Date Chartered: 5/31/2001

The Section on International Human Rights promotes the communication of ideas, interests, and activities among members and makes recommendations to the Association on matters of interest in the teaching and improvement of the law relating to international human rights.

Annual Meeting Programs








Nelson Mandela Award

The Nelson Mandela Award may be granted by the Section to an outstanding law teacher or teachers, or to other individuals who, in the course of their career, have made an exceptional contribution to International Human Rights.

Nominations and Eligibility:

  • Eligible nominees include all professional legal educators, including those holding professional rank, administrators, librarians, clinical or legal writing faculty, or retired faculty, as well as other individuals who have made such a contribution to human rights. However, no serving member of the Executive Committee is eligible to receive the Award.
  • Nominations may be made by any member of the Section to the Chair of the Section. Each year, the Chair should announce the existence of the Award and solicit nominations widely through e-mail discussion lists, the Section newsletter, and by other means at the discretion of the Chair. Nominations should be made in writing, in the form of a one-to-two page letter describing why the nominee should be considered for the Award.

Selection Process:

  • The Chair shall call a meeting of the Executive Committee to consider the nominees in advance of the Annual Meeting of the AALS. All nominations which were received after the Executive Committee last met to consider the Award shall be considered at the meeting. Copies of written nominations shall be distributed to the members of the executive committee in advance of the meeting.
  • The recipient shall be selected by consensus of the Executive Committee after discussion, or, if no consensus is reached, by majority vote of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may vote not to grant the Award in any given year. The Executive Committee may vote to delegate initial consideration of nominees to a subcommittee, which may make a recommendation to the full committee, but no Award shall be made without the approval of the full committee.

Announcement and Ceremony:

The Award shall ordinarily be presented at the AALS Annual Meeting.


YearAward NameRecipientLaw School
2024Nelson Mandela AwardDinah SheltonThe George Washington University Law School
2023Nelson Mandela AwardGay McDougallFordham University School of Law