The Honorable Peter J. Messitte

Adjunct Professor of Law

Peter J. Messitte is a Senior United Sates District Judge for the District of Maryland. He is formerly a Judge on the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland. At WCL, Judg Messitte is the Director of the Brazil-U.S. Legal & Judicial Studies Program. The Judge graduated with honors from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts and from the University of Chicago Law School. Judge Messitte was a Peace Corps volunteer in São Paulo, Brazil, from 1966 to 1968. He has been involved in Judicial Reform activities around the world for more than 30 years. His principal consulting work in this regard has taken place in Latin America (mainly Brazil), although it has also extended to Lusophone countries in general, as well as Turkey, Thailand and Yemen. Judge Messitte is a former member of the International Judicial Relations Committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference, where he chaired the Latin America and Caribbean Working Group. He is currently Special Advisor and former Member of the Latin America and Caribbean Division Counsel of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. He has written and spoken widely on Judicial Reform topics throughout the world, especially in Latin America and Brazil. In 2008, in recognition of his work on judicial reform with the Brazilian Judiciary, he was made an Honorary Citizen of the City of São Paulo. In 2016, he was awarded the Order of the Southern Cross (Ordem do Cruzeiro do Sul), Brazil’s highest award to a non-Brazilian, for his work and friendship with the Brazilian Judiciary over the years.



Currently Teaching

There are no classes currently associated with this professor.

Areas of Specialization

  • Comparative Law
  • International Law

Degrees & Universities

  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School
  • B.A., Amherst College

  • Selected Publications

    • Peter J. Messitte, Expanding the Rule of Law in Latin America, 4 Wash. U. Global Studies L. Rev. 617 (2005).