Hon. Phillip Rapoza (Ret.)
Phillip Rapoza is the former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and previously served as a trial judge on the Massachusetts District and Superior Courts. From 2003 to 2005 he served as an international judge and coordinator of the UN-backed Special Panels for Serious Crimes in Timor-Leste. In 2012 he was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the international reserve judge on the Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
Chief Justice Rapoza has returned on numerous occasions to Timor-Leste to support the development of the country’s justice sector. He has participated in similar initiatives elsewhere and headed a UN Criminal Justice Advisory Team in Haiti on the issue of pre-trial detentions. He is currently in his second term as President of the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation, which is headquartered in Switzerland and promotes studies in the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders.
Chief Justice Rapoza received his B.A. degree magna cum laude from Yale College and his Juris Doctor degree from Cornell University Law School. He is also the recipient of a number of honorary law degrees. The grandson of Portuguese immigrants, he was decorated by the President of Portugal and holds the rank of Commander in the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator. He has received numerous awards in recognition of both his domestic and international judicial service and is the recipient of the Brazilian Medal of International Merit.