Faculty

Contact

Law School Annex 140-I
(206) 398-4111
antkowit@seattleu.edu

Education

B.A., Harvard University; Sheldon Prize Fellowship
J.D., Columbia University; James Kent Scholar

Specializations

International Human Rights
International Law

Thomas Antkowiak

Associate Professor and Director, Latin America Program

Curriculum VitaePDF

Biography

Professor Antkowiak teaches international human rights law and public international law. His research focuses upon the Inter-American human rights system, reparations for rights violations, indigenous rights, and transitional justice.

Antkowiak has also directed our International Human Rights Clinic since 2008.  In that capacity, he and his students have handled matters before the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights, the African Commission and Court of Human and Peoples' Rights, UN human rights institutions, and foreign jurisdictions.  Through direct representation and other forms of advocacy, the Clinic has worked for persons around the globe.  These individuals and groups have suffered torture, wrongful conviction, arbitrary detention, discrimination, and illegal intrusion into ancestral lands.

Prior to his arrival in Seattle, Antkowiak held a variety of positions in the field of human rights: Senior Attorney at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of the Organization of American States; Special Assistant to Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace Laureate and President of Costa Rica; and Director of the Access to Justice Program at the Due Process of Law Foundation, among others.

Publications

Articles and Book Chapters

Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights: The Inter-American Court at a Crossroads, in THE INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS: THEORY AND PRACTICE, PRESENT AND FUTURE, Intersentia Press (2015) http://ssrn.com/abstract=2625261

A Dark Side of Virtue: The Inter-American Court and Reparations for Indigenous Peoples, Vol. 25, No. 1 of THE DUKE JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE & INTERNATIONAL LAW (2015)http://ssrn.com/abstract=2599677

El Principio de Legalidad y de Retroactividad ("The Legality and Retroactivity Principles") and El Derecho a Indemnización ("The Right to Compensation") in LA CONVENCIÓN AMERICANA COMENTADA ("Commentary on the American Convention on Human Rights"), Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (2014) [download]

Rights, Resources and Rhetoric: Indigenous Peoples and The Inter-American Court, Vol. 35, No. 1 of UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (2013) [download]

La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos y sus reparaciones centradas en la victima ("The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Victim-Centered Reparations"), in PERSPECTIVA IBEROAMERICANA SOBRE LA JUSTICIA PENAL INTERNACIONAL ("An Iberoamerican Perspective on International Criminal Justice") (Olásolo-Alonso & Cuenca-Curbelo eds., 2012) [download]

An Emerging Mandate for International Courts: Victim-Centered Remedies and Restorative Justice, Vol. 47, No. 2 of Stanford Journal of International Law (2011) [download]

El derecho a la consulta en las Américas: marco legal internacional ("The [Indigenous] Right to Be Consulted in the Americas: International Legal Framework"), APORTES, the triannual publication of the Due Process of Law Foundation (Sept. 2010) (with Alejandra Gonza) [download]

Un modelo innovador en materia de reparaciones: El esquema de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos ("An Innovative Reparations Model: The Scheme of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights"), Edition 233 of EL DERECHO, the legal journal of the Catholic University of Argentina (2009)

Remedial Approaches to Human Rights Violations: The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Beyond, Vol. 46, No. 2 of The Columbia Journal of Transnational Law (2008) [download]

Moiwana Village v. Suriname: A Portal into Recent Jurisprudential Developments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Vol. 25, No. 2 of The Berkeley Journal of International Law (2007) [download] 

Truth as Right and Remedy in International Human Rights Experience, Vol. 23, No. 4 of The Michigan Journal of International Law (2002)

Books

VICTIMS UNSILENCED: THE INTER-AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEM AND TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE IN LATIN AMERICA, United States Institute of Peace and The Due Process of Law Foundation (2007) (Co-Editor)

Recent Activity

Human Rights Clinic wins Salgado case before United Nations

February 03, 2016
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that Mexico's detention of Nestora Salgado-García, a client of the law school's International Human Rights Clinic, is illegal and arbitrary, and that she must be released immediately.

U.N. panel demands release of jailed Mexican indigenous leader

February 03, 2016
Our International Human Rights Clinic's partner attorney in Mexico, Ricardo Lagunes Gasca, says Nestora Salgado has been denied due process.

UN panel finds Mexico's arrest of organizer Nestora Salgado illegal

February 02, 2016
Important ruling will increase pressure on Mexico to release the law school's client, says Professor Thomas Antkowiak.

UN Group: Arrest of Washington State Woman in Mexico Illegal

February 02, 2016
The law school's International Human Rights Clinic has been pursuing justice for Nestora Salgado since 2013. This Associated Press story appeared in media outlets across the country.

Renton Grandmother in Mexican Prison: 'I Need Help'

November 05, 2015
Nestora Salgado's legal team, led by Professor Tom Antkowiak, continue to fight for her release.

Activism unjustly criminalized in Nestora Salgado case

September 01, 2015
Professor Thomas Antkowiak and co-counsel Alejondra Gonza call on the United States to demand freedom for Nestora Salgado.

How an Indigenous Group Is Battling Construction of the Nicaragua Canal

August 27, 2015
Professor Thomas Antkowiak discusses opposition by indigenous groups to a major canal project in Nicaragua.

Mexican Activist Nestora Salgado on Hunger Strike

June 12, 2015
This report about Nestora Salgado, a client of our International Human Rights Clinic, calls on supporters to plan protests on her behalf.

Renton woman imprisoned in Mexico without due process

June 08, 2015
Rep. Adam Smith joined Seattle U's International Human Rights Clinic to demand the release of client Nestora Salgado.

Rep. Adam Smith rallies support for release of Nestora Salgado

June 05, 2015
Congressman Adam Smith joined Professor Tom Antkowiak, director of our International Human Rights Clinic, to once again demand the release of client Nestora Salgado-García, a Renton woman illegally imprisoned in Mexico for almost two years.

Hunger Strike Called Off by American Woman Jailed in Mexico After Starting Citizen Police Force

June 05, 2015
Nestora Salgado, a client of our International Human Rights Clinic, continue to fight for her freedom.

Indigenous police commander Nestora Salgado on hunger strike in Mexican maximum security prison

May 27, 2015
"The due process situation has been absolutely atrocious." Professor Thomas Antkowiak discusses his client, who is illegally detained in Mexico.

Clinic achieves Salgado's transfer from max-security prison

May 20, 2015
In the midst of a 16-day hunger strike, Nestora Salgado-García, the Renton woman who has been illegally imprisoned in Mexico since August of 2013, will be moved from a remote, maximum security prison to a detention facility in Mexico City where she'll be able to receive crucial medical care.

Lawyer: Jailed vigilante leader in Mexico to be moved

May 20, 2015
Professor Tom Antkowiak's announcement that client Nestora Salgado would be moved to a better detention facility in Mexico received widespread media coverage, including the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, ABC, NBC, and FOX News.

Renton woman Nestora Salgado on hunger strike in Mexican prison

May 15, 2015
Professor Thomas Antkowiak describes the struggle that led to a hunger strike by his client, Nestora Salgado of Renton, who is illegally jailed in Mexico.

Measuring the Real Impact of a $50 Billion Engineering Marvel

May 14, 2015
Professor Thomas Antkowiak said his students in the International Human Rights Clinic are fighting a massive canal project in Nicaragua because it threatens indigenous communities.

Nestora Salgado protests illegal detention with hunger strike

May 11, 2015
Nestora Salgado-García, the Renton woman who has been imprisoned in Mexico since August of 2013 and a client of the law school's International Human Rights Clinic, is on her sixth day of a hunger strike to protest her illegal detention.

Freedom Trailblazer: A profile of Professor Tom Antkowiak

April 01, 2015
An in-depth profile of Professor Tom Antkowiak uncovers the roots of his dedication to fighting injustice internationally.

U.N. human rights authorities condemn treatment of Nestora Salgado

March 16, 2015
Seven United Nations human rights experts have appealed to the Government of Mexico to protect Nestora Salgado-García, the Renton woman who has been imprisoned in Mexico and is represented by the law school's International Human Rights Clinic.

International commission ruling could help free American woman in Mexico

February 02, 2015
The hemisphere's primary human rights monitor has called on Mexico to act immediately to protect the "life and physical integrity" of Nestora Salgado-García of Renton, Wash.

Renton activist may soon be released from jail in Mexico

January 20, 2015
Professor Tom Antkowiak appears in a TV news report about his clinic's client, Nestora Salgado, and efforts to dismiss charges against her in Mexico.

Support continues to grow for release of clinic client Nestora Salgado

January 15, 2015
Support continues to grow for the release of Nestora Salgado, who has been imprisoned in Mexico for 18 months and who is represented by the International Human Rights Clinic at Seattle University School of Law.

International Human Rights Clinic joins fight to stop Nicaragua canal

December 08, 2014
A petition, submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C, demands that Nicaragua perform comprehensive impact assessments and obtain the full consent of indigenous and Afro-Caribbean communities who live along the planned route.

Clinic helps innocent client obtain reparations from Mexican government

September 19, 2014
The Mexican government officially apologized to a man who was unjustly imprisoned for 12 years and was freed through the work of the law school's International Human Rights Clinic.

Rep. Adam Smith continues to push for release of clinic client Nestora Salgado

August 05, 2014
Congressman Adam Smith continues to push for the release of Nestora Salgado, who is represented by the law school's International Human Rights Clinic. Congressman Smith today spoke with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne about Nestora Salgado's case