Former UN Special Rapporteur

Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur
Mr. David Kaye, Former Special Rapporteur

David Kaye was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in August 2014. His mandate was renewed in 2017 and concluded July 31, 2020.

David’s reporting to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council has addressed some of the most difficult issues of the digital age: the role of encryption and anonymity in advancing privacy and free expression; the protection of whistleblowers and journalistic sources, and how surveillance undermines those protections; the responsibilities of digital access providers in the face of authoritarian governments’ efforts to shut down access to websites and networks; and the global assault on expression. He reported to the UNGA in 2017 on the lack of access to information policies throughout international organizations.

David is clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. He teaches international human rights law and international humanitarian law and directs a clinic in international justice. His research and writing focus on accountability for serious human rights abuses and the law governing use of force. He has collaborated with local and national governments, major international NGOs as well as those at the grassroots, international organizations, and academic institutions around the world.

He has also published numerous research essays and opinion pieces on international human rights law related issues in a wide range of specialised reviews and mainstream publications. Recent publications outside of the FREEDEX mandate include: Archiving Justice: Conceptualizing the Archives of the ICTY, Journal of Archival Science (2014); Stealth Multilateralism: U.S. Foreign Policy Without Treaties – or the Senate, Foreign Affairs (2013); Human Rights Prosecutors? The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, International Justice, and the Example of Syria (book chapter) (2013); State Execution of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 3 U.C. Irvine Law Reviews 95 (2013).

In addition to his teaching and research, he has lectured around the world, including at the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. He has taught courses in public international law, international humanitarian law and human rights at Georgetown University, Whittier Law School, and summer courses at the Universities of Toulouse and Amsterdam. He co-founded the International Human Rights Program of the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, and founded its International Justice Clinic, working on projects dealing with accountability for international crimes around the world. Mr. Kaye began his legal career as a lawyer with the U.S. Department of State.

David has served on numerous local, national, and international boards over the course of career. He has been an active member of the American Society of International Law, for which he served on its Executive Council and Executive Committee, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. His c.v. may be found here.


Adjunct Clinical Professors

Ramin Pejan is a staff attorney with the Earthjustice International Program and an adjunct clinical professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

Prior to his position at Earthjustice, Mr. Pejan worked with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nation Environment Programme on the linkages between human rights and environmental issues.

From 2010–2012, he was Legal Counsel for the Association for Water and Rural Development,a non-profit working on water resource management and environmental issues in rural South Africa.

Mr. Pejan also worked for the New York City Law Department, Environmental Law Division, from 2005–2010 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel and then Senior Counsel, where he was engaged in a wide variety of environmental litigation, advocacy, counseling and compliance work in areas of federal and state law. Highlights include being a key member of the trial team that won a $100 million judgment in City of New York v. Exxon Mobil Corporation; defending the Yankee Stadium environmental impact study; and serving as lead counsel for the City in state and federal court challenges against the City’s efforts to require hybrid taxicabs. His Exxon Mobil trial team was a finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year awarded by Public Justice in 2010.

He received his LL.M. from McGill University in International Human Rights and Environmental Law (2005), his J.D. cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law (2002), and his B.A. from Duke University (1998).


Mary Hansel is an adjunct clinical professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Mary earned her J.D. at the USC Gould School of Law and her LL.M in Public International Law at the London School of Economics. She has published and presented widely on international human right issues.

Mary joins UC Irvine from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. At Loyola, Mary taught courses on international human rights law, including a course on the use of human rights standards and mechanisms in addressing social justice issues in the U.S. Additionally, she served as Deputy Director of the International Human Rights Clinic; as such, she supervised diverse human rights projects and created a pedagogical curriculum to prepare students to conduct human rights advocacy throughout their legal careers.

Prior to academia, Mary practiced litigation and international arbitration at Irell & Manella and Bird, Marella, et al. She also worked on human rights matters at non-governmental organizations, including Human Rights Watch and the International Center for Transitional Justice, and consulted on international criminal law issues for proceedings before the High Court of Uganda.

She recently completed her term as an Executive Committee Member of the California State Bar’s International Law Section. During her term, she served as Founding Chair of the International Human Rights Committee and Managing Editor of The California International Law Journal.


Former Legal Advisors

Sofia Jaramillo Otoya, Digital Rights Fellow

Sofia Jaramillo served as the Legal Advisor to David Kaye, the Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression. She is currently the Digital Rights Fellow at the International Justice Clinic at UCI.

Prior to her position, she was the legal officer at Columbia University’s Global Freedom of Expression Project. Sofia helped coordinate the Latin American chapter of the project and designed, developed and launched a teaching portal that offers academic and training resources on the laws, institutions and actors that have founded a global system of freedom of expression and information. She also researched and analyzed human rights and judicial developments concerning freedom of expression with a focus on Latin America. She produced jurisprudence analyses, legal papers, and other publications on a range of topics concerning free expression. Sofía also supported Dr. Agnès Callamard on the editing process of the Book “Regardless of Frontiers: Global Freedom of Expression in a Troubled World” in which she also contributed with a chapter.

Sofia has devoted much of her career to international human rights mechanisms. She has worked with two Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Sofia has also worked and consulted for regional organizations in Latin America such as Dejusticia, Civitas, the Foundation for Free Press (FLIP) and the Inter-American Press Association. Among others, she coauthored an advanced course for judges and legal practitioners in the Americas.

Sofia completed her initial legal degree in Colombia, at Rosario University, and earned an LLM from Columbia Law School in New York, where she was a Human Rights Fellow. Sofia graduated from Columbia with the academic recognition of Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a Certificate in International and Comparative Law.


Amos Toh currently serves as Senior researcher on artificial intelligence and human rights at Human Rights Watch. Toh was the Legal Advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression. His research and advocacy focus on online content regulation, surveillance, net neutrality, and Internet governance.

Amos was formerly Counsel and Katz Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, where he worked on government surveillance reform and religious profiling issues. He is the author of Overseas Surveillance in an Interconnected World (2016) (with Faiza Patel and Elizabeth Goitein), and Foreign Law Bans: Legal Uncertainties and Practical Problems (2013) (with Faiza Patel and Matthew Duss). His writing has been featured in major newspapers and publications, including The Washington PostThe GuardianAl-Jazeera and Salon.

Amos received his LL.M. from NYU School of Law (2012), and was awarded the George Colin Award for distinction in the Traditional LL.M. program. He received his Bachelor of Laws from the National University of Singapore School of Law (2012), ranking first in his class.