LAW WEEK COLORADO
The University of Colorado Boulder announced today the appointment of James Anaya, a regents’ professor and James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona, as dean of the law school. Anaya will start his position, taking over for current dean Phil Weiser, on Aug. 8.
Anaya’s teaching and writing focus on international human rights and issues concerning indigenous peoples.
“I’m excited to join a law school that is at the leading edge of innovation in legal education and scholarship,” said Anaya. “I look forward to becoming part of Colorado Law’s vibrant community of students, alumni, faculty and staff who are dedicated to excellence; and to working with the larger legal community in Colorado and beyond in ways that can build on what Colorado Law is already doing to serve our profession and the public.”
Among Anaya’s publications are his book, Indigenous Peoples in International Law, and his co-authored textbook, International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Policy and Practice.
Anaya has also litigated major indigenous rights and human rights cases in domestic and international tribunals including the U.S. Supreme Court, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Caribbean Court of Justice.
For his work from 2008 to 2014 as the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Anaya was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In his role as the special rapporteur, Anaya examined and reported on conditions of indigenous peoples worldwide and responded to allegations of human rights violations against them. His work was conducted through in-country visits and direct contacts with governments.
Among his noteworthy activities, Anaya participated in the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and was the lead counsel for the indigenous parties in the case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua. The case represents the first time the Inter-American Court of Human Rights upheld indigenous land rights as a matter of international law.
“As a legal scholar and practitioner, Jim Anaya for decades has not only contributed distinctive quality, character and importance to legal theory, but he also has advanced protections for indigenous peoples around the globe,” CU provost Russell Moore said. “His devotion to the development and application of the legal canon and his thoughtful approach as a leader epitomize the desired attributes of a dean, and we are delighted that he’s joining CU-Boulder.”
Anaya joined the University of Arizona in 1999 after serving 11 years on the faculty at the University of Iowa. He also has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, the University of Toronto and the University of Tulsa, and an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico.
He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
In August 2015, Moore announced Weiser will step down and return to the faculty this July. Weiser will continue to serve as the executive director of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship and the campus entrepreneurship initiative.