Paul Hoffman

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From AI's website:

Paul Hoffman was elected Chair of the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International in September 2002.
A Civil Rights and Human Rights Attorney since 1976, Paul has been a member of Amnesty International since the mid-1970's. He became very active in AIUSA in approximately 1981 and 1982 when he organized the AIUSA Legal Support Network. He was the National Coordinator of the Legal Support Network from 1982 to 1987 which included travelling around the United States setting up local legal groups, as well as creating the national structure for this new forum within AIUSA.
Paul was elected to the AIUSA Board for the first time in 1983. He has been on the Board from 1983-1989, from 1990-1992 and from 1996 to the present. He has been on the AIUSA Executive Committee all but two of these years and served as the Chair of two of the three Board main committees, as Board Secretary and as Chair of the Board from 1988 to 1989 and from September 1997 to the present. He has been a member of many committees, task forces, studies etc on many different issues, including organizational issues. Paul has also gone on missions and represented Amnesty International in IGO meetings over the years.
For many years Paul was the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation of Southern California in Los Angeles. The ACLU is one of the leading NGOs in the United States and one of the largest. He was deeply involved in management and organizational issues within the ACLU both in Los Angeles and nationally. For many years, he was the national coordinator of ACLU Legal Directors nationally and participated in the various debates about how the ACLU should be organized nationally and locally. He has been either a Board member or a member of the Advisory Board of a number of other human rights or civil rights organizations in the United States over the years
— AI website

Hoffman's personal website

From Hoffman's website:

Representative sample of International Human Rights Activities

  • Amnesty International: Since August 1999 I have been a member of AI's 9 member International Executive Committee which oversees AI's operations throughout the world.
  • Amnesty International - USA: Chair of the Board (1997-99, 1988-89); Member, Executive Committee (1984-1989, 1992-94, 1997-99); Member of Board (1983-89, 1992-94, 1996-99); Chair, International Council Meeting (1991-97); Founder and National Coordinator, AIUSA Legal Support Network (1982-87); Chair of December 1998 International Summit of Human Rights Defenders (Paris, France). I have also undertaken several human rights missions, diplomatic missions (e.g. as a delegate to United Nations meetings) and trial observations for AI. I have served on numerous AIUSA committees and task forces and I have frequently represented AIUSA in the media.
  • Human Rights Watch: Member of California Committee; Member of Advisory Committee to Asia Watch; Research mission to Ethiopia (1994)
  • Article 19 (International Centre Against Censorship): Member of International Board (since 1999); Chair of 1995 International Conference on Freedom of Expression and National Security (Johannesburg, South Africa).
  • International League for Human Rights: Member of Board
  • Center For Human Rights and Constitutional Law: Member of Board

International Human Rights Law Group: Member of Domestic Advisory Committee

AI pulls out of UNESCO meeting

On May 17, 2004, AI pulled out of a UNESCO meeting over a disagreement over a paper Hoffman would present at the conference.

Amnesty International has withdrawn from a UNESCO human rights conference in Nantes, France, because UNESCO attempted to censor Amnesty International?s message on human rights, the "war on terror" and the role of the USA.
Paul Hoffman, Chair of Amnesty International's International Executive Committee, was due to speak on human rights and terrorism today. His paper restated AI's already public concerns regarding the "war on terror" and did not introduce new issues. UNESCO refused to translate, publish and distribute Paul Hoffman's paper.
AI's newsrelease

Hoffman's paper that UNESCO refused to translate is: Human Rights and Terrorism, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 4, Nov. 2004, pp. 932-955.

Abstract: "In this article, Paul Hoffman, the Chair of the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International, presents Amnesty's view that the way in which the "war on terrorism" has been waged threatens to undermine the international human rights framework so painstakingly built since World War II. Written before the Abu Ghraib revelations became public, the paper argues that abandoning human rights in times of crisis is shortsighted and self-defeating. A "war on terrorism" waged without respect for the rule of law undermines the very values that it presumes to protect. We must restore the balance between liberty and security by reasserting the human rights framework, which provides for legitimate and effective efforts to respond to terrorist attacks."
  1. Editors and Editorial Board, Human Rights Quarterly, accessed March 22, 2010.
  2. Boards, Kurdish Human Rights Project, accessed February 28, 2008.