ICJ appoints five new Commissioners

Mr Reed Brody (United States), Ms Roberta Clarke (Barbados/Canada), Professor Juan Mendez (Argentina), Mr Alejandro Salinas Rivera (Chile) and Justice Kalyan Shrestha (Nepal) have recently been elected to join the ICJ.

The new Commissioners were elected by a ballot of existing Commissioners, which took place between November and December 2016.

Mr Reed Brody (United States) has 25 years on the cutting edge of the human rights movement. Mr Brody has worked, amongst other things, as a freelance activist, New York Assistant Attorney General, Director of the ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group (now Global Rights), Director of the Human Rights Division of the UN Observer Mission in El Salvador, Deputy Director of the UN Secretary General’s Investigative Team in the Democratic Republic of Congo and at Human Rights Watch, including on such cases as those against the former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, and the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habre.

Ms Roberta Clarke (Barbados/Canada) has an extensive background in working on human rights issues, particularly in relation to women’s rights and social and economic rights. Ms Clarke has held a number of Academic roles including  Research Assistant, Junior Research Fellow, Assistant Lecturer and now Visiting Fellow at the University of West Indies. Ms Clarke has also worked as an Attorney in private practice and in a number of civil society and intergovernmental organization roles including as the Project Coordinator of the Women and the Law Project with the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action in Trinidad and Tobago, Social Affairs Officer on the Gender and Development Programme for the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Regional Programme Director for UNIFEM/UN Women’s Caribbean Office and then for UN Women’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

Professor Juan Méndez (Argentina) is currently the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, having been appointed in November 2010 and then having had his mandate renewed in 2014. 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.

Mr Alejandro Salinas Rivera (Chile) 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.

Justice Kalyan Shrestha (Nepal) was Chief Justice of the Nepalese Supreme Court from 2005 until his retirement in 2016. Prior to this he served in a number of judicial roles including as Chief Judge of the Appellate Court Jumla, a Judge of various Zonal, District and Appellate courts,  Under Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Law and as a Section Officer for the Supreme Court and Government of Nepal. Justice Shrestha has also held a number of senior roles in judicial bodies including as Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly Court, President of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation in Law, President of the Judges Society Nepal and as a Member of the Judicial Services Commission.

In addition to the election of five new members the following Commissioners have also been elected in the following capacity:

  • Professor Carlos Ayala (Venezuela) – elected for a second term as Commissioner and a third term on the Executive Committee
  • Justice Azhar Cahcalia (South Africa) – elected for a third term on the Executive Committee
  • Professor Andrew Clapham (United Kingdom) – elected to the Executive Committee
  • Professor Robert Goldman (United States) – elected for a second term as Vice-President
  • Ms Hina Jilani (Pakistan) – elected for a second term on the Executive Committee
  • Professor Sir Nigel Rodley (United Kingdom) – elected for a third term as President
  • Professor Marco Sassòli (Switzerland) – elected for a second term as alternate to the Executive Committee
  • Justice Stefan Trechsel (Switzerland) – elected for a second term as alternate to the Executive Committee


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