Irwin P. Stotzky
Professor of Law
J.D. 1974, University of Chicago Law School
Irwin P. Stotzky is currently Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law. He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1974. In 1986-87, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Yale Law School. In 1991-1992, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina. In 2001, he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor and Scholar at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. In 2007, he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor and Scholar at Emory University School of Law.
For the past 31 years, he has represented Haitian and other refugees on constitutional and human rights issues in many cases, including several cases in the United States Supreme Court.
He has served as an advisor to the Alfonsin regime in Argentina on what steps to take, including human rights trials, against those who committed massive human rights abuses during the so-called "dirty war." He has served as an attorney and adviser to Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and as an adviser to President Renè Preval's administration.
In this capacity, he organized and directed the investigations into the massive human rights violations committed in Haiti during the illegal military regime's reign, between 1991 and 1994. This led to the first conviction for human rights crimes in the 200-year history of Haiti.
Since 2000, he has served as the chairman of an international presidential commission to help Haiti confront its drug problems. He has published numerous articles and books on democracy and human rights, criminal law and procedure, and the role of the judiciary in the transition to democracy.
He is the author of The Theory and Craft of American Law: Elements (with Soia Mentschikoff) (1981). He is the editor of Transition to Democracy in Latin America: Role of the Judiciary (1993). His detailed analysis of Haiti, Silencing the guns in Haiti: The Promise of Deliberative Democracy, which has received national and international acclaim, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1998.
He is currently in the process of completing three books, one of which, titled America's Unwanted Burden, analyzes 30 years of Haitian refugee litigation. The second book is an analysis of the scholarship of a renowned constitutional theorist and is titled Fiss's Way: The Scholarship of Owen Fiss. The third book is concerned with the burgeoning field of immigration law. The book is titled: Immigration Law: Cases and Materials. He teaches in the areas of constitutional law and theory, criminal procedure, and philosophy.
For his representation of refugees in a series of cases before the United States Supreme Court and his human rights work abroad, he received human rights awards from the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Haitian Refugee Center.
For his work in investigating human rights abuses worldwide and his scholarship, he received the Inter-American Law Review's 1997 Lawyer of the Americas award. He has recently been nominated for the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) Human Rights Award for career achievements.
He is the founder and Director of the University of Miami Center for the Study of Human Rights and Acting Director of the James Weldon Johnson/Robert H. Waters Summer Institute. He is a founding member of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, a human rights institute that researches and distributes objective and accurate information on the human rights conditions in Haiti.