Diego Rodriguez

Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón Elected to UN Committee against Torture


Washington, Oct. 6, 2017 – American University Washington College of Law congratulates Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón, professorial lecturer in residence and co-director of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, on his appointment to the United Nations Committee against Torture. Rodríguez-Pinzón, from Colombia, was one of the five experts elected to the Committee this week who will begin their four year term on Jan. 1, 2018.

“This is well-deserved recognition of Diego’s impressive contribution to global human rights and to the law school’s ongoing commitment to, and efforts in, this important field,” said Dean Camille A. Nelson. “This prestigious election continues AUWCL’s tradition of having excellent representation in the UN’s human rights system, more than many other universities in this country.”

Rodríguez-Pinzón is also co-director of AUWCL’s LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and teaches courses in the fields of international law and human rights law. He served as Ad Hoc Judge in the Inter-American Court on Human Rights of the Organization of American States from 2007 to 2011.

“This designation is a great honor that carries with it the crucial mandate of confronting torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment around the world,” said Rodríguez-Pinzón, who also received an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from AUWCL in 1994.  

Selected out of a group of nine, the other elected persons include Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov (Russian Federation) and Hongong Zhang (China). Jens Modvig (Chairperson, Denmark, also a guest lecturer at the Academy’s Program of Advanced Studies) and Essadia Belmir (Morocco) were also re-elected to continue their work with the Committee.

“This prestigious election continues AUWCL’s tradition of having excellent representation in the UN’s human rights system.”

Dean Camille A. Nelson

The UN Committee against Torture is composed of 10 independent experts who are persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights. The five members continuing their terms are: Felice Gaer (Vice-Chairperson, USA), Abdelwahab Hani (Tunisia), Claude Heller Rouassant (Vice-Chairperson, Mexico), Ana Racu (Moldova), and Sébastien Touze (Rapporteur, France).

Rodríguez-Pinzón follows the service on UN CAT of Professor and Dean Emeritus Claudio Grossman, who served as chair of the Committee from 2008-2015. Grossman is currently in the second of a five year term on the United Nations International Law Commission. Professor Grossman says that the election of Professor Rodríguez-Pinzón will continue and further develop AUWCL’s historic contribution to the promotion of human Rights through legal education.

Rodriguez-Pinzón’s presence at the UN CAT meetings in Geneva will also heighten the impact of the law school’s unique Kovler Project Against Torture, an experiential education opportunity through which upper-level students, under faculty guidance, make key contributions to the sessions of the UN CAT.


In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 120 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school's nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit www.wcl.american.edu