Washington College of Law Faculty

Questions?

  • Office of the Provost
    202-885-2127
    Fax: 202-885-2173
    provost@american.edu
    Leonard, Room Lower Level

    Bass, Scott A.
    Provost

Mailing Address

Human Rights-Related Faculty Profiles

Kenneth Anderson: Professor Anderson is Professor of Law with expertise in international human rights; war and armed conflict; terrorism and state terrorism; nonprofit and charitable organizations; philanthropy; development finance and microcredit; and international business and finance. He is fluent in Spanish. Professor Anderson is director of the JD/MBA dual degree program. He was the legal editor for Crimes of War (WW Norton, 1999) and is a research fellow at The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.
Courses Taught: LAW 632 Law & Economics; LAW 661 International Business Transactions; LAW 795 International Justice for Human Rights Violations; LAW 874 Law of Venture Capital.

Ali Beydoun: Professor Beydoun is the Executive Director and supervising attorney of the UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic, a student clinical program at American University's Washington College of Law. He is experienced in many areas of law including complex litigation, human/civil rights, employment law and corporate matters. Professor Beydoun’s representative matters include defending magazine publishers on First Amendment issues; representing U.S. citizens detained by government immigration law enforcement agencies despite the government agency's lack of jurisdiction over U.S. citizens; and representing the widow of a foreign national who brought an action under the Alien Tort Statute in the U.S. courts for the torture and murder of her husband, a UN diplomat. Moreover, UNROW’s clients included the heirs of a Chilean general killed with weapons provided by U.S. officials; victims of torture and forced disappearance under General Pinochet’s regime in Chile; and the indigenous peoples of the Chagos Archipelago who were forcibly removed from their homeland to make way for the U.S. military base of Diego Garcia.
Courses Taught: LAW 712-001: Human Rights Litigation Seminar; LAW 712-002: Human Rights Litigation Fieldwork; UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic

Janie Chuang: Professor Chuang is an Assistant Professor of Law, specializing in issues relating to violence against women, specifically trafficking in women. As an advisor on trafficking issues for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Professor Chuang participated in the drafting of the UN Trafficking Protocol to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime, advocating for the inclusion of human rights protections for trafficked persons. Prior to joining WCL in 2004, Professor Chuang practiced with the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, representing foreign governments in international litigation/arbitration and pro bono clients in asylum and human rights cases. Professor Chuang is the U.S. Member of the International Law Association’s Feminism and International Law Committee, she serves on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, and as Co-Chair of the Feminism and International Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association.

Courses Taught: LAW 795 Gender, Labor, & the Global Economy; LAW 927 Trafficking in Persons.

Jennifer de Laurentiis: Professor de Laurentiis is Special Assistant to the Dean and Coordinator of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) Project. A graduate of WCL, Professor De Laurentiis works with Dean Grossman on the UNCAT project, which teaches a select number of students in a two-part seminar on the UN Convention Against Torture and travels to Geneva in November for the Committee session. The program focuses on analyzing and compiling human rights reports, which are often used by Dean Grossman in his capacity as Chairman of the UN Committee Against Torture. Students produce issue papers outlining compliance with the convention. Professor de Laurentiis also supervises and participates in litigation before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Courses Taught: LAW 795 Torture Prohibition in International Law.

Robert Dinerstein: Professor Dinerstein is Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs. He is the founder of the Disability Rights Law Clinic. He specializes in the fields of clinical education and disability law, especially mental disabilities law (including issues of consent/choice, capacity and guardianship), the Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, legal representation of clients with mental disabilities, the interaction between disability and the criminal justice system, and disability and international human rights. Professor Dinerstein was appointed by President Clinton in 1994 to serve on the President's Committee on Mental Retardation. He has consulted for the World Health Organization regarding the revision of mental health laws in Ghana and Malawi, and was a signatory to the Montreal Declaration on Intellectual Disabilities. He has worked as an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, where he handled federal court cases on the rights of people institutionalized in mental hospitals, institutions for people with intellectual disabilities and juvenile institutions, prisons, and jails.
Courses Taught: LAW 715 Disability and the Law; LAW 719 Introduction to Health Care & Life Sciences Fundamentals; LAW 764 Disability Rights Clinic.

Sean Flynn: Professor Flynn is Professorial Lecturer in Residence and the Associate Director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) at American University Washington College of Law. His primary research focus is on legal frameworks governing access to essential goods and services, including constitutional and human rights law, intellectual property law, utility regulation, antitrust and consumer protection law. He is author of numerous published articles and book chapters on rights to access to medicines, water, and other essential goods and services.
Courses Taught: LAW 795 Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines; LAW 962 Intellectual Property & Human Rights.

Robert Goldman: Robert K. Goldman is Louis C. James Scholar; faculty co-director, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law; faculty director, the War Crimes Research Office; and professor of law. He holds expertise in international and human rights law; U.S. foreign policy; terrorism; and the law of armed conflict. From 1996 to 2004 he was a member of the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and served as its president in 1999. From July 2004 to July 2005, Goldman was the United Nations Human Rights Commission's Independent Expert on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. In October 2005, the International Commission of Jurists named him one of the eight jurists on the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights. In 2008, Goldman was elected Commissioner and member of the Executive Committee of the International Commission of Jurists. He is author of The Protection of Human Rights: Past, Present and Future (1972); coauthor of Middle East Watch's book, Needless Deaths in the Gulf War, a 1991 publication that assessed civilian casualties during the 39-day air campaign and assigned responsibility for violations of the laws of war; and coauthor of The International Dimension of Human Rights: A Guide For Application in Domestic Law (2001). He is also the author of scores of reports, papers and articles on human rights and humanitarian law related issues.
Courses Taught: LAW 620 International Humanitarian Law; LAW 660 International Law; LAW 795 Human Rights and Terrorism.

Dean Claudio Grossman: Dean Grossman is Dean of American University Washington College of Law, as well as the Raymond Geraldson Scholar for International and Humanitarian Law. Dean Grossman was unanimously reelected Chair of the United Nations Committee against Torture in April 2010, a position he has held since April 2008, and has been a Committee member following his November 2003 election to that body. He is also a member of the Commission for the Control of Interpol's Files (since February 2005) as well as Chair of the Committee on International Cooperation of the Association of American Law Schools. In May 2009, Dean Grossman was named to the judging panel for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. Dean Grossman served as President of the College of the Americas (COLAM), an organization of colleges and universities in the Western Hemisphere, from November 2003-November 2007. He was also a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) from 1993-2001. He was twice elected its President, first in 1996 and again in 2001. He was the IACHR's first Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women (1996-2000), as well as its Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Populations (2000-2001) and its Observer of the AMIA Trial (2001-2005). Dean Grossman is the author of numerous publications regarding international law and human rights. He has also received numerous awards for his work with human rights and international law.

Hadar Harris: Hadar Harris is the Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. She specializes in issues of civil and political rights, gender equality, and domestic implementation of international norms. She has worked extensively in assessing and reviewing national compliance with international human rights treaties working both with NGOs and governmental bodies in countries such as Botswana, Kosovo, Armenia, India, Israel, the United States and Morocco. Professor Harris has also lived and worked in Jerusalem where she was the Director of Program and Resource Development for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). She formerly served as the Executive Director of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, a bipartisan legislative service organization of the United States House of Representatives.
Courses Taught: LAW 725-001 Gender, Cultural Difference & Intl Human Rights; LAW 795-002: Law, Politics and Human Rights in Crisis; LAW 989-001: International Protection of Vulnerable Groups.

David Hunter: Professor Hunter is Associate Professor of Law and director of the Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law and the International Legal Studies Program. He is also the director of the Washington Summer Session on Environmental Law. He is the former executive director of the Center for International Environmental Law and was previously an Associate with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide-US, EarthRights International, the Project on Government Oversight, the Bank Information Center, and Greenpeace-US.
Courses Taught: LAW 522 Torts; LAW 618 International Environmental Law; LAW 737 International Institutions & Environmental Protection; LAW 813 Comparative Environmental Law.

Ann Jordan: Ms. Jordan is Director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Forced Labor at the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. She specializes in issues of human trafficking, forced labor, and women's rights. For 10 years, she was the director of the Initiative against Trafficking in Persons at Global Rights and spent eight years in Hong Kong and China teaching and advocating for women's rights and human rights. She has worked in or on projects in China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Bosnia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Ukraine.

Nicholas Kittrie: Professor Kittrie serves as distinguished University Professor, chair of the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Justice and Peace, and co-chair of the Interest Group on the Status of Minorities of the American Society of International Law. He is an expert in American comparative and international criminal law and previously served as Special Counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee, president of the American Society of Criminology, dean of the Washington College of Law, and chair of the United Nations Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. He specializes in international and comparative criminal law, minority rights, terrorism and political crime. Professor Kittrie teaches and practices, both domestically and internationally, in the areas of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Sentencing, Sanctions and Corrections, International Criminal Law, and the Laws of Political Crime and Terrorism.
Courses Taught: LAW 507 Criminal Law; LAW 508 Criminal Procedure; LAW 713 Political Crime & Terrorism; LAW 850 International Criminal Law.

Daniela Kraiem: Professor Kraiem is the Associate Director of the Women and the Law Program and a Practitioner-in-Residence. She works to incorporate gender into all aspects of legal education by bringing feminist scholars to present new work at WCL, coordinating grant-funded projects exploring various aspects of gender and law (including women's human rights, comparative family law, international criminal law, women's health and human trafficking,) collaborating with student groups to plan events on current issues, supporting WCL's comprehensive gender and law curriculum, and advising the students enrolled in the Gender and Law specializations in WCL's two LLM programs. Prior to joining WCL, she represented labor unions and employees at McCarthy, Johnson and Miller. She started her legal career as a staff attorney at the non-profit Child Care Law Center. Her research interests include the political economy of elder care and child care, feminist theory and legal education.
Courses Taught: LAW 795-008 Gender Perspectives Across the World; LAW 987-001Gender, Inequality & the State.

Claudia Martin: Professor Martin is Professorial Lecturer in Residence and co-director of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. She focuses on comparative human rights law and international law and the protection of human rights. The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law conducts an intensive three-week summer course for over two hundred students from around the world with top-name international faculty professors who come to teach short courses at WCL. The Academy also conducts the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition, the first tri-lingual international moot court competition focused on the Inter-American human rights system.
Courses Taught: LAW 626 Human Rights; LAW 725 Sistema Inter-Americano de Derechos Humanos.

Juan Mendez: Professor Mendez is Visiting Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and an advisor on crime prevention to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. He is also Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association. Until May 2009 he was the President of the International Center for Transnational Justice (ICTJ) and in the summer of 2009 he was a Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation in New York. Concurrent with his duties at ICTJ, the Honorable Kofi Annan named Mr. Méndez his Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, a task he performed from 2004 to 2007. A native of Argentina, Mr. Méndez has dedicated his legal career to the defense of human rights and has a long and distinguished record of advocacy throughout the Americas. As a result of his involvement in representing political prisoners, the Argentinean military dictatorship arrested him and subjected him to torture and administrative detention for more than a year. During this time, Amnesty International adopted him as a “Prisoner of Conscience.” After his expulsion from his country in 1977, Mr. Méndez moved to the United States. For 15 years, he worked with Human Rights Watch, concentrating his efforts on human rights issues in the western hemisphere. In 1994, he became general counsel of Human Rights Watch, with worldwide duties in support of the organization’s mission, including responsibility for litigation and standard setting activities. From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Méndez was the Executive Director of the Inter American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica, and between October 1999 and May 2004 he was Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Between 2000 and 2003 he was a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, and served as its President in 2002.
Courses Taught: LAW 660 International Law; LAW 725 Regional Approaches to Human Rights; LAW 739 Advanced Human Rights; LAW 795 Prevention of Genocide.

Diane Orentlicher: Professor Orentlicher is Professor of Law and was the founding faculty director of the law school’s War Crimes Research Office, which has provided legal assistance to international criminal tribunals since 1995. She is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on war crime tribunals and has lectured and written extensively on the scope of states’ obligations to address mass atrocities and on the law and policy issues relating to international criminal tribunals and universal jurisdiction. She has served as an Independent Expert and consultant to the United Nations in various capacities relating to the UN’s efforts to combat impunity. In September 2004, Professor Orentlicher was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as Independent Expert to update the UN’s Set of Principles for the protection and promotion of human rights through action to combat impunity. Professor Orentlicher also serves as faculty co-director of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the Washington College of Law. Professor Orentlicher is currently on leave serving in the Obama Administration’s Office of War Crimes at the Department of State.

Teresa Godwin Phelps: Professor Phelps is Professor of Law and Director of Legal Rhetoric. She teaches Legal Rhetoric and has published widely in the field, including a seminal article, “The New Legal Rhetoric,” in 1986 that helped to establish a new legal writing pedagogy. She was a founding member of the Legal Writing Institute and served on its Board of Directors, and she is a member of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. Her other teaching and academic interests include law and literature, international truth commissions, women and the law, and human rights, and she has published more than 30 articles and three books, including Shattered Voices: Language, Violence, and the Work of Truth Commissions (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004, paper 2006). Professor Phelps has lectured internationally on women’s rights and on truth commission reports. She often gives presentations and seminars on improving legal writing to other legal writing teachers, practicing attorneys, and judges. She won a Lilly Foundation Grant in 1988, and in 1999 won the Grenville Clark Award, which honors members of the University of Notre Dame community whose voluntary activities and public service advance the cause of peace and human rights.
Courses Taught: LAW 516-006 Legal Rhetoric: Writing & Research I; LAW -819-001 Law & Literature.

Jayesh Rathod: Professor Rathod is Assistant Professor of Law and specializes in immigrants’ rights, labor and employment, occupational safety and health, and the intersection of law and organizing. Prior to joining the faculty, he was a Staff Attorney at CASA of Maryland, representing low-wage immigrant workers on employment law and immigration matters, and participating in worker education, organizing, and advocacy efforts. He also practiced in the litigation section at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering LLP, and was law clerk to the Honorable Louis F. Oberdorfer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Over the course of his career, he has worked with numerous non-governmental organizations to advance the civil and human rights of communities in the United States and abroad.
Courses Taught: LAW 755 International Human Rights Clinic; LAW 756 International Human Rights Clinic Seminar; LAW 923 Immigrants in the Workplace.

Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón: Professor Rodríquez-Pinzón is Professorial Lecturer in Residence and Co-Director of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. He has authored several books on international human rights and the Inter-American Human Rights System. He has focused on issues such as elderly rights and the processes of the Inter-American Human Rights system. He was appointed Ad Hoc Judge to sit in the Inter-American Court on Human Rights of the Organization of American States. As correspondent for the British periodical Butterworths Human Rights Cases, Professor Rodríguez-Pinzón covers the Americas; he also reports on the Inter-American system for the Netherlands Human Rights Quarterly. He has served as international legal consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Organization of American States (OAS), among other institutions. He was also staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS and Officer for Latin America at the International Human Rights Law Group, a Washington, DC-based non-governmental organization. He was legal advisor for the Office of the President of Colombia focusing on the economic strategy of the peace negotiations with guerrilla groups from 1989 to 1991.
Courses Taught: LAW 626 Human Rights; LAW 725 Sistema Inter-Americano de Derechos Humanos.

Susana SáCouto: Professor SáCouto is Professorial Lecturer-in-Residence at WCL, where she teaches courses on gender and human rights law and on the responses of international humanitarian law and international criminal law to women affected by conflict. She is also Director of the War Crimes Research Office (WCRO), which promotes the development and enforcement of international criminal and humanitarian law, and Director of WCL’s Summer Law Program in The Hague, which offers JD and LLM students the opportunity for intensive study in international criminal law in The Hague. In addition, Ms. SáCouto has served as a faculty member at the Summer Program of WCL’s Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, where she co-taught a course on international justice for violations of human rights and humanitarian law. Ms. SáCouto’s background includes extensive practical and academic experience in the fields of human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law. Prior to joining the WCRO, Ms. SáCouto directed the Legal Services Program at Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE), clerked for the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and worked with the Center for Human Rights Legal Action in Guatemala. She currently serves as co-chair of the Women’s International Law Interest Group of the American Society for International Law (2006-2009 term), and was recently awarded The Women’s Law Center 22nd Annual Dorothy Beatty Memorial Award for significant contributions to women’s rights. From 1999 to 2002, she co-chaired the Immigration and Human Rights Committee of the DC Bar’s International Law Section.
Courses Taught: LAW 725 Gender, Cultural Difference, and Human Rights; LAW 978 Women and Conflict; Law 795 Advanced Topics in International Criminal Law and Procedure.

Macarena Sáez: Professor Sáez is a Fellow in the International Legal Studies Program. Before coming to WCL, she taught jurisprudence and feminist legal theory at the University of Chile Law School. She has also taught feminist jurisprudence at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law and in the Department of Social Studies at the University of Chile. Professor Sáez has lectured on feminist jurisprudence and women’s human rights at the Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos in Costa Rica and has spoken in numerous conferences on women’s rights. She coordinates the ALAS network of Latin American scholars on gender and the law.
Courses Taught: LAW 964 Introduccion al Derecho Continental.

Herman Schwartz: Professor Schwartz is Professor of Law and focuses on issues of civil rights and liberties, with special attention to constitutional reformation. Throughout a long career in academia, publishing and community service, he has focused his attention and the world's on issues of civil rights and civil liberties as they have played out in courts and prisons across the globe. He has worked with the United Nations, the human rights advocacy group Helsinki Watch, the U.S./Israel Civil Liberties Law Program (which he founded), the ACLU Prison Project (which he founded), Washington College of Law's Human Rights Center and other organizations. In May 2006 he was awarded the 2006 Champion of Justice Award by the Alliance for Justice. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the Open Society Institute Justice Initiative. Professor Schwartz’s current work includes hunger issues and particularly the expansion of programs for school children during the summer. Schwartz formerly chaired the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and has developed a course in which students work with national and local public interest organizations that deal with poverty issues. He also is continuing to pursue a lifelong interest in the operations of America's courts, and frequently is called upon to analyze and write about Supreme Court decisions. Professor Schwartz has authored three books: Right-Wing Justice: The Conservative Campaign to Take over the Courts (May 2004), The Struggle for Constitutional Justice in Post-Communist Europe (2000) and Packing the Courts: The Conservative Campaign to Rewrite the Constitution (1988); edited and contributed to The Rehnquist Court: Judicial Activism on the Right (2002), and The Burger Years Rights and Wrongs in the Supreme Court 1969-1986 (1987). He has written numerous reports, articles, chapters and scholarly papers. Professor Schwartz also serves as a faculty co-director of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the Washington College of Law.
Courses Taught: LAW 707 The Constitution in Times of Crisis; LAW 707 Comparative Constitutional Law; LAW 707 Problems in the Democratic Process; LAW 795 Social Justice.

Ann Shalleck: Professor Shalleck is the Carrington Shields Scholar and Professor of Law as well as the director of the Women and the Law Program and the Women in International Program. She holds expertise in clinical legal education, legal theory, family law and child welfare. Professor Shalleck has been presenter at many conferences on clinical legal education; gender and the law; and gender and international human rights. She has organized a symposium on domestic violence and achieving gender equality. She has authored many books and articles on clinical education, child welfare and women’s rights.
Courses Taught: LAW 753 Women and the Law Clinic; LAW 756 Women and the Law Clinic Seminar; LAW 815 Feminist Jurisprudence.

Michael Tigar: Professor Tigar is Professor Emeritus and is one of the most renowned trail attorneys in the U.S. today. Professor Tigar represented Terry Nichols in the Oklahoma City bombing trial and he has argued seven cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and more than 100 appellate cases. During the apartheid period, he went to South Africa to train black lawyers. He has written extensively about litigation, aspects of trial practice, criminal law, the death penalty, and the role of the criminal defense lawyer. His books include Fighting Injustice (ABA, 2002); Federal Appeals: Jurisdiction and Practice; and Examining Witnesses. In addition, he has written several plays about famous trials. Throughout his career, Professor Tigar has been active in pro bono cases, the American Bar Association, continuing legal education programs, and international human rights.
Courses Taught: LAW 712 Human Rights Litigation Seminar; LAW 712 Human Rights Litigation Fieldwork; UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic.

Richard J. Wilson: Professor Wilson is Professor of Law and the founding director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic. He is also a faculty co-director of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. He has presented three cases at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and has represented detainees at Guantanamo Bay in federal court and in military commission proceedings. His scholarly interests include the globalization of public interest law, the death penalty and international law, the role of the defense in international war crimes trials, and clinical legal education in developing or transitional countries.
Courses Taught: LAW 714 Seminar: Human Rights in Comparative Criminal Procedure; LAW 755 International Human Rights Clinic: General; LAW 756 International Human Rights Clinic Seminar: General; LAW 861 Economic, Social & Cultural Human Rights; LAW 893 Seminar: Global Public Interest Practice.