Prior Events

Major Human Rights Challenges in the Americas

A Conversation with:  Santiago A. Canton, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Washington, D.C.
Monday, November 16, 2009, Noon - 12:50 p.m.
Sullivan Hall, Room C5. 
Program Video

Join us as Mr. Canton addresses some of the key challenges in the Americas concerning international human rights violations. Mr. Canton, of Argentine nationality, directs the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States. The Inter-American Commission is the Western Hemisphere's primary institution for the protection of human rights, and exercises jurisdiction over nations from the tip of South America all the way to Canada - including the United States. Since 1960, it has issued influential reports and recommendations on a wide range of issues, including current concerns such as the recent coup in Honduras and the detention practices at Guantánamo Bay.

Mr. Canton was previously the OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression.  During 1998, he was Director of Public Information for the OAS.  From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Canton was Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the National democratic Institute for International Affairs, a democratic development institute based in Washington, D.C.  He was a political assistant to Jimmy Carter in the election processes in El Salvador and Dominican Republic.  Mr. Canton holds a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires and a Master degree in International Law from the Washington College of Law of the American University.

The Trial of a Former President and the Pursuit of Justice in Peru

April 14, 2009, 2 - 5 p.m.
Courtroom, Seattle University School of Law
Conference Video

The nation of Peru has reached a critical juncture in its history. It has extradited and begun to try its former President, Alberto Fujimori, for serious human rights abuses and acts of corruption. As Peru struggles to come to terms with its violent past, it has taken up other sweeping initiatives as well, such as its Truth and Reconciliation Commission and National Reparations Program.

The outcomes of these efforts are not only crucial for Peru, they will also provide essential lessons for states around the world that find themselves in the difficult transition to democracy and the rule of law. Come learn about these exciting legal and political developments with our expert panelists-including Jose Ugaz, who served as the Special Prosecutor for the highest profile criminal cases in recent Peruvian history, involving the investigation of former President Fujimori and his chief of intelligence, Vladimiro Montesinos.

Program Speakers:

Jose Ugaz is an internationally-recognized expert on criminal law and corruption issues. Mr. Ugaz served as the Special Prosecutor for former President Fujimori and Vladimiro Montesinos, who were charged with a range of human rights abuses and corruption crimes. Mr. Ugaz has been invited by institutions around the world to speak on criminal law and corruption matters, and has served as the representative of Peru before the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Among many other positions, he has served as Chairman of the Peruvian chapter of Transparency International and as a senior-level official with the World Bank.

Katya Salazar is the incoming Executive Director of the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF) in Washington, DC. Prior to DPLF, Ms. Salazar served as Deputy Director of the Special Investigations Unit of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Previously, she worked as a senior attorney with a number of human rights organizations and institutions in Peru, Europe and the United States.

Abraham Siles is a professor of Constitutional Law and General Legal Theory at the Catholic University of Peru. Prof. Siles is also a distinguished human rights attorney and consultant. To name only a few of his posts, he served as the General Coordinator of Justicia Viva, a consortium of leading human rights organizations in Peru; he was also charged with drafting the rules of procedure of the National Reparations Program.

Professors Ronald Slye and Thomas Antkowiak, of Seattle University School of Law, will participate as commentator and moderator, respectively.

Submission of Brief to International Court

On December 9, 2008, the Latin America Program, in conjunction with the International Human Rights Clinic of Seattle University, submitted a brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The brief concerned an advisory opinion soon to be issued by the Court on the institution of ad hoc judges. The SU document argued in defense of a petitioner's rights to due process and impartial proceedings; as a result, the Court was urged to discontinue the participation of ad hoc judges in cases between individual petitioners and states.

Read the submitted brief

The Inter-American Human Rights System

On November 11, 2008, the Latin America Program co-sponsored a conference at the Catholic University of Argentina on "The Transcendence of the Judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights." The Buenos Aires conference, also co-sponsored by the Organization of American States, featured a panel of experts on the Inter-American system of human rights protection. Prof. Thomas Antkowiak delivered a presentation on the innovative reparations case law of the Inter-American Court. The event was attended by nearly 250 students, lawyers and academics.

More information on the event (in Spanish)Retroactivity and the Rule of Law

Juan Vega Gomez

On October 29, 2007, Professor Gomez of the Mexican National Autonomous University Institute of Juridicial Science spoke to students and faculty.

Latin-American Perspectives on the Death Penalty

Mauricio Ferrara Rodríguez, La Universidad de los Andes (The University of the Andes), Merida, Venezuela.

In April 2007, Professor Ferrara Rodríguez spoke to students and faculty. He is the author of countless books and articles on contract and pedagogical issues.

Resolving International Trade and Environmental Disputes

Alejandro Pastori, Professor of Law, University of the Republic School of Law, Montevideo, Uruguay

On October 12, 2006, Professor Pastori addressed the conflict between Argentina and Uruguay over the construction of paper processing plan on the Uruguay River. Pastori received his doctorate in law from the University of the Republic of Uruguay in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1985. He received post-doctoral degrees from the University of Paris (Sorbonne) in public international law and in international trade and management.

International Human Rights

Sergio García Ramírez, president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

On September 30, 2006, Sergio García Ramírez, a Mexican jurist, law professor and former attorney general of Mexico, addressed students and faculty. A researcher with the Institute of Juridical Research, and a professor in the School of Law at National Autonomous University of Mexico, he discussed the role of the Inter-American Human Rights court in resolving conflicts. García Ramírez served in the cabinet of Mexican President José López Portillo as Secretary of Labor and then in the cabinet of Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid as Attorney General.

Visiting Professor

Professor Gonzalez Marquez visited the School of Law from March 25-31, 2006. He is a professor at Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (UAM). He is also the director of the Mexican Environmental Law Institute, editor of the Mexican Environmental Legislation and a cooperating faculty of the University of Alicante Faculty of Law.