Elsewhere Online twitter Facebook SLS Blogs YouTube SLS Channel Linked In SLSNavigator SLS on Flickr


James L. Cavallaro
650 724.9157

Professor James Cavallaro, the founding director of Stanford Law School’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, has dedicated his career to human rights—in both his scholarly research and his legal practice. His extensive expertise is derived from active involvement in the defense of rights, in the development of international human rights law and the human rights movement, in work involving human rights issues in Latin America and the developing world, and in international human rights litigation, with emphasis in the Inter-American and United Nations systems. Professor Cavallaro is a prolific scholar and sought-after voice on international human rights issues, and is frequently called upon to offer his expertise by the media and civil society. In June of 2013 Professor Cavallaro was elected to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) at the 43rd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Antigua, Guatemala. The IACHR was created in 1959 and is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (“OAS”) whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere. It is composed of seven independent members who serve in a personal capacity.

Early in his career, Professor Cavallaro spent several years working with Central American refugees on the U.S.-Mexico border and with rights groups in Chile challenging abuses by the Pinochet government. In 1994, he opened a joint office for Human Rights Watch and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) in Rio de Janeiro and served as director of the office, overseeing research, reporting and litigation against Brazil before the Inter-American system’s human rights bodies. In 1999, he founded the Global Justice Center, which is now a leading Brazilian human rights nongovernmental organization. He then joined the academy, holding positions at Harvard Law School, most recently as clinical professor of law and executive director of the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program. He joined Stanford Law School’s faculty in 2011.

Professor Cavallaro received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from University of California at Berkeley School of Law, where he served on the California Law Review and graduated with Order of the Coif honors. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Dolores K. Sloviter of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1993-1994).

Professor Cavallaro is the author of several books, reports and articles on human rights issues. Among his recent scholarly works are: Reevaluating Regional Human Rights Litigation in the Twenty-First Century: the Case of the Inter-American Court (2008); Looking Backward to Address the Future?: Transitional Justice, Rising Crime and Nation-Building (2008); and Never Again?: The Legacy of the Argentine and Chilean Dictatorships for the Global Human Rights Regime (2008).

Rachel Ungar
Centers Administrative Coordinator
650 723.0981
Claret Vargas
Executive Director
650 736.8788

Claret Vargas is the deputy director of the Stanford Human Rights Center. Claret joined the Center from Boston, where she had been working on employee-side class action litigation. She authored several state and federal appellate briefs, including a brief presented to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. In her career, Claret has focused on human rights, social justice, ethics, and violence in scholarly work and in direct advocacy. Her experience in human rights includes work in Alien Tort Statute litigation, report writing based on archival research and on-site missions, international human rights litigation, and transitional justice.

As a scholar with regional expertise in Latin America, Claret has researched, published and taught on indigenous rights movements in Guatemala and Bolivia, ethics in Brazilian and Latin American literature, public intellectuals’ human rights advocacy during and after dictatorships in the Americas, and on the influence of Spanish Colonialism and the development of International Humanitarian Law and Just War theory.

Claret earned her Ph.D. in Latin American and Brazilian literature from Harvard University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. While in law school, Claret worked with Harvard’s International Human Rights Clinic, its War Crimes Prosecution Clinic, and researched comparative and international law. After graduating from law school, Claret clerked for the Honorable Mark L. Wolf, then-Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Claret has also worked with the Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) in Argentina and was a legal fellow at the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), an international human rights organization dedicated to using litigation to hold perpetrators individually accountable for human rights abuses.

Claret is originally from La Paz, Bolivia. She is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, French and English, and has a basic knowledge of Quechua. Before attending law school, she was assistant professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami. Her publications include: Choral Testimonials and Maya Authorship: Destabilizing the Western Voice in Human Rights Discourse. 7.1 Postcolonial Text (2012),  and Bolivian Indigenous Identities: Reshaping the Terms of Political Debate, 1994-2004, in Representation Matters: (Re)Articulating Collective Identities in a Postcolonial World. 193 (A. Hoffman & E. Peeren, eds. 2010).