Of Counsel

Carlos Ayala

Carlos Ayala is the head of the Constitutional Law Chair at the “Andrés Bello” Catholic University, Professor of Human Rights at the University of Oxford (UK), Georgetown University, American University Washington of College of Law (USA), and Pan American University (Mexico). Member and Vice President of the International Commission of Jurists; Member of the Academy of Political and Social Sciences of Venezuela and Scholar of the National Academy of Law and Social Sciences of Argentina (Córdoba); Member and member of the board of the Ibero-American Constitutional Law Institute and President of the Venezuelan Chapter; International Member of the Constitutional Law Associations of Colombia, Argentina, and Perú; Member and member of the board of the Ibero-American Institute of Constitutional Procedural Law. Professor Ayala was President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, as well as Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, President of the Andean Commission of Jurists and Member of the Board of Directors of the International Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association (IBAHRI). He was a member of the International Commission appointed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, for the selection and appointment process of the Supreme Court of Ecuador in 2005. As a Consultant for the United Nations, Professor Ayala also worked on the selection process of the Supreme Court of Justice of Guatemala in 2009. Professor Ayala is a Lawyer and human rights defender before national and international organizations; advisor to several international organizations and non-governmental organizations; and author of several publications on Constitutional Law, Human Rights and International Public Law.

In the professional field, Carlos Ayala has litigated various leading cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in areas of freedom of information and expression: Mauricio Herrera (Diario La Nacion), and Granier y otros (Radio Caracas Television-RCTV); independence of the judiciary: Reveron Trujillo, and Chocron Chocron; judicial guaranties, freedom of expression and political persecution: Alvarez Ramos; judicial guaranties, conditions of detention, forced disappearances, torture and summary executions: Montero Aranguren y otros (Reten de Catia), and Blanco Romero y otros; personal integrity and freedom of expression: Ríos y otros, y Perozo y otros. Also, has litigated various cases before the United Nations treaty bodies like the Human Rights Committee and Committee against Torture (and Special Procedures) and the Special Procedures in particular: Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions and, before several Special Rapporteurs.

Ayala has also litigated several cases before the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files. And in the field of International protection of foreign investments Ayala has been an independent authority in several cases domestically and internationally (ICSID).

Experience Highlights:

  • Vice President (2018-present) and Member of the International Commission of Jurist (2012-Present).
  • Member and Chairman of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (I-ACHR) (1996-1999);
  • Member of the board International Human Rights Institute IBA (London, 2009-2019).
  • President of the Venezuelan Association of Constitutional Law (1996-1998) and President Honoris Causa (1998-Present).
  • Member of the International Commission for the process of selection and appointment of the Supreme Court of Justice of Ecuador on behalf of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2005); and UN Consultant for the appointment of the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala (2009). Member of the Caracas Bar Association (1979-Present) and since 1981 practicing attorney in the field of Public Law and International Human Rights Law.
  • Professor of “International Human Rights Law”, University of Oxford, UK (2011-x)
  • Professor of “Human Rights in the Americas”, Georgetown University, USA (1999).
  • Professor of “International Protection of Human Rights”, American University, Washington of College of Law, USA (1999; 2004-x).

Christian Gonzalez Chacon

Christian Gonzalez Chacon, Of Counsel, specializes in international human rights law. He brings to the firm more than a decade of experience as a human rights advocate, having worked with prominent international human rights organizations and tribunals.

For over eight years, Christian served as a Senior Counsel at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, handling a diverse range of cases spanning administrative and criminal due process, enforced disappearances, death penalty, freedom of expression, judicial and prosecutorial independence, and discrimination issues within the Americas.

He successfully represented the IACHR in more than two dozen hearings before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where he played a pivotal role in securing landmark judgments for the IACHR and representatives of victims.

During his career, he gained valuable experience by interning at the Center for Justice and International Law. Additionally, he served as a visiting professional at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Human Rights Committee, and the International Criminal Court.

Christian is fluent in Spanish and English.


LL. B, Rafael Landivar University (magna cum laude)

LL.M in international human rights law, Notre Dame Law School (magna cum laude)

M.A. in legal philosophy, University of Alicante

S.JD., Georgetown University Law Center

Selected Publications

Plots Against President-Elect Marks Dark Turn in Guatemala’s Bitter ElectionInSight Crime, Aug. 25, 2023 (Christian quoted).

Abogados ven riesgos en argumento de juez que autorizó pesquisa contra periodistasLa Hora, Mar. 2, 2023 (Christian quoted).

Caso José Rubén Zamora: la estrategia del gobierno guatemalteco para silenciar a la prensa, analizan voces expertasLatAm Journalism Review, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, April 5, 2023 (Christian Quoted).

Un juez y el fiscal que investiga a opositores vuelven a la carga contra la candidatura progresista en Guatemala |EL PAÍS (elpais.com), July 19, 2023 (Christian quoted). 

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