Symposium Introduction: Remembering Antonio Augusto Cançado Trindade and his Legacy: A Joint Symposium


December 5, 2022

Judge Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade was a towering figure of contemporary international and public law. An internationally renowned jurist, he was judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights between 1995 and 2008 and its President between 1999 and 2004. In February 2009, he was elected as judge of the International Court of Justice, a position he held until his passing in May 2022.

A Brazilian jurist with a career expanding more than 40 years, his publications and opinions were geared towards the humanization of International Law and the protection of the individual as the centre of his claims. Whether one agreed or disagreed with his views, his writings, decisions, and opinions shaped the direction of international legal scholarship, particularly in the Global South. In Latin America, he will be long remembered as a key figure of the Latin American approach to international law, even by his critics. Given his influence in the discipline, we at Afronomicslaw, Opinio Juris and Agenda Estado de Derecho have decided to partner to host a joint symposium to both honour and discuss his legacy in English, French and Latin American Spanish.

In the next few days, Opinio Juris and Afronomicslaw will run a series of posts about Judge Trindade, authored by scholars who befriended him, worked with him, engaged with his writings, and even strongly disagreed with him. As blogs dedicated to the discussion and analysis of international law, we can think of no better way to honour his legacy. Thanks to the gracious support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, these blog posts will then be translated into Spanish and published in Agenda Estado de Derecho, one of Latin America’s leading online portals.

The Symposium kicks off today, with a post from Professor Hélène Tigroudja:, published in French, at Afronomicslaw, highlighting the contributions of Judge Cançado Trindade, both in the bench and as an academic, to transform procedural and substantive norms as tools, not barriers, for victims to access justice. On Tuesday, Opinio Juris will post an essay by Venezuelan scholar and Lecturer at Mexico’s Universidad Iberoamericana and Universidad Panamericana, Moisés Montiel Mogollón; a longstanding critic of Judge Trindade’s anti-formalist views, who describes his post as an example of “collegial opposition”. Over at Afronomicslaw, also on Tuesday, Paula Wojcikiewicz Almeida, Professor of International Law and EU Law at FGV Rio, talks about Judge Cançado Trindade’s legacy, illustrating the multiple facets of his career as an academic and judge, both at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice.

On Wednesday, at Afronomicslaw, Catalina Fernández, Lecturer at the University of Chile and Judge Cançado Trindade’s former law clerk talks about his final separate opinion, on the Armed Activities (DRC v. Uganda) case, while, over at Opinio Juris, Cecilia M. Baillet, Professor at the University of Oslo, explores Judge Trindade’s views on universal juridical conscience and international law for humankind. On Thursday, at Afronomicslaw, Peruvian scholar, Salvador Herencia-Carrasco, Director of the Human Rights Clinic of the HRREC at the University of Ottawa, reviews Judge Cançado Trindade’s legacy in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, while, over at Opinio Juris, Chilean scholar, Jorge Contesse, Professor of Law at Rutgers University, surveys the same period, with a critical lens.

Finally, the joint symposium will end, with a post from H.E. Leonardo Nemer Caldeira Brant, recently appointed Judge at the International Court of Justice, who will continue Latin America’s legal legacy at the Court, after the passing of Judge Trindade. You will find Judge Brant’s post in both Opinio Juris and Afronomicslaw.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy this symposium and that it will allow our international legal community to honour the memory of Judge Trindade in the best way we can think of: by engaging with his legacy and ideas.