UH Mānoa's William S. Richardson School of Law proudly announces that professor James H. Pietsch was awarded the Secretary of the Army Public Service Award “for extraordinary contributions to the Law and Order Task Force, Multi-National Force – Iraq, Baghdad from June through August 2007.” The citation reads, in part, “in volunteering his time, he willingly subjected himself to the considerable threat present in the operational environment in Baghdad. His dedication, passionate commitment to the rule of law, and thorough professionalism made him an invaluable mentor and member of the Task Force team."
Professor Pietsch was granted study leave by the Law School after having been invited by the Commander of U.S. Central Command and the Commander of the Multi-National Force – Iraq to assist with the establishment of the Law and Order Task Force, which was tasked to help the Iraqi Government promote the rule of law during the height of the military surge in Iraq. He later returned to Iraq as a Rule of Law Advisor to the U.S. Embassy Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team and the Kurdistan Regional Reconstruction Team to follow up on several rule of law projects, including a Legal Aid Clinic he helped establish at an Iraqi detention facility in the Rusafa district of Eastern Baghdad.
Pietsch is a professor of law at UH Mānoa's William S. Richardson School of Law, an adjunct professor of geriatric medicine and psychiatry at UH Mānoa's John A. Burns School of Medicine and director of the University of Hawaiʻi Elder Law Program. He is also the law school faculty advisor for the Hammurabi Legal Forum www.hammurabilegalforum.com
which provides legal research support for rule of law partners in Iraq and which will be investigating similar assistance for rule of law initiatives in Timor-Leste.