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

Jorge Contesse is an expert on international human rights law and comparative constitutional law in Latin America. He is a member of the United Nations Committee against Torture and serves on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law. He is the founding Director of the Rutgers Center for Transnational Law.

Professor Contesse teaches courses on international law, human rights law, transnational law, and U.S. criminal law. He has held visiting positions at the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Miami, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and the University of Toronto. 

Prior to joining the faculty at Rutgers, he was a Lecturer-in-Law and Director of the Human Rights Center at Diego Portales Law School, in Santiago. He was elected by the Deans of Chile's Law Schools 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 concerning torture, anti-terrorism, sexual orientation, freedom of expression, and the rights of indigenous peoples, and has served as expert witness before U.S. courts in matters of comparative law.  

Professor Contesse previously served as Managing Editor of AJIL Unbound, co-chair of the Latin America Interest Group of the American Society of International Law, and co-chair of the Society's 2022 Resarch Forum. He is a founding member of the Chilean Chapter of the International Society of Public Law and serves on the Chapter's Executive Committee. He also serves on the Executive Committees of the Sections on International Human Rights and Comparative Law of the Association of American Law Schools.

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


Selected Articles

Inter-States Disputes Under the Inter-American Human Rights System, 13 Int’l Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 74 (2024)

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. 373 (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)

Implementation of Human Rights Judgments in Latin America, in Time and International Adjudication (Andrea Gattini & Marco Dimetto eds., forthcoming 2024)

The Human Rights Institutions of Latin America, in Latin American International Law: Regional Contributions to a Global Project (Alejandro Chehtman, Alexandra Huneeus & Sergio Puig 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", 38 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

“We’re Going Wrong": Human Rights and Constitutionalism after 50 Years of Chile’s Coup d’État, CIL Dialogues (Dec. 22, 2023)

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