Mr. Leandro Despouy

Mr Despouy was Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers from August 2003 until the end of July 2009.

Activities as Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers of the United Nations Human Rights Council

In 2006, he sent 146 letters to governments. Between 2004 and 2006 he sent 310 communications to United Nations Member States.

Some cases of particular significance:

a) Most of the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur to the Government of Brazil, following his mission in 2004, have been included in the Brazilian judicial reform carried out during the same year.

b) Between 2004 and 2006, the Special Rapporteur took action for the resolution of the Ecuadorian judicial crisis due to the unconstitutional dismissal of the Supreme Court of Justice and in the subsequent integration of the High Tribunal.

c) In 2004, the Special Rapporteur intervened before the Italian President, Carlo Ciampi, in order to avoid the approval of a bill which threatened to limit the independence of the judicial branch. As a result of his intervention, and especially because of the magistrate’s reaction, the President vetoed the project and sent it back to Parliament for revision.

d) As a result of a decision adopted by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 2004, the Special Rapporteur along with four other mandate-holders issued a Report on the situation of detainees at the Unites States Naval Base of Guantanamo. (Document E/CN.4/2006/120 of February 2006).

Academic Experience

Conference at the University of Harvard: “Perspectives on Judicial Dialogue and Cooperation”; Seminar “Strengthening Networks and Mechanisms for Judicial Consultation and Cooperation”.

2006 - Master Conference on the Future of International Law, Second Conference of the European Society of International Law, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France.

2005/2006 - FLACSO Argentina, delivered courses in Master “Management and control of public policies”, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, Buenos Aires.

Delivered courses at the Interamerican Institute on Human Rights of Costa Rica, at the Universities of Lima, Peru, Caracas, Venezuela, among other academic institutions of Europe, U.S. and Latin America.

1985 - Professor at the Postgraduate Course on International Relations, University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

1984-1987 - Professor of International Public Law, Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

1984 - Professor of Human Rights, Institut International des Droits de l'Homme, Strasbourg, France.

Taught courses at the Institut International de l'Administration Publique, Paris, France.

1982 - Professor of Human Rights, Centre International de Formation et Recyclage des Enseignants des Droits de l’Homme, Strasbourg, France.

1975-1977 - Professor of Political Economy, Université de Paris VIII, France.

1973-1974 - Professor of History of Political Institutions (Faculty of Law and Social Sciences), of Political Sociology (Faculty of Philosophy) and of Commercial Law (Faculty of Economic Sciences), University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

1973-1974 - Investigations and Publications Manager of the Institute of Comparative Law, Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

Experience as United Nations Expert

Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights on extreme poverty and human rights.

1991 - Special Rapporteur on disabled persons and human rights.

1985-1997 - Special Rapporteur in charge of drafting every year a list of States under states of emergency. 

Member of the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities  

General Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission in its 37th session.


Special Procedures

Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
Recent thematic reports
Contact information

Diego García-Sayán
Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
Address: OHCHR-UNOG, 8-14 Avenue de la Paix,
1211 Geneve 10, Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 9006
Email: SRindependenceJL@ohchr.org