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 will now conclude in the summer of 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.
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).
Amos Toh currently serves as 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 Post, The Guardian, Al-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.