Stanford Law School Launches New Human Rights Center

Feb 20, 2013, 09:00 ET from Stanford Law School

Center will be led by International Human Rights Law Expert and Professor James Cavallaro

STANFORD, Calif., Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stanford Law School today announced the establishment of the Stanford Human Rights Center to promote student engagement, research, public understanding, and practical engagement in the area of international human rights and global social justice. 

The center will be directed by James Cavallaro, professor of law and director of the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (IHRCRC) of the Mills Legal Clinic at Stanford Law School. Cavallaro has extensive expertise in international human rights law; human rights issues in Latin America and the developing world; and international human rights litigation.

The new center will work closely with the Stanford Law School International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, which is part of the Mills Legal Clinic. The Mills Legal Clinic is comprised of eleven separate clinics, which educate students by having them represent real clients in matters specifically chosen as well-suited for developing students' lawyering expertise. Students in the IHRCRC address a range of situations of rights abuse and violent conflict around the world. By providing direct representation to victims and by working with communities that have suffered or face potential abuse, the clinic trains lawyers to work as advocates in the field of human rights and global justice. 

"We are delighted to launch this center," said Stanford Law School Dean Elizabeth Magill. "Under Jim's leadership, the center will soon become a place where important issues in this field are studied and critically examined, and it will also provide a hub for the many students at Stanford Law School who want to reflect on the practice of international human rights law."

The center will sponsor lectures, panels, workshops, conferences and publications on the issues of human rights and global social justice. The first series of events, "The Future of Human Rights," will begin in the spring quarter and feature leading voices including Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch; Jenny S. Martinez, professor of law and Warren Christopher Professor in the Practice of International Law and Diplomacy at Stanford University; and Mahmood Mamdani, the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University.

"Together with the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, the Human Rights Center will provide students and faculty at the law school and at the university an unparalleled range of opportunities in the field," said Director James Cavallaro. "Students can engage in human rights practice through the clinic while critically reflecting on the theory, doctrine and practice of human rights through the center."

The center will also offer two fellowships for recent graduates in international human rights practice and research. The fellowships are designed to promote engaged practice with a human rights nongovernmental organization (NGO) in a developing nation and provide experience essential to developing a career in human rights work.

More information about the Stanford Human Rights Center can be found online at:

More on James Cavallaro

James Cavallaro received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from University of California at Berkeley School of Law, where he served on the California Law Review and graduated with Order of the Coif Honors. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Dolores K. Sloviter of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1993-1994). Early in his career, Cavallaro spent several years working with Central American refugees on the U.S.-Mexico border and with rights groups in Chile challenging abuses by the Pinochet government. In 1994, he opened a joint office for Human Rights Watch and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) in Rio de Janeiro, and served as director of the office, overseeing research, reporting and litigation against Brazil before the Inter-American system's human rights bodies. Professor Cavallaro founded the Global Justice Center in 1999; it is now a leading Brazilian human rights non-governmental organization. He then joined the academy, holding positions at Harvard Law School, most recently as clinical professor of law and executive director of the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program. He joined Stanford Law School's faculty in 2011.

Among his recent individual and jointly written scholarly works are:
"Name, Shame, and Then Build Consensus? Bringing Conflict Resolution Skills to Human Rights," (Washington University Journal of Law & Policy, 2012); "No Place to Hide; Gang, State, and Clandestine Violence in El Salvador" (HRP Practice Series, Harvard University Press, 2010); "Reevaluating Regional Human Rights Litigation in the Twenty-First Century: the Case of the Inter-American Court" (American Journal of International Law, 2008); "Looking Backward to Address the Future?: Transitional Justice, Rising Crime and Nation-Building" (Maine Law Review, 2008); and "Never Again?: The Legacy of the Argentine and Chilean Dictatorships for the Global Human Rights Regime" (Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 2008).

About Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School ( is one of the nation's leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation's press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.

Media contact:

Judith Romero
Public Information Officer
Stanford Law School
DESK: 650 723.2232
MOBILE: 650 862.2267

SOURCE Stanford Law School