Notre Dame Presidential Fellow
Professor of Law
Professor Cassel is a scholar and practitioner of international human rights, international criminal and international humanitarian law. His scholarly articles in English and Spanish are published in the United States, Latin America and Europe, and he lectures at universities and conferences worldwide. On behalf of retired United States diplomats, and leading experts on international law, he has filed several amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court, involving the rights of prisoners at Guantanamo, and accountability for human rights violations under the Alien Tort Claims Act. He represents victims of human rights violations in Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela, in cases before the Inter-American Commission and Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Professor Cassel has served as Legal Advisor to the United Nations Commission on the Truth for El Salvador; Executive Council member of the American Society of International Law; co-chair of the International Committee of the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Chair of the Independent International Panel on Alleged Collusion in Sectarian Killings in Northern Ireland; and consultant to the Department of State, Department of Justice, Ford Foundation, the President of the American Bar Association, and non-governmental human rights organizations. In 2000 and again in 2003, he was nominated by the US Government, and elected by the Organization of American States, to serve on the Board of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas, of which he was elected President. Since 2000 he has been President of the Due Process of Law Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., which promotes judicial reform throughout the hemisphere.
Professor Cassel is also an award-winning commentator. His regular commentaries on human rights are broadcast on Chicago Public Radio, published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and accessible on the website of the Center for Civil and Human Rights. His commentaries also appear in the Chicago Tribune, Christian Century, In These Times and other publications.
Professor Cassel earned a B.A. cum laude from Yale in 1969 and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1972. After serving for three years as a Lieutenant in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, he practiced law for 16 years as staff counsel and later General Counsel of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest in Chicago, where he handled test cases and class actions involving civil rights, civil liberties, consumer and environmental law.
After visiting at Notre Dame in 2002, Professor Cassel joined the faculty in 2005. He previously directed human rights centers at DePaul College of Law and Northwestern University School of Law.
His current research interests include the human rights responsibilities of transnational corporations, international law options for combating terrorism, strengthening of international human rights institutions, and the history of human rights.
Courses TaughtLAW70409, Accountability for Gross Violations Human Rights
LAW70411, International Criminal Justice, Human Rights & Humanitarian Law
LAW70421, Regional Protection of Human Rights Seminar
LAW70443, Transnational Corporations & Human Rights
LAW88700, LLM Thesis
LAW88701, Human Rights Honors Paper
Universal Protection of Human Rights
In Notre Dame London Summer Programme:
Public International Law
English Legal History
Scholarship(For full list see CV)
International Human Rights Law and Security Detention, 40 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 383 (2009).
Empresas Multinacionales y Complicidad en Violaciones de los Derechos Humanos: ConfusiÃ³n Judicial Estadounidense, en la revista DERECHO PONTIFICIA UNIVERSIDAD CATÃLICA DEL PERÃ (2009) (updated version in Spanish of Corporate Aiding and Abetting of Human Rights Violations: Confusion in the Courts, 6 NW. U. J. INTâL HUM. RTS. 304 (2008)).
Honduras: Coup dâÃ©tat in Constitutional Clothing?, ASIL INSIGHT, American Society of International Law, July 29, 2009. Spanish language version: Honduras: Â¿Golpe de Estado en Vestido Constitucional?
International Human Rights Law and Security Detention, 40 CASE WESTERN RESERVE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 383-401 (2009).
Pretrial and Preventive Detention of Suspected Terrorists: Options and Constraints under International Law, 98 JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY 811-52 (2008) (published by Northwestern University School of Law).
Corporate Aiding and Abetting of Human Rights Violations: Confusion in the Courts, 6 NORTHWESTERN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS 304-26 (2008).
Transnational Corporate Accountability and the Rule of Law (co-authored with Sean OâBrien), in Oliver Williams, ed., PEACE THROUGH COMMERCE (2008), pp. 77-95.
Liberty, Judicial Review and the Rule of Law at Guantanamo: A Battle Half Won, 43 NEW ENGLAND LAW REVIEW 37-59 (2008).
La Justicia Frente a los Actos Terroristas, in J. Arjona and C. Hardaga, eds., TERRORISMO Y DERECHOS HUMANOS 95-106 (Universidad Iberoamericana, MÃ©xico) (2008).
Los Juicios Militares en Estados Unidos a la Luz del Derecho Comparado, in PANORAMA INTERNACIONAL SOBRE JUSTICIA PENAL: PROCESO PENAL Y JUSTICIA PENAL INTERNACIONAL, Instituto de Investigaciones JurÃdicas, Universidad Nacional AutÃ³noma de MÃ©xico, 2007, pp. 17-23.
Las Mejores PrÃ¡cticas para el Procesamiento Judicial de las Violaciones de Derechos Humanos, in LOS CAMINOS DE LA JUSTICIA PENAL Y LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS 167-74, Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos, Pontificia Universidad CatÃ³lica del PerÃº, 2007.
La responsabilidad penal de los superiores por los crÃmenes de guerra cometidos por sus subordinados: omisiÃ³n y negligencia, LA ADECUACION DEL DERECHO PENAL NACIONAL A LOS TRATADOS DE DERECHO INTERNACIONAL HUMANITARIO, Memoria, Ciudad de MÃ©xico, ReuniÃ³n Regional, 7 al 8 de diciembre de 2004, pp. 146-52 (International Committee of the Red Cross, 2007).
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in VICTIMS UNSILENCED: THE INTER-AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEM AND TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE IN LATIN AMERICA, Due Process of Law Foundation (2007), pp. 151-66.
Human Rights and Human Responsibilities, in FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES (S. Parmentier and H. Werdmolder, eds.), Intersentia (forthcoming 2008).
Defending Human Rights in the âWarâ Against Terror, 4 REGENT JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 223 (2006).
Equal Labor Rights for Undocumented Migrant Workers, in HUMAN RIGHTS AND REFUGEES, INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS AND MIGRANT WORKERS: ESSAYS IN HONOR OF JOAN FITZPATRICK AND ARTHUR HELTON, Anne Bayefsky ed. (Martinus Nijhoff 2006), pp. 477-516.
The Expanding Scope and Impact of Reparations Awarded by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in OUT OF THE ASHES: REPARATIONS FOR GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, K. De Feyter, S. Parmentier, M. Bossuyt and P. Lemmens eds. (Intersentia 2005), pp. 191-223.
The Globalization of Human Rights: Consciousness, Law and Reality, 2 NORTHWESTERN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS 6 (2004).
Does International Human Rights Law Make a Difference?, 2 CHICAGO JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 121-35 (2001).
Areas of Expertise
- English Legal History
- International Criminal Law
- International Human Rights Law
- International Humanitarian Law
In the NewsCan Ex-Somali Official Living in U.S. Be Sued for Torture? – ABC News – March 3, 2010
Return democracy to Honduras (by: Doug Cassel) Chicago Tribune, October 22, 2009
Prof. Cassel participates in a briefing to the U.S. Congress – October 21, 2009
Featured on NDLS Home Page – ND Law faculty, staff conduct human rights assessment in Guatemala – July 20, 2009
Featured Faculty on NDLS Home Page: Doug Cassel – March 10, 2008
ND human rights scholar says Musharraf should resign – ND Newswire, February 26, 2008