Jenny Martinez

Professor, Stanford Law School

Jenny S. Martinez is a leading expert on international courts and tribunals, international human rights, national security, constitutional law, and the laws of war. Her research focuses on the role of courts and tribunals in advancing and protecting human rights, ranging from her work on the all-but-forgotten 19th-century international tribunals involved in the suppression of the trans-Atlantic slave trade through her work on contemporary institutions like the International Criminal Court and the role of courts in policing human rights abuses in connection with anti-terrorism policies. She has also written extensively on national security law and the constitutional separation of powers. She is the author of The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press 2012) and numerous articles in leading academic journals. Her op-eds have been published in the New York Times and Washington Post, and she has been an expert commentator for both print and broadcast media including ABC World News, CNN, PBS Newshour, NPR, Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. She teaches courses in international law, international human rights law, constitutional law, and civil procedure. An experienced litigator, she has worked on numerous cases in the US Supreme Court and the courts of appeals involving international law and constitutional law issues, including cases involving the Alien Tort Statute, the Torture Victim Protection Act, and the detention and trial of post-9/11 detainees. Professor Martinez was named to the National Law Journal's list of "Top 40 Lawyers Under 40" and the American Lawyer's "Young Litigators Fab Fifty". She serves on the board of directors for the Open Society Justice Initiative, which promotes human rights and builds legal capacity for open societies around the world. In the past, she has served as a consultant on international human rights issues for both Human Rights First and the International Center for Transitional Justice. She is also a member of the US State Department's Advisory Committee on International Law. She is a faculty affiliate of Stanford's Center on International Security and Cooperation and Stanford's Center on Democracy Development and the Rule of Law. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 2003, Professor Martinez was a senior research fellow at Yale University and an attorney at Jenner & Block. She clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer (BA '59) of the US Supreme Court and Judge Guido Calabresi of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; she was also an associate legal officer for Judge Patricia Wald of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague, where she worked on trials involving genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.


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