The ABA’s ICC Project welcomes Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz, the first female Prosecutor General of Guatemala, to its Board of Advisors.
Washington D.C., Dec. 10, 2015 - The American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights is pleased to announce that former Prosecutor General of Guatemala, Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz, has joined the Board of Advisors of ABA’s International Criminal Court (ICC) Project.
In 2010, Dr. Paz y Paz became the first female prosecutor general of Guatemala, and thereafter one of the world’s most noteworthy human rights and rule of law champions for her remarkable efforts to achieve justice for victims of atrocity crimes. In addition to achievements prosecuting organized crime in Guatemala, she also enhanced the Guatemala Public Ministry’s efforts to prosecute human rights cases, most notably a high profile genocide case against former Guatemala dictator, Efraín Rios Montt. This trial was the world’s first genocide trial against a head of state adjudicated in a national court.
Former ABA President Michael S. Greco, Chair of the ABA Center for Human Rights, welcomed her to the Board and said, “There is no doubt that Dr. Paz y Paz is an extraordinary human rights and rule of law advocate, both in words and deeds. Her pursuit of justice for atrocities committed during the armed conflict in Guatemala has contributed to one of the most important prosecutions of the 21st century. Dr. Paz y Paz’s outstanding career as a judge and lawyer handling human rights cases at the national level will further enhance an important facet of our ICC work: supporting the principle of complementarity whereby national jurisdictions are the first line of defense against impunity for atrocity crimes.”
Dr. Paz y Paz was also pivotal in developing the partnership between the Public Ministry and the UN Commission to Combat Impunity in Guatemala that resulted in several major corruption investigations. She has received many accolades in recognition of her important human rights advocacy and rule of law work. Forbes named her one of the “five most powerful women changing the world”, and the Center for Justice and Accountability awarded her the Center’s Judith Lee Stronach Human Rights Award in 2013. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honored Dr. Paz y Paz at the International Crisis Group’s “In Pursuit of Peace” Award dinner in 2011. She is also the founder of the human rights non-governmental organization, Institute for Comparative Criminal Studies of Guatemala (ICCPG).
The American Bar Association’s (ABA) International Criminal Court (ICC) Project is an independent initiative of the ABA Center for Human Rights that advances international criminal justice and US-ICC relations through advocacy, education and practical legal assistance. More information about the ABA’s ICC Project can be found at its website.