Paul HoffmanRecipient 2007 Judith Stronach Human Rights Award
Paul Hoffman is one of CJA’s founding board members and a long time member of our Legal Advisory Council. Mr. Hoffman is a leading expert in international human rights law. In 2004, Mr. Hoffman argued the decisive case Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain before the U.S. Supreme Court. In a crucial decision for the U.S. human rights movement, the Court upheld the right of survivors to bring international human rights claims in U.S. courts. Mr. Hoffman has been the lead attorney or co-counsel on numerous other human rights cases including the landmark lawsuit against Unocal for complicity in forced labor, rape and murder in Burma and the case against Philippine ex-President Marcos for torture, summary execution and disappearance. Mr. Hoffman was also counsel on the first case CJA filed, Mehinovic v. Vuckovic, brought on behalf of four Bosnian clients who were tortured and illegally detained by Serbian forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the early 1990s. Mehinovic was the first published judgment holding a defendant liable for crimes against humanity in the U.S.
Mr. Hoffman is a partner with the Venice, CA based firm of Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman LLP and has been a leading civil rights and human rights attorney since 1976. He is the former Legal Director of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and the former Chair of the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International, Amnesty International USA and the ACLU’s International Human Rights Committee. He is one of the founders of the California Committee of Human Rights Watch, and has held leadership positions with several other human rights groups. He has taught international human rights law at UCLA, USC, Loyola and the Oxford University/George Washington Program in International Human Rights Law. He has also written extensively on human rights issues.