Sheri Stewart Handles Extradition Case in London Law Firm,
Presents Findings at Wellesley College’s Tanner Conference

October 31, 2008

Molly Tarantino, Public Affairs

WELLESLEY, Mass. —  Wellesley College senior Sheri Stewart hasn’t even graduated from college, but she’s already gained insight into the British justice system — and the legal field in general — by working on a challenging case with some of London’s best criminal defense lawyers.


While studying abroad in London, Stewart interned at the criminal defense firm O’Keeffe Solicitors. There, she conducted research for cases, revised case notes and compiled data into spreadsheets for legal documents. She was assigned to the extradition case of Charles Munyaneza, who was involved in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, and she worked as a clerk and assistant to the barristers on Munyaneza’s defense team.

During her time at O’Keeffe Solicitors, Stewart learned some difficult lessons about working in the legal profession. “My greatest challenge was to put my personal values aside in the interest of impartial justice and to defend a man I did not believe deserved to be helped after all the pain he had inflicted,” she said. “I learned that, as a lawyer, one can be transformed into a representative of a system bigger than personal beliefs and ideals.”

Stewart, a philosophy major at Wellesley, is the daughter of Victoria P. Stewart of New York City. She discussed her experiences in the presentation, “Victim or Victimizer? The 2008 London Extradition Case of 1994 Rwandan Genocide,” at the annual Tanner Conference on the Wellesley College campus, a day-long event held Oct. 28.

The Tanner Conference brings together students, faculty, staff and alumnae as they share their off-campus studies. With projects ranging from “Behind the Screen: The Making of Local Television News” to “A Mosaic of Morocco: Life as a Nomad,” Wellesley travelers return to discuss their experiences with the community.
This year’s conference represented the work of nearly 300 students, faculty, alumnae and staff. The annual event was established in 2001 through the generosity of Wellesley trustee Estelle “Nicki” Newman Tanner ‘57. For more information, visit

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to