Dinah Shelton, a citizen of the United States, began her term at the IACHR in January 2010. She was designated Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the plenary of the Commission during a working meeting held on January 28-29, 2010. Commissioner Shelton is the Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law at the George Washington University Law School. Previously, she was Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame. She has also been a Visiting Professor at various law schools in the United States and France. Commissioner Shelton also directed the Office of Staff Attorneys at the United States Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit and was Director of Studies at the International Institute of Human Rights. She studied law at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She has been an international law consultant for the World Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the UN Institute for Training and Research, among other organizations. She has written, co-written, or edited 19 books and authored dozens of articles and book chapters on human rights and international law.
Víctor Abramovich, March 2008 - December 2009
Víctor Abramovich, a citizen of Argentina, was a Commissioner of the IACHR from January 2006 to December 2009. He served as Second Vice-Chair in 2007 and First Vice-Chair in 2009. He was Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from March 4, 2008, to December 31, 2009, and in that capacity he was a member of the IACHR delegation that carried out a visit to Bolivia in June 2008 to gather information for the report entitled Captive Communities: Situation of the Guaraní Indigenous People and Contemporary Forms of Slavery in the Bolivian Chaco. He also headed the IACHR delegation that conducted a field visit in connection with the provisional measures ordered for the members of the communities that constitute the Community Council of Jiguamiandó and the families of Curbaradó, in Chocó, Colombia. Víctor Abramovich also served as IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Women from March 1, 2006, to March 4, 2008. As First Vice-Chair, he participated in the onsite visit the Commission made to Honduras in August 2009 to observe the human rights situation in the context of the coup d'état of June 28, 2009, a visit that resulted in the publication of the report Honduras: Human Rights and the Coup d'État. Abramovich earned his law degree from the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), and he holds a master’s degree in international law from American University's Washington College of Law, in Washington, D.C. He has also completed numerous specialized courses in human rights in England and Spain. He has been Executive Director of Argentina’s Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS), a legal consultant to the Ombudsman’s Office of the city of Buenos Aires, and a consultant to the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR), among other positions. He is currently a Professor of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law of UBA and of the National University of Lanus, as well as a Visiting Professor at American University and at Ecuador’s “Simón Bolívar” Andean University, among others. Commissioner Abramovich is the author of several specialized publications, in particular on economic, social, and cultural rights.
Paolo Carozza, March 2006 − March 2008
Paolo Carozza, a citizen of the United States, was a Commissioner of the IACHR from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2009. He was Chair of the IACHR in 2008 and First Vice-Chair in 2007. He served as Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from March 1, 2006, to March 4, 2008. In that capacity, he carried out a visit to Paraguay in September 2007, visiting the Xákmok Kásek community of the Enxet-Lengua people in the Paraguayan Chaco, which had in process before the IACHR a petition whose admissibility had been approved in 2003. Paolo Carozza was the Commission's delegate in the application filed with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on July 3, 2009. During the same visit to Paraguay, Paolo Carozza visited the Yakye Axa community of the Enxet-Lengua people in order to supervise compliance with the judgment issued by the Court on June 17, 2005. During his mandate as Rapporteur, Paolo Carozza called on States to respect the identity, lands, and territories of indigenous peoples. In March 2009, the Commission decided to put him in charge of the Unit for Human Rights Defenders. Paolo Carozza is an attorney who graduated from Harvard Law School, where he also was a postgraduate fellow in Public International Law. Prior to that, he attended Cambridge University on a fellowship. He is currently Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught numerous courses on human rights, international law, comparative law, and philosophy of law. He also teaches courses on European human rights law at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, and is a Visiting Professor at Harvard University. He has taught master’s seminars at the European Inter-University Institute for Human Rights and Democratisation in Venice and courses on human rights at the University of Trento in Italy. He has also taught courses on philosophy of law at the University of Milan Faculty of Law, was a visiting researcher and lecturer at the University of Chile, and is the author of numerous specialized publications.
José Zalaquett Daher, March 2004 − December 2005
José Zalaquett, a Chilean citizen, is a Professor of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law of the University of Chile, as well as Co-Director of the Center for Human Rights and Professor of Ethics and Government in the Department of Industrial Engineering's Public Management and Policy Master's Program at the same university. He was a Commissioner of the IACHR from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2004. He served as Chair of the Commission in 2004 and First Vice-Chair in 2003. He was also Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from March 12, 2004, to December 31, 2005. José Zalaquett holds a law degree from the University of Chile and a doctorate of law, honoris causa, from the University of Notre Dame and the City University of New York. He regularly participates in the annual courses of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and has taught courses as a Visiting Professor in the law schools of Harvard, Toronto, and New York universities. He has written books and numerous articles on issues within his specialty. In the field of defending and promoting human rights, José Zalaquett has held or still holds senior management positions in several organizations, including the Cooperation for Peace Committee (later Vicaría de la Solidaridad), Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, and the Center for Transitional Justice. In Chile, he also participated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the subsequent national dialogue on human rights (Mesa de Diálogo). In recognition of his work, he has received, among other distinctions, the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education, the MacArthur Foundation Award, and the Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America (2009). In Chile, he received the President's Medal from the University of Chile (2003), the National Prize for Humanities and Social Sciences (2004), and the Alberto Hurtado "Hero of Peace" Award (2006), and was recognized as a "Friend of the World" (2010) by Santiago's Círculo Israelita and Chile's Vaad Hajinuj.
Julio Prado Vallejo, March 2000 − December 2003
Julio Prado Vallejo was an Ecuadorian citizen. He served as a Commissioner of the IACHR from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2003, and as Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the period from 2000 to 2003, a responsibility he shared with Commissioner Claudio Grossman from 2000 to 2002. Both men oversaw the preparation of the report Authorities and Precedents in International and Domestic Law for the Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, published on March 1, 2001. On November 13, 2002, Prado Vallejo offered a presentation before the Working Group in charge of elaborating the Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Spanish version of this presentation is available here). Prado Vallejo, who had a master's in political and social sciences and a doctorate of law, was President of Ecuador's National Human Rights Commission, a member (1977-1998) and President (1986-1988) of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, a member of the UN Committee against Torture, and an honorary member of the Andean Commission of Jurists. In the academic realm, Prado Vallejo was director of the Human Rights and Governance Master's Program at Ecuador's Central University, where he also served as Director of the Human Rights Institute. Julio Prado Vallejo died in October 2006, at the age of 83.
Claudio Grossman, March 2000 − December 2002
A Chilean citizen and expert in international law, human rights, and inter-American affairs, Claudio Grossman is Dean of the Washington College of Law at American University and the Raymond Geraldson Scholar for International and Humanitarian Law. He was a Commissioner of the IACHR from January 1994 to December 2001, where he served two terms as Chair (1996 and 2001). He was the Commission's Co-Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 2000 to 2002, along with Commissioner Julio Prado Vallejo. Both men oversaw the preparation of the report Authorities and Precedents in International and Domestic Law for the Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, published on March 1, 2001. Claudio Grossman was also the Commission's first Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, a post he occupied from 1994 to 2000. In that capacity, he was responsible for researching and drafting a report on discrimination against women, in fact and in law, in the Americas. That study included meetings of experts, consultations to the States, and other activities, which are detailed in Progress Reports published in 1995, 1996, and 1998. On October 13, 1998, the Commission approved the Report of the IACHR on the Status of Women in the Americas, which was carried out under Grossman's direction. In his capacity as IACHR Commissioner, Grossman participated in visits to Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela, among others. He has also participated in numerous field visits and electoral observation missions in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. He served as the Commission’s delegate in numerous cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In April 2010, Grossman was unanimously reelected Chairperson of the United Nations Committee against Torture, a position he has held since April 2008; he has been a member of the Committee since 2003. Claudio Grossman obtained his law degree from the University of Chile and his doctorate in law from the University of Amsterdam, Holland. He speaks Spanish, English, French, and Dutch, is the author of numerous books and articles on international law and human rights, and belongs to many associations, including the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, of which he is a board member. He has received numerous distinctions for his work in human rights and international law, including the recent Henry W. Edgerton Civil Liberties Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area, in recognition of exceptional lifetime achievements related to the advancement and defense of human rights and civil liberties.
Carlos Ayala Corao, February 1996 − December 1999
Carlos Ayala Corao, a Venezuelan citizen, was a Commissioner of the IACHR from January 1, 1996, to December 31, 1999. He was Chair of the Commission in 1998, First Vice-Chair in 1997, and Second Vice-Chair in 1996. In March 1996, during the Commissions 91st period of sessions, Carlos Ayala Corao was named Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, taking on a central role in the preparation of, consultations on, and final approval of the Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the IACHR presented to the OAS General Assembly in 1997. He also oversaw the preparation of the report entitled The Human Rights Situation of the Indigenous People in the Americas, published in October 2000. In July 1996, he participated in the IACHR's onsite visit to Mexico, as well as in onsite visits to Guatemala, Colombia, United States of America, Canada, Paraguay, and Peru. Carlos Ayala Corao obtained his law degree with honors and his doctoral studies in law at the Andrés Bello Catholic University (UCAB) in Venezuela, and holds a master's degree in government from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He is Professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights at UCAB and the Central University of Venezuela (UCV); he also heads the Constitutional Law Department and the Department of Public Law at UCAB and teaches in the Human Rights Postgraduate Program at UCV. He regularly teaches courses at the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, and in 1999 he taught courses in human rights at the University of Georgetown and American University. Since 2003, he has also offered courses and conferences in human rights and constitutional law in the postgraduate programs of several universities, including Mexico's Ibero-American and Pan American universities; the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina), the Washington College of Law (United States), the University of Talca (Chile), and the Blas Pascal University of Córdoba (Argentina). He was President of the Andean Commission of Jurists between 2003 and 2009. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ibero-American Institute of Constitutional Law and President of its Venezuela Chapter; President of the Venezuelan Association of Constitutional Law (1995-1998) and Honorary Chairman since 1998; a corresponding member of the Institute of Research on the New State at the University of Belgrano (Argentina); a member of the Associations of Constitutional Law of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Peru; a member of the International Commission designated by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights for the process of selection and appointment of Ecuador's Supreme Court of Justice (2005); and a United Nations consultant for the election process for the Supreme Court of Justice of Guatemala (2009). Carlos Ayala is the author of various books and articles published on human rights and constitutional law issues, and he has served as an adviser to UNESCO's human rights program.
Patrick Lipton Robinson, 1991 - 1995
Patrick Lipton Robinson, a Jamaican citizen, is President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, having been elected to that post on November 4, 2008, and reelected on October 26, 2009. He was elected as a member of the Tribunal by the United Nations General Assembly on October 16, 1998, and has been reelected twice. He has presided over numerous cases, including those of Slobodan Miloŝević and Dragomir Miloŝević. Patrick Lipton Robinson was a Commissioner of the IACHR from 1988 to 1995 and its Chair in 1991. He participated in onsite visits, including to Haiti, and the observations from these visits were compiled in a report published in 1995. He served as Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 1991 to 1995. Patrick Lipton Robinson is a Barrister of Law from Middle Temple, United Kingdom, and earned his master's degree in international law from the University of London. He also has a Certificate in International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law. From 1968 to 1971, he served as Crown Counsel in Jamaica's Office of the Director of the Public Prosecutions. Between 1972 and 1998, he served as Legal Adviser to Jamaica's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and subsequently held various positions in the Attorney General's Department. Beginning in 1972, he represented Jamaica for 26 years before the Sixth (Legal) Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, where among other things, he participated in the drafting of the statute for an international criminal court. From 1981 to 1998, he led Jamaica’s delegations for the negotiation of treaties on several subjects, including extradition, mutual legal assistance, maritime delimitation, and investment promotion and protection. Judge Robinson also served as a member of the Haiti Truth and Justice Commission from 1995 to 1996 and was a member of the International Bio-ethics Committee of UNESCO from 1996 to 2005, serving as its Vice-Chairman from 2002 to 2005.