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 international human rights law interacts with states and non-governmental actors, with a focus in Latin America.  He teaches international law, human rights law, transnational law, and U.S. criminal law.  He is the founding Director of the Rutgers Center for Transnational Law. In October 2023, Professor Contesse was elected by the States parties to the Convention Against Torture to serve as a member of the Committee Against Torture for the term 2024-2027.

Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, Contesse was a Lecturer-in-Law and Director of the Human Rights Center at Diego Portales Law School, in Santiago, where he is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Doctoral Program. He has been a Visiting Resource Professor at the University of Texas-Austin School of Law, Visiting Professor at the University of Miami School of Law and at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. In 2024, he will be a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Univerisy of Toronto.

Professor Contesse is Managing Editor of AJIL Unbound, the online companion to the American Journal of International Law, and former Co-Chair of the Latin America Interest Group of the American Society of International Law. He serves on the Executive Committees of the Sections on International Human Rights and Comparative Law of the Association of American Law Schools, and on the Executive Committee of the Chilean Chapter of the International Society of Public Law.  

Before moving to Rutgers, he was elected by the Deans of Law Schools in Chile to the Board of the country's National Human Rights Institute.  He has litigated and acted as expert witness in cases before international bodies, on issues regarding sexual orientation, the use of anti-terrorist laws, torture, freedom of expression, and the rights of indigenous peoples, and as expert witness before U.S. courts in matters of comparative law.  

Professor Contesse holds an LL.M. and a J.S.D. from Yale Law School, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and an LL.B. from Diego Portales Law School.


Authority and Dissent in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, 19 Int'l J. Const. L. 1254 (2022)

The Rule of Advice in International Human Rights Law, 115 Am. J. Int'l L. 367 (2021)

Judicial Interactions and Human Rights Contestations in Latin America, 12 J. Int'l Dispute Settlement 271 (2021)

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)

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)

Book Chapters & Essays

International Law Scholarship in Latin America, 64 Va. J. Int’l L. __ (forthcoming, 2024)

Latin American Approaches to Human Rights Law, in The Oxford Handbook on Comparative Human Rights Law (Neha Jain & Mila Versteeg eds., forthcoming 2024)

The American Convention on Human Rights in Latin American Domestic Courts, in Research Handbook on Constitutional Interpretation (Sujit Choudhry, Kate O’Regan & Carlos Bernal eds, forthcoming 2024)

Conventionality Control and the Limits of Pro Persona Jurisprudence, 3 Italian Rev. Int'l & Comp. L. 121 (2023)

Critical Disconnects: Progressive Jurisprudence and Tenacious Impunity in Mexico, in The Limits of Judicialization: From Progress to Backlash in Latin America (S. Botero, D. Brinks & E. Gonzalez-Ocantos eds., 2022) (with Janice K. Gallagher)

Exceptional Regulations for an Exceptional Moment: The Law and Politics of COVID-19 in Chile, 73 Adm. L. Rev. 121 (2021)

Activismo Judicial para Paralizar la Verdad y la Justicia, in El Tribunal Constitucional frente al Proceso Constituyente (V. Ponce de León & P. Soto eds., 2021) (in Spanish)

Derechos Humanos y Nueva Constitución, in La Hoja en Blanco: Claves para Conversar sobre una Nueva Constitución (R. Lorca, P. Marshall, N. Selamé & M. Guiloff eds., 2020) (in Spanish)

Emergencia y Derecho Internacional, in La Ley de la Emergencia: Ensayos sobre el Derecho, la Excepción y la Pandemia (P. Contreras ed., 2020) (in Spanish)

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., 2020)

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

Chagos and "the Intelligence of a Future Day", 37 Temple Int'l & Comp. L. J. __ (forthcoming, 2024)

Human Rights as Transnational Law, 116 AJIL Unbound 313 (2022)

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

Lithium and Constitutional Change, Verfassungsblog (May 16, 2023)

“Above the Will Stands the Conscience”—Antônio Cançado Trindade’s Missionary Jurisprudence, Opinio Juris (Dec. 8, 2022)

Chile’s Kaleidoscopic Constituent Assembly, Verfassungsblog (June 22, 2021)

Inter-State Cases in Disguise under Inter-American Human Rights Law: Advisory Opinions as Inter-State Disputes, Völkerrechtsblog (Apr. 27, 2021)

COVID-19 Constitution-making in Chile, The International Association of Constitutional Law Blog (Nov. 16, 2020)

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
  • International Moot Court Competition
  • Comparative Law
  • Human Rights
  • International Law (Public)
  • Transnational Litigation