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February 24, 2012

Oregon Law co-sponsors Bartolomé de las Casas lecture March 1

The Latin American Studies Program will host the 2012 Bartolomé de las Casas lecture, “Fighting Impunity in National Courts: Human Rights and Transitional Justice in Latin America,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 1, in the Knight Library Browsing Room at the University of Oregon. Using cases from El Salvador and Guatemala, the lecture will discuss the possibilities and challenges of using legal instruments in transnational efforts to bring justice and reparation to victims of human rights violations. 

This year’s guest speaker is Dr. Almudena Bernabeu, international attorney for the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA). Bernabeu received her law degree specializing in Public International Law at the University of Valencia School of Law. She is also trained in Spanish and U.S. law.

Since graduating, Bernabeu has participated on numerous boards including the Valencia Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the Equatorial Guinea Justice and the Peruvian Institute of Forensic Anthropology. Bernabeu has participated in numerous panels and conferences throughout Europe, Latin America and the U.S., and has conducted numerous trainings for lawyers and government prosecutors.

As CJA’s international attorney, Bernabeu serves on U.S.-based civil Alien Tort Statute litigation against human rights abuses and universal jurisdiction criminal human rights prosecutions before the Spanish National Court. She also is CJA’s director of the Transitional Justice Program.

Currently, Bernabeu serves as the lead private prosecutor on two human rights cases before the Spanish National court. One is filed on behalf of survivors of the Guatemalan Genocide and the second is brought against senior Salvadoran officials for the massacre of Jesuit priest in 1989.

Dr. Bernabeu’s work includes several published articles on human rights litigation in national courts and its effectiveness in the struggle against impunity, and on reforming Spanish asylum and refugee law. She has recently been awarded the 2012 “Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize” from the Santa Clara University School of Law. This prize intends to bring recognition to lawyers who have used their legal knowledge and skills to help alleviate injustice and inequality.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the University of Oregon School of Law, the “Americas in a Globalized World” Initiative, the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, the St. Thomas More Newman Center, the Department of Political Science, the Department of Romance Languages and the Department of International Studies.

For more information, contact Professor Carlos Aguirre at caguirre@uoregon.edu.

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