The US Department of State has nominated Faculty Fellow Doug Cassel as the US candidate to serve on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the hemispheric monitoring body of the Organization of American States (OAS).
“My direct experience both of the workings and acute needs of the Inter-American Commission, and also of Doug's many talents and his passion for human rights, make me certain that he is an excellent choice,” said Kellogg Director Paolo Carozza, who served on the commission from 2006 to 2009.
In a diplomatic note sent to 34 OAS member nations, the State Department called Cassel a “highly accomplished and respected scholar in the field of human rights and international law.”
“He has broad knowledge of the hemisphere, with deep sensitivity to its political and social challenges, and has extensive knowledge of the Inter-American human rights system and the operation of both national and international adjudicatory processes,” the note added.
The election for the four open seats on the seven-member commission will take place at the OAS annual meeting in Mexico City in June. The voting is expected to be hotly contested. If elected, Cassel would serve a four-year term beginning in January 2018.
Located in Washington, DC, the commission reports on hemispheric human rights issues, hears individual complaints of violations brought against OAS member countries, issues emergency protective orders, and refers cases from Latin America to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. (The US is a party to the commission, but not to the court.)
“The commission is a vital safeguard for the defense of human rights in the Americas,” Cassel said. “I am honored to be nominated for this position of trust.”
Commissioners serve in their individual capacities, not as representatives of their governments.
If elected, Cassel would be the third Notre Dame Law professor to serve on the commission in the last two decades. In addition to Carozza, former Kellogg Faculty Fellow Juan Méndez, who directed Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights at the time and is now the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, served on the commission from 2000 to 2003.
The commission post is part-time and mostly unpaid, except for expenses. Like Méndez and Carozza, Cassel would retain a full teaching load, while offering Notre Dame law students learning opportunities to assist in the work of the commission.
The Kellogg Institute for International Studies, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, is an interdisciplinary community of scholars and students from across the University and around the world that promotes research, provides educational opportunities, and builds linkages related to two topics critical to our world—democracy and human development.
Originally posted at law.nd.edu