Hemispheric Conference Focused on Freedom of Expression and the Inter-American System Gathers Diplomats, Academics, and Legal Practitioners at American University Washington College of Law


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 20, 2012 – American University Washington College of Law will host “The Inter-American System and Freedom of Expression,” an international conference between representatives of universities to discuss the validity of the human rights system, held March 26-27.

The conference is held in conjunction with the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) and Stanford University, with support of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Conference panelists and invited participants will address topics such as the current provisions and challenges of the Inter-American Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression, compare domestic rights with Inter-American protections in regards to defamation and freedom of information, and will include a visit to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

“American University Washington College of Law is pleased to organize this meeting on freedom of expression with Stanford and IAPA, and to have the participation of students and faculty from universities across the Americas,” said Claudio Grossman, dean, American University Washington College of Law. “Partnerships between academic institutions, professional organizations, and civil society are crucial to promoting human values of dignity, such as freedom of expression.”

Panelists at the event will include professors and law students from American universities as well as from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. Journalists, editors, legal practitioners, diplomats, and activists will also serve as speakers.


Speakers and panelists include:

  • Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, assistant executive secretary, IACHR
  • Ignacio Álvarez, Álvarez Martínez Law Firm LLC
  • Carlos Ayala, Consultores Jurídicos Ayala Dillón Fernández Linares, Venezuela
  • Catalina Botero, special rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, IACHR
  • Santiago Cantón, executive secretary, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
  • Nathan Chapman, executive director, Stanford Constitutional Law Center, Stanford University
  • Milton Coleman, president, Inter American Press Association (IAPA); senior editor, The Washington Post
  • Garrett Epps, professor, School of Law, University of Baltimore
  • Claudio Grossman, dean, American University Washington College of Law
  • Claudia Martín, professor, American University Washington College of Law
  • Juan Méndez, visiting professor, American University Washington College of Law; special rapporteur on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, United Nations
  • Peter Messitte, judge, United States District Court, District of Maryland
  • Gustavo Mohme, chair of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, IAPA; publisher, La República, Peru
  • Julio E. Muñoz, Ph.D., executive director, IAPA
  • Ana Christina Núñez, Stanford Law SPILS Program, Stanford University
  • Miguel H. Otero, IAPA chair of the Chapultepec Committee; publisher, El Nacional, Venezuela
  • César Pérez, publisher, El Universo, Ecuador
  • Diego Rodríguez, professor, American University Washington College of Law
  • Pablo Saavedra, secretary, Inter-American Court on Human Rights
  • Edward Seaton, publisher, The Manhattan Mercury, Kansas
  • Michael Shifter, president, Inter-American Dialogue
  • Ricardo Trotti, director of Freedom of the Press, IAPA
  • Mauricio Herrera Ulloa, press coordinator, Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, IACHR
  • Representatives from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia; Centro Universitario Metodista, Brazil; Universidad Iberoamericana, Dominican Republic; Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Mexico; and Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, Peru.

The conference is supported by James McClatchy Fund of the San Francisco Foundation, Scripps Howard News Service and The Scripps Howard Foundation, Central Valley Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and James B. McClatchy Chair of Stanford University.

More information about the conference.


About American University Washington College of Law

In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 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 1700 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 wcl.american.edu.