Caroline Bettinger-López

Professor of Clinical Legal Education & Director, Human Rights Clinic

J.D. 2003, Columbia Law School
B.A. 1997, University of Michigan

Phone: 305-284-5923
Office: E256

Caroline Bettinger-López is a Professor of Clinical Legal Education and Director of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Miami School of Law. She also serves as an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and is a recipient of a Roddenberry Fellowship for her COURAGE in Policing Project (COURAGE=Community Oriented and United Responses to Address Gender Violence and Equality). Professor Bettinger-López recently completed a two-year term in the Obama Administration, where she served as the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, a senior advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, and a member of the White House Council on Women and Girls. At the White House, her responsibilities included co-chairing the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, chairing the U.S. Government Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence Against Women, co-coordinating the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, and developing the cabinet-level North American Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls (whose inaugural meeting in October 2016 included the participation of all attorneys general and indigenous affairs cabinet members from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico).

Professor Bettinger-López’s scholarship, practice, and teaching concern international human rights law and policy advocacy, violence against women, gender and race discrimination, immigrants’ rights, and clinical legal education. She focuses on the implementation of human rights norms at the domestic level, principally in the United States and Latin America. Professor Bettinger-López regularly litigates and engages in other forms of advocacy before the Inter-American Human Rights system, the United Nations, federal and state courts, and legislative bodies.

Professor Bettinger-López is lead counsel on Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, 2011), the first international human rights case brought by a domestic violence victim against the U.S. She has worked extensively with advocates and government officials in Canada on issues of violence against Indigenous women and girls, challenged Stand Your Ground laws before the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, collaborated with advocates in Miami and Haiti to stop U.S. deportations to post-earthquake Haiti, and litigated against the Dominican Republic for its mass expulsions of Haitian nationals and Dominicans of Haitian descent.

Her work has appeared in numerous journals, law reviews, and online and traditional media, including: Harvard Human Rights Law Journal, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, American Journal of International Law, the New York Times, the Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, and Jotwell.

Prior to joining the Obama-Biden White House, Professor Bettinger-López was the founding Director of Miami Law’s Human Rights Clinic (2010-2015). Before that, she was Deputy Director of the Human Rights Institute and Lecturer-in-Law and Acting Director of the Human Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School (2006-2010). There, she helped to coordinate the Human Rights in the U.S. Project and the Bringing Human Rights Home Lawyers' Network, a network of over 900 lawyers who are actively involved in domestic human rights strategies in the U.S. In fall 2014, she was a Visiting Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Chicago Law School, where she taught and directed the International Human Rights Clinic. Earlier, she was a Skadden Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Women’s Rights Project, where she focused on housing, employment, civil, and human rights of domestic violence survivors (2004-2006). From 2003-2004, she served as a law clerk for Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. in the Eastern District of New York.

Prior to her legal career, Professor Bettinger-López worked as an AmeriCorps member in the Miami Beach public schools, where she engaged in social services advocacy and youth education centered on women and girls’ empowerment, as well as anti-violence programming. She also lived and worked in and Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti as a secondary school teacher.

Professor Bettinger-López earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar; and a B.A. from the University of Michigan, where she studied cultural anthropology and earned Highest Honors for her senior thesis, which was later published as a book, Cuban-Jewish Journeys: Searching for Identity, Home, and History in Miami (Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2000). She is a Miami native, and a proud alumnus of Palmetto High School, Palmetto Middle School, and Pinecrest Elementary School.

 

 Publications

DOCTRINE, PRACTICE, AND ADVOCACY IN THE INTER-AMERICAN SYSTEM (ed. with James Cavallaro, Bernard Duhaime, Ariel Dulitzky, Clara Sandoval, and Claret Vargas), Oxford Univ. Press (UK) (forthcoming) (2018), In Preparation; Not Yet Submitted.

Developing a National Plan of Action on Violence Against Women and Gender-Based Violence: A Human Rights Approach, THE POLITICIZATION OF SAFETY (2018).

The Inter-American system: Organisation of American States Charter and Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of Belém do Pará) , THE NORMATIVE GAPS IN THE LEGAL PROTECTION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS FROM VIOLENCE: PUSHING THE FRONTIERS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (2018).

CONVERGE! Plenary 4 – Reimagining the Movement to End Gender Violence (Transcript), U. MIAMI RACE & SOC. JUST. L. REV. (2015).

VAWA@20: The Duty to Protect from State-Created Dangers: An International Law Perspective, CUNY L. REV. FOOTNOTE FORUM (2014).

"Stand Your Ground” Laws: International Human Rights Law Implications, with Ahmad Abuznaid, Charlotte Cassel, Meena Jagannath, 68 U. Miami L. Rev. 1129 (2014).

Implementing the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Domestic Violence Ruling, with Elizabeth Schneider, Lisalyn Jacobs, Margaret Drew, Mary Haviland, Julie Goldscheid, Sandra Park, Ejim Dike, 46 Clearinghouse Rev. 113 (2012).

Introduction to Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States: Implementation, Litigation, and Mobilization Strategies, 21 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 207 (2012).

The Challenge of Domestic Implementation of International Human Rights Law in the Cotton Field Case, 15 CUNY L. Rev. 315 (2012).

Foreword to Gender Justice in the Americas: A Transnational Dialogue on Sexuality, Violence, Reproduction, and Human Rights, with Alma Luz Beltran y Puga, Jorge Contesse, Paola Garcia-Rey, Diana Hortsch, Risa Kaufman, Nicole Tuszynski, 65 U. Miami L. Rev. (2011).

Redefining Human Rights Lawyering Through the Lens of Critical Theory: Lessons for Pedagogy and Practice, with Deborah Weissman, Davida Finger, Sarah Paoletti, JoNel Newman, Meetali Jain, 18 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y (2011).

(Book Review) , with Bassina Farbenblum, 104 The Human Rights of Non-citizens. By David Weissbrodt Am. J. Int'l L. 714 (2010).

The Inter-American Human Rights System: A Primer, 42 Clearinghouse Rev. 581 (2009).

Jessica Gonzales v. United States: An Emerging Model for Domestic Violence & Human Rights Advocacy in the United States, 21 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. (2008).

Human Rights at Home: Domestic Violence as a Human Rights Violation, 40 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. (2008).

International Union, U.A.W. v. Johnson Controls: The History of Litigation Alliances and Mobilization to Challenge Fetal Protection Policies (with Susan Sturm), CIVIL RIGHTS STORIES (2008).

"Hebrew with a Cuban Accent": Jewbans in the Diaspora, Cuba: Idea of a Nation Displaced 107 (2007).

Castle Rock v. Gonzales and the Future of Police Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence, with Emily Martin, Domestic Violence Rep. (2005).

Cuban-Jewish Journeys: Searching for Identity, Home, and History in Miami (2000).

 Media Appearances

TV: Human Rights Watch Film Festival June 2017 Home Truth: The Chronicling of the Life and Work of Jessica Gonzales Lenahan and the First-Ever Case Brought by a Domestic Violence Survivor Against the United States of America in a Human Rights Tribunal

Internet: BUZZFEED April 13 2017 Tyler Kingkade, Meet the Teen Sexual Assault Survivors Who Took on Their School District and Won (concerning sexual assault in high schools).

Internet: BUZZFEED April 03 2017 Tyler Kingkade, Members of Congress Are Starting a Bipartisan Task Force on Sexual Violence (addressing federal government initiatives on violence against women).

Internet: INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST March 8 2017 Sasha Chavkin, Lawsuit: World Bank Arm Aided Firm that Hired ‘Death Squads’ (concerning immunity challenges to alleged human rights abuses in Honduras).

Internet: Indianz.com October 13 2016 White House Hosts Meeting on Violence Against Indigenous Women.

Other: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary October 13 2016 White House to Host Inaugural North American Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women & Girls Meeting.

Other: Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Treatment October 7 2016 Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Treatment Board Meeting Minutes

Other: MeriTalk October 6 2016 Open Data Helps Police, Victims in Violence Against Women Cases

Other: ABA Journal October 1 2016 Campuses that Handle Sexual Assaults Must Balance Victims’ Rights, Due Process

Other: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice July 29 2016 NIJ’s Research for the Real World Seminar Series: National Institute of Justice

Other: Sunlight Foundation May 4 2016 Lessons learned from a year of opening police data

Other: The Daily Orange April 2016 Documentary Screening and Panel About Sexual Assault Held as Part of ‘It’s On Us’ National Week of Action

Other: DC Volunteer Lawyers Project April 22 2016 Voices Against Violence Press Release

Internet: Napleshelter.org April 16 2016 Shelter for Abused Women & Children: Day 13 - Shelter for Abused Women & Child

Other: Organization of American States March 8 2016 Breaking Barriers to Justice: Ending Violence Against Women in the Americas

Internet: Womenshealth.org February 9 2016 Assessing Campus Climate to Change Campus Culture

Radio: Local News – 90.7 WMFE January 27 2016 OPD [Orlando Police Dept.] to Make Public Data on Sexual Assaults And Other Crimes

Other: City of Orlando January 26 2016 The City of Orlando Previews Open Data Website with Representatives from the White House

Other: PAHO WHO December 2 2015 Experts point to progress, challenges in ending the global epidemic of violence against women

Other: Columbia Law School October 19 2015 Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute Celebrates Human Rights at Home

Other: Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma September 2015 Building a Trauma-Informed Nation Moving the Conversation into Action

TV: The Women of Color Network (WOCN) September 1 2015 First Anniversary Advocating for the Lives of Women and Families in Communities of Color

Other: Hall of Americas - Organization of American States June 19 2015 Violence, Health, and Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Internet: Convo Labs June 16 2015 President Obama Designates June 15th Elder Abuse Day

Other: California Coalition Against Sexual Assault June 3 2015 Impressions on the 2015 Women of Color Network National Call to Action Summit and Conference

Internet: War on Domestic Terrorism May 27 2015 Letter to White House - VAW Advisor Carrie Bettinger-Lopez - Women's Rights

Magazine: The Atlantic May 15 2015 Carrie Bettinger-Lopez is White House Adviser on Violence Against Women in the Office of the Vice President

Internet: Communitynewspapers.com May 4 2015 Bettinger-Lopez named White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

Other: Futures Without Violence April 28 2015 Open Square Summit

Other: U S Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri April 23 2015 New White House Advisor on Violence Against Women Sits Down with McCaskill to Talk Policy

Newspaper: The Miami Herald March 4 2015 UM Associate Professor Appointed White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

Other: The White House March 4 2015 Vice President Biden Announces New White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

Internet: Human Rights at Home Blog February 17 2015 Human Rights Lawyer to Serve as White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

Internet: MSNBC September 17 2014 Irin Carmon, How the Supreme Court turned its back on domestic violence (discussing legal gaps in the context of violence against women)

Other: WLRN, Miami Herald News, Latin America Report September 17 2014 Tim Padgett, Does Escaping El Salvador's Nightmare Abortion Law Mean Flying To Miami? (discussing El Salvador’s draconian anti-abortion laws and practice)

TV: Jamaican News Network March 25 2014 Beyond the Headlines (discussing Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing on U.S. Stand Your Ground laws).

TV: Investigation Discovery March 17 2014 Stalked: Someone’s Watching (featuring the case of Jessica Gonzales v. U.S.)

TV: Jamaican News Network October 10 2013 Beyond the Headlines (discussing Haitians rendered stateless in the Dominican Republic).

TV: Al Jazeera Television October 2 2013 Al Jazeera (addressing the Dominican Republic Constitutional Tribunal’s decision stripping Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship).

Internet: IRISH INDEPENDENT May 26 2013 Carol Hunt, We Must Tend to Our Issues on the Home Front, (addressing women’s human rights at the international and domestic levels).

Radio: Pacifica Radio January 12 2012 Global Movements’ Urban Struggles (discussing the Miami Human Rights Clinic’s work on deportations to Haiti).

Radio: National Public Radio May 9 2011 The Kojo Nnamdi Show (discussing post-earthquake deportations from the U.S. to Haiti).

Internet: New York Times March 21 2011 Strangers in a Strange Land (video documenting Haitian deportations from the U.S. and Miami Law Human Rights Clinic’s work on the issue).

Internet: N.Y. TIMES January 19 2011 Kristopher Rios, After Long Fight, Farmworkers in Florida Win an Increase in Pay (citation to statement concerning new labor code of conduct/farmworker agreement in Florida’s tomato industry).

Radio: National Public Radio January 14 2011 WLRN Miami Herald News (discussing fact-finding trip to Haiti re U.S. deportations to Haiti).

Radio: Public Radio International January 14 2011 The World: U.S. Resumes Haitian Deportations (discussing U.S. deportations to Haiti).

TV: Telemundo October 27 2009 Perdió a Sus Hijas y Busca Justicia (She Lost Her Daughters and Searches for Justice) (feature story about Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales)).

Internet: LISTIN DIARIO July 6 2009 Corte Conoce Caso Familias Haitianas Expulsadas de RD (Court Hears the Case of Haitian Families Expelled from the Dominican Republic), (describing case before Inter-American Court of Human Rights concerning mass expulsions of ethnic Haitians from the Dominican Republic).

Radio: Radio Netherlands July 4 2008 The State We’re In: What’s in a Name? (addressing nationality rights of ethnic Haitians born in the Dominican Republic).

Radio: Colorado Public Radio October 22 2007 Colorado Matters (discussing case of Jessica Gonzales v. U.S.).

Internet: COLORADO COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS October 18 2007 Mother Haunted by Daughters’ Deaths (describing Jessica Lenahan v. U.S. case).

Phone: 305-284-5923
Office: E256
Faculty Assistant

Dominguez, Rose

Phone: (305)284-4542
Office: E270
Faculty Assistant

Vargas, Danny

Phone: (305)284-8537
Office: E270

Websites and Blogs

Human Rights Clinic

White House Blogs