sit by while Russia exploits social media with disinformation
In the News: International Rule of Law & Security
McCain Institute Unveils Tracker of Russian “Borderization” in Georgia
IRLS Program Tour

Support Our Mission

Donating to the International Rule of Law & Security program will help us shape a secure future and continue to rise as a world-renowned national and international institution.