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Former UN Special Rapporteur Anaya Named New Dean of Colorado Law

Beginning August 8, 2016, Former UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya will serve as dean of the University of Colorado Law School.
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Beginning August 8, 2016, James Anaya, a Regents’ Professor and James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona, will serve as dean of the University of Colorado Law School.

It’s a fitting appointment as Anaya’s teaching and writing focus on international human rights and issues concerning Indigenous Peoples.

“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,” said Provost Russell L. Moore in a press release announcing the appointment. “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 has written a number of books including, “Indigenous Peoples in International Law,” and the casebook “International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Policy and Practice.”

"Indigenous Peoples in International Law" by James Anaya.

Aside from field and literary work, Anaya has litigated major indigenous rights and human rights cases domestically and internationally.

“I’m excited to join a law school that is at the leading edge of innovation in legal education and scholarship,” Anaya said in the release. “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.”

From 2008 to 2014, Anaya served as the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur, work for which he earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. In that role, he examined and reported on the conditions of Indigenous Peoples around the world and responded to allegations of human rights violations.

Anaya participated in the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and was lead counsel for the indigenous parties in Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua. That case was the first time the Inter-American Court of Human Rights upheld indigenous land rights as a matter of indigenous law.

Anaya served on the faculty at the University of Iowa for 11 years before joining the University of Arizona in 1999. He’s been a visiting professor at Harvard University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Tulsa, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico.