Associate Professor of Law
Jorge Contesse
Rutgers Law School
S.I. Newhouse Center for Law and Justice
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102

 Jorge Contesse is a scholar of international human rights and comparative constitutional law, focusing on the judicialization of international law and on the interaction between domestic constitutional actors and international human rights regimes, in particular, the inter-American human rights system. His work has appeared in the American Journal of International Law, the Harvard International Law Journal, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, and the Yale Journal of International Law, among others. 

  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Courses Taught
  • Expertise

Professor Contesse's research examines how the law of international human rights articulates legal doctrines and mechanisms to hold states accountable, and the ways states and other actors respond in turn, shaping both domestic and international law.  He teaches courses on international law, human rights, and U.S. criminal law, and is the founding Director of the Rutgers Center for Transnational Law.

Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, Contesse was a Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School’s Schell Center for International Human Rights and served as a board member for Chile’s National Human Rights Institute. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Miami School of Law, Visiting Resource Professor at the University of Texas School of Law, and Crowley Fellow in International Human Rights at Fordham University School of Law. In 2020-2021, he is Visiting Professor at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Professor Contesse has litigated and acted as expert witness in cases before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, on issues regarding sexual orientation, the use of anti-terrorist laws, freedom of expression and the rights of indigenous peoples. He has appeared before United Nations bodies, such as the Committee Against Torture and the Committee on Racial Discrimination, and has offered views on comparative law issues to courts in the United States.  He co-chairs the American Society of International Law–Latin America Interest Group and serves on the Executive Committees of the Sections on International Law, International Human Rights, and Comparative Law of the Association of American Law Schools.

He obtained an LL.M. and J.S.D. degrees from Yale Law School —where he was a Fulbright Scholar and a Senior Editor of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal— and an LL.B. from Diego Portales Law School, in Santiago, Chile, where he was an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Human Rights Center, before coming to the United States.




Settling Human Rights Violations, 60 Harv. Int'l L.J. 317 (2019) 

Resisting the Inter-American Human Rights System, 44 Yale J. Int'l L. 179 (2019)

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Inter-American Human Rights Law, 44 N.C. J. Int'l L. 353 (2019) (solicited)

The International Authority of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: A Critique of the Conventionality Control Doctrine, 22 Int'l J. Hum. Rts. 1168 (2018)

The Final Word? Constitutional Dialogue and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, 15 Int’l J. Const. L. 414 (2017)

Contestation and Deference in the Inter-American Human Rights System, 79 Law & Contemp. Probs. 123 (2016)

Indigenous Peoples in Chile: The Quest to Become a Constitutional Entity, 55 Stud. L. Pol. & Soc. 19 (2011) 

Book Chapters

Human Rights Law and Constitutional Democracies in Latin America: Interactions, Contestations and Engagement, in Critical Essays on Human Rights Criticism (András Sajó & Renáta Uitz eds., 2019)

Proporcionalidad y Derechos Fundamentales, in Manual de Derechos Fundamentales: Teoría General (Pablo Contreras & Constanza Salgado eds., 2017) (in Spanish)

International Law and Domestic Adjudication, in The Latin American Casebook: Courts, Constitutions, and Rights (Juan F. Gonzalez-Bertomeu & Roberto Gargarella eds., 2016) (with Fernando Basch)

Norín Catrimán y Otros: Comentario a la Sentencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, in Anuario de Derecho Público (Javier Couso ed., 2015) (in Spanish)

Inter-American Constitutionalism: The Interaction between Human Rights and Progressive Constitutional Law in Latin America, in Law and Society in Latin America (Cesar Rodríguez-Garavito ed., 2015)

Shorter Works

Case of Barrios Altos and La Cantuta v. Peru, 113 Am. J. Int'l L. 568 (2019)

Conservative Governments and Latin America's Human Rights Landscape, 113 AJIL Unbound 375 (2019)

Introductory Note to "Rights and Guarantees of Children in the Context of Migration and/or in Need of International Protection" (Inter-American Court of Human Rights), 56 Int'l Legal Materials 839 (2017)

Blog Posts

Responding to COVID-19 Without Public Trust, The Regulatory Review (June 2, 2020)

The Downfall of a Constitutional Court, Verfassungsblog (Apr. 28, 2020)

Chile's Constitutional Awakening, Open Global Rights (Apr. 13, 2020)

A Constitution Borne Out of Actual Bullets, Verfassungsblog (Nov. 10, 2019)

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights' Advisory Opinion on Gender Identity and Same-Sex Marriage, 22 ASIL Insights (July 26, 2018)

The Rise and Fall of a Constitutional Moment: Lessons from the Chilean Experiment and the Failure of Bachelet's Project, Int'l J. Const. L. Blog (Mar. 13, 2018) (with Sergio Verdugo)

Judicial Backlash in Inter-American Human Rights Law, Int'l J. Const. L. Blog (March 2, 2017)

Book Translation

El Liberalismo en su Lugar (Universidad Diego Portales, 2018). Spanish translation of Putting Liberalism in its Place, by Paul W. Kahn (Princeton University Press, 2005)


Courses Taught
  • Comparative Law
  • Human Rights
  • International Law (Public)
  • Transnational Litigation