On October 2, 2011, a beautiful fall afternoon in Salt Lake City, Hiram Chodosh, dean of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, received the 2011 Gandhi Peace Award in the International Peace Gardens in Jordan Park. The Award is given annually by the Gandhi Alliance for Peace on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, who was born on October 2, 1869. The mission of the Gandhi Alliance for Peace is: “To increase public awareness and understanding of Mahatma Gandhi, his unique role in world history, and his commitment to truth, nonviolence, service and justice; and to encourage non-violent resolutions of conflicts among individuals, communities, and nations.”
In giving the Award, Gandhi Alliance board memberAllan Smart praised Chodosh for his long-standing commitment and service to the cause of world peace, especially in his leadership of the College of Law’s two-year efforts providing legal assistance to the government of Iraq in 2008 to 2010, for his role in helping to create and promote court-annexed mediation in India beginning in 1995 and continuing as a Senior Fulbright Fellow in India in 2003, plus the ongoing collaboration of the College of Law with Indian law schools and Indian lawyer-mediators in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai and elsewhere in that country. He also recognized Dean Chodosh as one of America’s leading legal scholars, who developed a comparative approach to the study of the rule of law, conflict resolution, and international human rights.
In his acceptance remarks, Dean Chodosh said, “I can take only a small measure of credit for the close friendships, as well as the world-class colleagues, dedicated staff, and amazing students at the law school and the university, and the extraordinary work we are doing together—driven by the idea that education is the long-term remedy to the ills of our society and the larger civilization.” He expressed his deep gratitude to his parents and siblings; his beautiful and brilliant wife, Priya, and their children, Saja and Caleb; and his mentors in legal education at Yale Law School, especially Professors Calabresi, Fiss, Schuck, Stevens, and Koh.
Dean Chodosh noted that, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, there have been three major global commitments and trends:
- democracy, the rule of law, and the value of limited government;
- freedom of contract and the growth of a private-transactions economy; and
- globalization with its intensification of cross-border exchange of goods and bads.
“Each of these movements,” he said, “has unearthed social and sectarian fault lines previously interred by repression, from Bosnia to Bahrain, and given rise to new claims against the state, new forms of private dispute, and new and higher organizational forms of criminal activity.” Since coming to Salt Lake City five years ago as Dean of the College of Law, “my colleagues and I have been developing a strategy, an ethos, . . . that has us willing to step (without the promise of recognition or reward) into the vortex of the world’s most vexing challenges in health, environment, economy, family, innovation, crime and, yes, global justice. Our commitment is to leverage our own resources to improve the human condition. . . . Thank you for walking down this path with me today, and congratulations to you all.”
The audience in the International Peace Gardens rose to its feet and gave Dean Chodosh a heart-felt standing ovation.
Click here to read Chodosh’s Gandhi Peace Prize Comments.
The awards ceremony received significant coverage from local media. Click here to read the Salt Lake Tribune story.
Click here to view a short documentary on the Indian Mediation Project.