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Commissioners from the Americas

Mr Reed Brody
Mr Reed Brody – United States
Mr Reed Brody, from the United States, is currently serving his second term as an ICJ Commissioner having been elected in December 2016. Mr Brody is counsel for the victims of the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, who was convicted of crimes against humanity in a special court in Senegal. Previously, he worked on the cases of Augusto Pinochet and Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. From 1998 to 2016, he was Counsel and Spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, where he was author of four HRW reports on U.S. treatment of prisoners in the “war on terror” and the book “Faut-il Juger George Bush?” He has also served as Deputy Chief of the UN Secretary-General’s Investigative Team in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SGIT), Director of the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL), advisor to the government of Haiti for the prosecution of serious crimes, and Executive Director of the International Human Rights Law Group, He coordinated the ICJ 1997 report “Tibet: Human Rights and the Rule of Law.” From 1987 to 1992 he was director of the ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and then ICJ Executive Secretary. His 1984 investigation uncovered atrocities by the U.S.-backed “contras” against Nicaraguan civilians. He has taught courses on accountability for international crimes at Columbia Law School and the American University Washington College of Law. Mr Brody is on the advisory board of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. His work has been featured in five films, including “The Dictator Hunter.”


Professor José Luis Caballero Ochoa – Mexico
José Luis Caballero Ochoa has an LLB from the Monterrey Institute of Technology University, a master’s degree in law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and a Ph.D. in law from the National University of Distance Education (Spain). He also has a diploma in human rights and processes of democratization from the Chile University. He is part of the National System of Investigators (Sistema Nacional de Investigadores) in Mexico. He has participated in multiples academic and citizen commissions and boards in Mexico, including the Council of the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District; the Advisory Committee of the Center for Constitutional Studies of the Supreme Court of Justice; the Board of Directors of the Federal Institute of Public Defense; the Selection Commission of the Citizen Participation Committee of the National Anticorruption System, Board of Directors of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, among others. He is an academic and researcher at the law department of the Ibero-American University in Mexico City, and teaches constitutional law and human rights at various Mexican universities. He has been a panelist at conferences and forums in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Colombia, Spain, the United States and Peru. As a legal consultant and expert, he has written bills, amicus curiae, and international expert opinions, such as the expert opinion in the San Miguel de Sosa and other vs. Venezuela case handed down by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He has published more than 80 book chapters and articles in specialized publications on constitutional law, human rights and international human rights law. He has also published books in these areas. He is currently serving his first term as an ICJ Commissioner having been elected in 2021.


Sarah Cleveland
Professor Sarah Cleveland – United States
A second-term commissioner, Professor Sarah Cleveland (USA) is the Louis Henkin Professor of Human and Constitutional Rights and faculty director of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School. She is currently a member of the UN Human Rights Committee, the US member of the Venice Commission, and former counsel to the US State Department legal adviser. She also serves as coordinating reporter of the American Law Institute’s project on the Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States.


Professor Bernard Duhaime – Canada
Bernard Duhaime is Full Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM, Montreal, Canada), where he specializes mainly on international human rights law. He is also a visiting professor at Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas and an associate research fellow at the Geneva Academy. He has served as a Member of the Working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances reporting to the United Nations Human Rights Council (2014-2021). He is the author of more than sixty-five peer-reviewed publications and has presented more than two hundred conferences worldwide. Pr Duhaime was a Trudeau Foundation Fellow, a Canada-US Fulbright Visiting Chair at the University of Southern California, a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute, at Harvard Law School, at NYU School of Law and at the University of Victoria. He was also Visiting Professor at the National University of San Martin and the University of Palermo, at Université Aix Marseille, and at the Fondation René Cassin. He contributes to the defense and promotion of human rights since 1996, representing victims before international judicial and quasi-judicial institutions. Pr Duhaime is a senior counsel of the Quebec Bar, in Canada.


Picture of Leilani Farha
Ms. Leilani Farha – Canada
Ms. Leilani Farha is a Canadian lawyer and Global Director at The Shift, a worldwide movement aimed at securing the right to housing. She holds a BA (Hons), LLB and LLM in Law and Social Work from the University of Toronto. The Commissioner is a strong advocate for housing rights, launching The Shift in 2017 with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Cities and Local Government, and serving as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing between 2014 and 2020. She is also the central figure in the award-winning documentary film, “Push”, on the financialization of housing. Ms. Farha has helped develop global human rights standards on the right to housing, including through reports on homelessness, the financialization of housing, informal settlements, rights-based housing strategies, and the first UN Guidelines for the implementation of the right to housing. She is also the former Executive Director of non-profit organization, Canada Without Poverty, and currently runs a bi-monthly podcast called Pushback Talks which focuses on the global housing crisis. Farha is currently serving her first term as ICJ Commissioner.


Professor César Landa – Peru
A second term commissioner, César Landa has a degree from the Catholic University and a PhD from the Universidad Alcalá de Henares (Spain). He also has a post doctoral degr at the Institute of European Comparative Studies at the Bayreuth´s University and Max-Planck-Institute für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht in Heidelberg (Germany). Professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Former dean of the PUCP School of Law. National and international arbitrator and consultant on constitutional law and human rights. As a former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2022) and President and justice of the Peruvian Constitutional Court (2004- 2010) Prof. Landa’s experience will play an important role in strengthening human rights in Peru and the region since he has previously served as Vice Minister of the Peruvian Ministry of Justice and ad hoc judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He is a professor honoris causa at five Peruvian universities and honorary professor at the Universidad Alcalá de Henares in Spain. He has been a visiting professor at Universidad de Pompeu Fabra, Universidad de León, and Universidad Castilla-La Mancha in Spain; Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in France; Universidade de Fortaleza in Brazil and Renmin University of China. He has published several books and articles about constitutional matters and human rights.


Juan Méndez
Professor Juan Méndez – Argentina
Professor Juan Méndez, from Argentina, is serving his second term as ICJ Commissioner, having been elected in December 2016. Professor Méndez was the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment from November 2010 to October 31, 2016. Professor Méndez is also a Professor of Human Rights Law in residence at the Washington College of Law. Previously Professor Méndez has worked in a number of human rights roles including as general counsel of Human Rights Watch, Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, Special Advisor to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as Co-Chair of the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, as President of the International Center for Transnational Justice (ICTJ) and as Kofi Annan’s Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide.


Mónica Pinto
Prof. Mónica Pinto – Argentina
A second term commissioner, Mónica Pinto is Professor of International Law and International Human Rights Law and currently Dean of the University of Buenos Aires Law School. She is a former UN Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Guatemala (1993-1997) and Chad (2004–2005) and a former legal adviser to the Argentine Delegation that participates in hearings of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. Since 1997 she has been a member of the Board of the Inter-American Institute on Human Rights as well as of the Association for the Prevention of Torture. She was awarded the Ordre national du mérite, as Chevalier, by the French Republic, the Goler T. Butcher Medal by the American Society of International Law and the B’nei Brith Human Rights Prize.


Victor Rodriguez Rescia
Professor Victor Rodriguez Rescia – Costa Rica
Professor Victor Rodriguez Rescia is serving his third term as Commissioner, having been elected in 2013. He is a Costa Rican jurist who currently serves as Vice-President of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT). Professor Rescia is the Director of ‘Derechos Humanos para las Americas’ at the DePaul University in the USA. He works as a Human Rights Consultant for the Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos (IIDH) in Costa Rica. In this role, Professor Rescia has prepared methodologies, articles and workshops on torture prevention in Mexico, Guatemala, Columbia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and El Salvador. He provides training to judicial officers, with an emphasis on access to justice, due process and the prevention of torture. In 2006, Professor Rescia was a leading supporter in the campaign for the ratification and entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT). He has been involved in a number of cases before the Inter-American System, advising on issues relating to torture.


Alejandro Salinas Rivera
Mr Alejandro Salinas Rivera – Chile
Mr Alejandro Salinas River, from Chile, is serving his second term as ICJ Commissioner, having been elected in December 2016. Mr Salinas Rivera is a lawyer from Chile with expertise in international issues and cooperation, mining and labour law. Alejandro has collaborated with and ran leading national and international human rights organizations. He has worked as a consultant and adviser for the ICJ as well as for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Parliamentary Union and the Presidential Advisory Commission for human Rights Policy. He has been the head of a number of Departments and Units in various government agencies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as Director of the Human Rights Department; the Attorney General’s Office as Chief of the Unit of International Affairs; and at the Public Defender’s Officer as Chief of Staff of the National Defender, Head of the Evaluation, Control and Claims Department and Head of the International Cooperation Unit.


Wilder Tayler
Mr Wilder Tayler – Uruguay
A second-term commissioner, Mr Wilder Tayler (Uruguay) is Director of the National Institution of Human Rights and Ombudsman’s Office in Uruguay. He was Secretary-General of the International Commission of Jurists from 2008-2017. Between 2007 and 2014 he was a member and Vice-Chairperson of the UN Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture. Mr Tayler was Legal Director of Human rights Watch from 1997 to March 2007 and before that he worked with Amnesty International as a Legal Advisor and Director of the Americas Programme.


Rodrigo Uprimny YepesCROP
Professor Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes – Colombia
Dr Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes is serving his third term as Commissioner, having been elected in 2013. He is the Director of the Centre for the study of Law Justice and Society (DeJuSticia) in Colombia. He is a prominent lawyer and specialises in Constitutional Law, human rights and transitional justice. He is an Associate Professor of Constitutional Law, Human Rights, and Theory of the State at the Universidad Nacional, in Bogotá and, since 2005, has been the Director of the Master’s Programme in Law at the Universidad Nacional. Dr Uprimny Yepes also serves as an Interim Magistrate of the Constitutional Court of Colombia, which he has done since 2004. He is a former Interim / Assistant Justice (Magistrado Auxiliar) of the Constitutional Court, a position he held for eleven years. Dr Uprimny Yepes Ph. D. in Political Economy at the University of Amiens Picardie, DSU (Master’s Degree) in Sociology of Law at the University of Paris II, and DEA (Master’s Degree) in Social Economy of Development at the University of Paris I (IEDES).