Carlos J. Zelada


Carlos J. Zelada is Associate Dean of the School of Law at the Universidad del Pacífico in Peru. He holds degrees from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Abogado) as well as an LL.M. (Master of Laws) from Harvard Law School, where he studied as a Fulbright scholar. Currently he is a Council Member at the Global Campus of Human Rights. Professor Zelada is an internationally recognized human rights expert working at the intersection of dissident sexualities and the law. His research on discrimination against the LGBT community has been presented at academic forums around the world and is frequently cited by civil society groups and governmental bodies. Zelada served as an expert witness before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Vicky Hernández et al. v. Honduras, the tribunal’s first case involving a transfemicide. He is currently heading the legal team representing Crissthian Olivera Fuentes in a case against Peru before the same court, this time involving public displays of affection by LGBT people. Before joining the Universidad del Pacífico, Zelada spent a decade at the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and worked as a consultant at the Pan American Health Organization. During this time, he took part in regional efforts to remove criminal defamation laws and to recognize access to information as a human right. He has served as adjunct professor at George Washington University’s International Human Rights Law Clinic, and before that he advised civil society groups representing the family members of victims of serious human rights violations before Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In recent years, his research has focused on the legal discourses used in cases alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sexual characteristics. Zelada has also studied the role of prejudice in the judicial review of incidents of violence against LGBT people.

Recently Published

Vicky Hernández et al. v. Honduras: A Landmark Victory with a Bitter Aftertaste

On June 28, on International LGBT Pride Day, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) issued its ruling in Vicky Hernández et al. v. Honduras, the first case involving lethal violence against an LGBT person, specifically a trans woman, to reach the highest body of the Inter-American regional system. During the proceedings, Honduras denied that…

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