CU Law School Starts New Human Rights Program

Dean of CU Law spearheads program in a central subject of his career

CU Law School Dean James Anaya has written a few books and several articles on human rights and indigenous peoples, partly through his role in the United Nations to report on the rights of indigenous peoples around the world. He has also litigated cases on human rights of indigenous peoples in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as well as international tribunals.

It makes sense then, that after becoming dean in 2016, he led the way to create a degree program at the school that focuses on human rights and international law. Two other professors contributed to the formation of the program. Professor Anna Spain Bradley advocated for the program and will be the program’s faculty director. Professor Erik Gerding, the former associate dean for academic affairs, assisted in the design of the program.

Before Anaya became dean, there was one international human rights course at CU Law, and occasionally the school would have speakers and events regarding the topic. At the same time, however, several of the faculty have completed research and work on indigenous peoples’ human rights.

“He is very interested in creating synergies across different areas in international law,” said Spain Bradley. “The vision is to have students learn human rights in a cutting-edge way that prepares them to solve problems through law and policy when they graduate.”

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the August 6, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.