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May 31, 2013

Justice Diego García-Sayán Selected to Receive the 2013 Rule of Law Award

May 2013

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is pleased to announce the selection of the Honorable Diego García-Sayán as the recipient of the 2013 Rule of Law Award. The award will be presented during a luncheon award ceremony on Saturday, August 10, 2013, as part of the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA. With the award, ABA ROLI celebrates the legal profession’s highest ideals and respect for the rule of law worldwide. The Rule of Law Award is bestowed annually upon those who have undertaken a significant role in effectuating legal system reforms, protecting human rights or otherwise advancing the rule of law in a country, in a region or internationally.

Diego García-Sayán, President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights 

Justice García-Sayán’s career as a committed human rights advocate and champion of Latin American causes exemplifies the award criteria. He currently serves as judge and president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and general director of the Andean Commission of Jurists. He is the 2012-2013 Weissberg Chair in International Studies at Beloit College, where, in April 2013, he spoke on the state of human rights in Latin America

He has served with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights since 2004, and he was elected its president in 2010 and again in 2012. Justice García-Sayán also serves as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. He has worked as Peru’s minister of justice, helping normalize Peru’s relationship with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and as its minister of foreign affairs, leading Peru’s ratification of the Rome Statute. He has also worked with the United Nations (UN), including as the chair of its Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. Justice García-Sayán serves as member of the executive of the Council of the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights, and has served as member of the Executive Committee of the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists.

Justice García-Sayán has written publications and books on legal matters and on international politics and development issues, as well as taught at universities in multiple countries. His contribution to promoting justice has been acknowledged by several awards, including from the King of Spain, and from the governments of Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru.

Since 1994, the Rule of Law Award has recognized those from around the world who have demonstrated uncommon vision, courage and perseverance in promoting the rule of law. Justice García-Sayán will join the ranks of past Rule of Law Award recipients, including: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem (Navi) Pillay; United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet; Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR); the Honorable Stephen Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice; the Honorable Anthony Kennedy, U.S. Supreme Court Justice; and the Honorable Hilario Davide, Philippine Supreme Court Justice (ret.), among others.

To learn more about the event, including sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase tickets, visit