Human Rights Day

December 10, 2021

A year of Work Culminating in a Day of Celebrations: Our Contributions to the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

In celebration of Human Rights Day, the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law would like to highlight the work of the Academy’s leadership team, remarkable faculty, and accomplished students. There is no doubt that their commitment to continue to promote and advocate for Human Rights will have a global impact. Over the past 27 years, the Academy has developed key initiatives and programs that offer relevant, empowering training for scholars, practitioners, and students interested in the international human rights system and created key spaces for discussions of the most relevant issues in the human rights field.

A Global Impact 


“Making Impunity Visible in Cases of Gender-Based Violence in Latin America: Contribution to the Debate in the Framework of the Campaign "16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.”

Between October 12 and November 23, 2021, the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, along with the War Crimes Research Office and the Latin American Network for Strategic Litigation on Gender (ReLeG) co-sponsored a series of panels.  Read more.


Professor and Dean Emeritus, Claudio Grossman, was re-elected to the International Law Commission (ILC).

Dean Grossman, who is also the Academy´s Co-Chair, received the highest majority of votes from the members of the General Assembly for a single ILC candidate, with 174 countries voting in favor of his re-election. Read more.

Helen Duffy

On December 6, 2021, the Academy hosted Luiz Fux, Supreme Court Justice and President of the National Council of Justice IN bRAZIL.

We were honored to have our very own Dean Fairfax open the event with a brief welcome. The discussion focused on Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law in Brazil and was moderated by our very own Adjunct Professor, Flávia Piovesan, Commissioner and Rapporteur on the Rights of LGBTI Persons at the Organization of American States (OAS).


Juan Mendez, professor of human rights law in residence at Washington College Law

His recent work, Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering, known as the Mendez Principles is an impactful contribution to the field of human rights. Recently, he was also awarded Doctorate Honoris Causa, "with special mention for academic scientific merit" by the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, in Argentina. Listen to a panel on the Mendez Principles.


Felipe aravena, Alternate Permanent Representative of Chile to the Organization of American States (OAS), WCL HRHL LLM Alumni

"Studying Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law at WCL means training with the best specialists in the world in the field of Human Rights. This LL.M. provides fundamental tools to be able to act in the regional and global diplomatic sphere, providing a solid perspective on human rights."


Carla Pierini Borenstein, Staff Attorney, Good Governance Program, the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, WCL HRHL LLM Alumni

“My LL.M. experience at American Univeristy granted me access to an incredible and unparalleled professional network of current and future human rights practitioners, including some of the world’s leading academic minds. Thanks to the program I was able to land my ideal job!”

Ted Piccone

HRHL LLM In-residence Students

Our residential LL.M. Cohort represents students from  Italy, Venezuela, France, Turkey, Armenia, Argentina, the United States and Mexico, among others. This creates a multicultural and rich environment to exchange ideas and approaches to the current challenges in the field of human rights around the globe. 

Learn more about the LL.M. Program.


Claudia Martin, Academy Co-director

As a funder and member of GQUAL, this year Professor Claudia Martin was actively involved with the Campaign to promote gender parity in the composition of international courts and organs. During the Academy’s Experts Speak Series she organized and moderated a panel on co-sponsored by ASIL's Women in International Law Interest Group, GQUAL, and the Institute for African Women in Law. Listen to the panel here


Additionally, she co-coordinated a Symposium on Gender Representation in Opinio Juris and published a blog on Article 8 of CEDAW – Significance and Role of the CEDAW Committee to Tackle Women Underrepresentation in International Bodies. On November 17, 2021 she participated in a panel on “Gender Parity in the human rights mechanisms: a pending agenda,”  sponsored by the Institute of Democracy and Human Rights of the Pontifical University of Peru, the School of Law of the University of Murcia, the University of Cordoba, and the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.


Diego Rodriguez-Pinzon, Academy Co-director

From November 8 to December 3, 2021, Professor Rodriguez-Pinzon member of the UN Committee against Torture, participated in the 72nd session of the Committee in Geneva, Switzerland. The Committee reviewed the country reports of Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Nigeria, Serbia, and Sweden under the U.N. Convention Against Torture. He served as co-rapporteur in the review of Bolivia, which was a hybrid review due to the current pandemic situation. The Committee also adopted decisions in individual communications, among other activities.


We should also highlight his participation in several notable panels, including his opening of the conference “Dialogue on Immigration Detention,” organized by the Caribbean Centre for Human Rights in Trinidad and Tobago. The topic of the panel focused on the situation of Venezuelan asylum seekers and refugees. View the video on Facebook.

2022 Programs and Initiatives


2022 Summer Human RIGHTS pROGRAM - May 30TH to June 17TH, 2022

Announcing the 23rd Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law IN-PERSON!

"We are excited to welcome many of you to the program next summer 2022! This intensive three-week program offers a broad spectrum of classes taught by more than 40 world-renowned faculty members."

-- The Academy Team

Registration opens on January 1. Learn more here.


2022 iNTER-aMERICAN mOOT cOURT cOMPETITION - May 22rd to May 27th, 2022

Announcing the 27th Annual Moot Court Competition IN-PERSON! We are excited to welcome a select number of Teams, Judges, Observers, and Bailiffs from around the world to discuss a cutting-edge topic currently being debated within the Inter-American Human Rights Legal System. 

The 2022 Hypothetical Case ¨Climate Change and Human Rights: Impacts, Responsibilities, and Opportunities.¨ has been published!

Registration for all the roles of the Competition is now open! Learn more here. 



2022 hUMAN rights Essay Award - Submissions due January 31st

This writing competition seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. The topic of the 2022 Award is “Climate Change and Human Rights: Impacts, Responsibilities, and Opportunities.” Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to this topic. This competition is open to lawyers around the world. (Only participants with a law degree are eligible). We look forward to receiving your online submissions!

Access to Human Rights Education   


Hybrid and online courses - Advanced Human RIGHTS cOURSE

The LL.M. in International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in its hybrid and online modality opens spaces for students to share their experiences, knowledge, and passion for human rights and enhance their learning process. Advanced Human Rights is taught by Professorial Lecturer in-residence, Claudia Martin.

"I am most grateful for the ways in which this course challenged me. Even through the analysis of serious transgressions of inalienable rights, I feel empowered and better suited to continue the pursuit of accountability through litigation and advocacy. I am appreciative of Professor Martin for providing and fostering a space for analytical and reflective thinking, and for presenting the realities and challenges in international human rights and humanitarian law while still infusing a strong sense of hope throughout the lectures. Thank you, Professor Martin, classmates, and Veronica for an amazing semester! Go AUWCL human rights defenders!"


Hybrid and online courses - ESTUDIOS AVANZADOS EN ddhh (Advanced Human Rights Course)

The LL.M. in International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law is also offered fully in Spanish. This opens doors for multilingual lawyers looking to receive formal training with top human rights experts in their native language. This Course is taught by Adjunct Professor, Mikel Mancisidor.

"My experience at WCL has been invaluable and incomparable, it is the center for comprehensive training in Human Rights, which combines high-level academic experiences due to excellent faculty, with the exchange of personal experiences of various realities in the Americas that arise through interaction with colleagues from various countries enriching the in-class debates, live class sessions, and forum discussions."



The LL.M. in International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law also offers courses in specific trending human rights topics. This course uncovers relevant issues and violations faced by the most vulnerable populations. It also presents practical approaches as tools that can be used in defending the rights of these populations. The course is taught by Adjunct Professor, Jorge Araya.

"My gratitude and appreciation to Professor Jorge Araya as he was able to instill from the beginning a cooperative environment. He sees us as peers and as fellow professionals. He always gives us the floor to discuss, analyze, propose and develop knowledge with practical cases, impressing upon us the necessary tools to understand the human rights of vulnerable groups".