Wesleyan portrait of Jim  Cavallaro

Jim Cavallaro

Professor of the Practice, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life


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BA Harvard University
JD University of California, Berkeley
MA University of California, Berkeley
PHD Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Jim Cavallaro


James (Jim) Cavallaro is President of the University Network for Human Rights. He has taught human rights law and practice for nearly a quarter century, most recently at Stanford Law School (2011-2019) and Harvard Law School (2002-2011). At both Harvard and Stanford, he established and directed human rights clinics and ran human rights centers.  In 2014, Cavallaro introduced human rights advocacy into the undergraduate curriculum at Stanford.  Cavallaro has overseen dozens of projects with scores of students in over twenty countries. In June 2013, Cavallaro was elected to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He served as President of that body from 2016-2017.

Professor Cavallaro has dedicated his thirty-year career to human rights advocacy. He has been actively involved in the defense of rights, critical reflection on the human rights movement, and the promotion of accountability at the international level. A prolific scholar and sought-after voice on international human rights issues, he is frequently called upon by the media and civil society to offer his expertise. Cavallaro received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from Berkeley Law School. He also holds a doctorate in human rights and development (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain). In 1994, he opened a joint office for Human Rights Watch and the Center for Justice and International Law in Rio de Janeiro and served as director, overseeing research, reporting, and litigation before the Inter-American system’s human rights bodies. In 1999, he founded the Global Justice Center, a leading Brazilian human rights NGO. Cavallaro has authored or co-authored dozens of books, reports, and articles on human rights issues, a list of which is available below. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

A list of over 100 of his publications is available here.

His most recent publication, Doctrine, Practice, and Advocacy in the Inter-American Human Rights System (Oxford University Press 2019) is the first-ever casebook on the Inter-American system published in English.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

By appointment. Horgan House, 77 Pearl St.


Spring 2024
CSPL 128 - 01
Intro to Human Rights

CSPL 316 - 01
Human Rights Advocacy

CSPL 328 - 01
Advanced Human Rights Advocacy

Fall 2024
CSPL 316 - 01
Human Rights Advocacy