Law and Peace Practice Group /

Carlos Castresana Fernández

Dr. Castresana has been a practicing attorney, magistrate, investigating judge, and prosecutor for over 30 years. Currently, he is the UN Commissioner for Human Rights in South Sudan and advises the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia.

In 1989, he entered the Public Prosecutor’s career in Spain. Since then, he has worked in the prosecutor’s offices of Barcelona and Madrid, as well as in the special Anti-drug and Anti-corruption prosecutor’s offices. In 2005, he was promoted to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court of Spain, and later to the Court of Auditors.

In 2007, the UN Secretary-General appointed Dr. Castresana as Commissioner against Impunity in Guatemala, with the category of UN Assistant Secretary-General. Dr. Castresana held this position until 2010. In recognition of his work in Guatemala, he received the Stella della Solidarietà as Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana, the Grand Cross of the Order of Quetzal of Guatemala, the Order of Civil Merit of Spain, and was named Officer of the Legion of Honor of France. Dr. Castresana is also the recipient of the National Human Rights Award in Spain and holds the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Guadalajara (Mexico), the Central University of Chile, and the National Institute of Criminal Science of Mexico (INACIPE).

Dr. Castresana has served as an expert on a number of legal missions, including those of the Council of Europe, the EU, the UN, and the World Bank, among others. He has written multiple articles published in media and specialized legal journals and has lectured at universities and other institutions in Europe and America (including Harvard, Yale, NYU, CUNY, Drexel, Berkeley, Stanford, the US Departments of Defense and of State). He has also been a Professor of Criminal Law at Carlos III University of Madrid and International Criminal Law at the University of San Francisco (California), Haverford College (Pennsylvania), and the Centro Universitario de Estudios Financieros (CUNEF) in Madrid.

In 2016, he was awarded the First Prize for Transparency, Integrity, and the Fight against Corruption from the General Council of the Spanish Bar and Transparency International, and in 2024, the Medal of the Barcelona Bar Association.