Judge García-Sayán Discussed Emerging Democracies and Expanding Human Rights
April 24, 2014
The Pacific McGeorge Global Center presented a talk by Judge Diego García-Sayán, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as part of its International Jurist Series on April 16, 2014. He discussed "Emerging Democracies and Expanding Human Rights: The Essential Role of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights" with a classroom of faculty and students. Distinguished Professor Linda Carter, co-director of the Global Center, introduced Judge García-Sayán.
Judge García-Sayán is currently a member of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and was its immediate past President. A university professor and international lawyer with numerous publications, Judge García-Sayán is also the General Director of the Andean Commission of Jurists, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (The Hague), and a consultant to private firms on Social Responsibility and Human Rights. He has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Justice in Peru.
In the United Nations system, Judge García-Sayán was the Senior U. N. official as Representative of the U.N. Secretary General for the Peace Agreements in El Salvador and the Chairperson of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. In 2013, he was the recipient of the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Award.
In his talk, Judge García-Sayán shared that in the last 10 years other courts have re-opened cases and more than 50 people have been convicted because of rulings by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. "Eventually you will be involved in matters where it is important to know what's happening in Latin America," he began, and went on to describe the political and social changes he has witnessed while serving on the Court.
The talk was co-sponsored by the McGeorge Global Business and Law Society, the McGeorge International Law Society, the McGeorge Latino Law Students Association, and the World Affairs Council Sacramento Chapter. The remarks will be published in The Globe.
Judge García-Sayán participated in other activities during his visit to Pacific McGeorge On April 15 he talked with faculty about how academia can help promote knowledge of the work of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights during a lunch meeting. He spoke to Professor Brian Landsberg's Constitutional Law class on important decisions of the Court on sexual orientation rights. Judge García-Sayán also led an afternoon workshop on April 17 on indigenous rights in Latin America when those interests conflict with extractive industries, such as oil and gas exploration.
As Professor Carter noted, "Judge Garcia-Sayan's week with us was the highlight of our International Jurist Series this year. Students and faculty were able to learn about the Inter-American system, gain insight into some of the cutting edge cases, and discuss the importance of the Court to the United States."