Juan Mendez Lecture

Date: Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Time: 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Place: Seigle Hall, Room 301

Juan Mendez

Whitney Harris World Law Institute will present "Contributions of the Inter-American System of Human Rights on Transitional Justice" by Juan Mendez.

In the wake of transitions to democracy in Latin America in the 1980s and 90s, victims and civil society groups challenged impunity for the legacy of mass atrocities inherited by the young democracies.  In response, the specialized human rights organs of the Organization of American States have produced a rich and varied jurisprudence on what the State owes the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Those judgments have blazed a trail in international law and have been cited authoritatively in other continents and jurisdictions. 

Juan Méndez is President of the International Center for Transitional Justice, and, until just recently, was concurrently the Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the UN on the Prevention of Genocide.  He has dedicated his legal career to the defense of human rights. As a result of his involvement in representing political prisoners, the Argentinean military dictatorship arrested him, subjected him to torture, and administrative detention for a year and a half.  He has worked with Human Rights Watch, teaches regularly at the Oxford Masters Program in International Human Rights Law in the United Kingdom, is the recipient of several human rights awards, a member of the bar in Argentina and the United States, and a member of the Steering Committee of Washington University Law Harris Institute’s Crimes Against Humanity initiative.