Photo of Berta Hernandez

Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol

Levin Mabie and Levin Professor



Mailing Address:
Box #117625 Gainesville, FL 32611


(352) 273-0928

(352) 392-3005

Professor Hernández-Truyol is an internationally renowned human rights scholar who utilizes an interdisciplinary and international framework to promote human well-being around the globe. She is engaged in initiatives that seek to develop, expand and transform the human rights discourse with a focus on issues of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, language, and other vulnerabilities as well as their interconnections. As part of a team of UF scholars immersed in engagement with Cuba and in the re-establishment of relations between the Levin College of Law and the University of Havana Law School, she travels to Cuba to develop associations with professors across the UH campus. The initiative involves the planning of a joint, interdisciplinary conference to be held in Havana in the spring or summer of 2016. That meeting will lay the foundation for collaborative scholarly activities for UF-UH faculty and students. She travels broadly to discuss and teach human rights. She has made presentations and offered courses in countries around the world including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, France, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Spain, and Uruguay.

Hernández-Truyol’s current research includes an examination of the ongoing migration crises. Her work on migration will appear as a chapter in the book International Migrations and Social Sustainability, scheduled to be published in 2016. Another chapter, concerning the impact on children and families of discrimination on the basis of sexuality, will appear in a book she is co-editing with Italian law professor Roberto Virzo, Orientación sexual y tutela de menores: perspectiva del derecho internacional y comparado, scheduled to be published in 2016. She is engaged in research and writing for book project on democracy, provisionally titled Democracy as Pretext: Unveiling the Tyranny of the Majority, the thesis of which maintains that so-called democratic processes often fail the most vulnerable. She, with colleague Steve Powell – an expert in International Trade Law, developed a new paradigm that unveiled the myriad intersections of the trade and human rights regimes and, in Just Trade: A New Covenant Linking Trade and Human Rights (NYU Press 2009), elucidated how embracing the interdependence of these fields promotes human flourishing.

Professor Hernández-Truyol's scholarship can be found on:


LL.M., New York University School of Law; J.D., Albany Law School of Union University (cum laude); B.A., Cornell University

Teaching and Scholarship

  • International Law, International Human Rights, Issues of Gender/Race and Latinas/Latinos in the Law, Employment Discrimination.

Professional Activities

  • University of Florida: Joined faculty in 2000 and named Levin Mabie & Levin Professor of Law in 2000.
  • Previous Academic: St. Johns University School of Law: Associate and Professor of Law (1991-2000), Director of International Women's Human Rights Project of the Center for Law and Public Policy (1993-1995). University of Wisconsin School of Law: Institute for Legal Studies, Honorary Senior Fellow (1997-99). Georgetown University Law Center: Visiting Professor (1994-95). Brooklyn Law School: Adjunct Professor (1988-91). University of New Mexico School of Law: Assistant and Associate Professor (1983-87). DePaul University School of Law: Assistant Professor (1982-83).
  • Organizations: American Association of Law Schools, American Association of University Women, American Bar Association, American Society of International Law, American Law Institute, LatCrit, Southern Legal Counsel, Hispanic National Bar Association, International Law Association.

International Law (3 credits) - LAW 6260

  • Introduction to international law as applied by and between the United States and other nations. Focuses on exploring current questions of international law, just what international law is, and whether it can be called law at all. Using current legal, social and political commentary, as well as case law, a number of areas will be explored including creation of norms through treaties and agreements, state and non-state actors in the international arena, foreign sovereign immunity and the act of state doctrine, allocation of legal authority among states, and state responsibility with respect to injury to aliens and international human rights.

International Human Rights Law (3 credits) - LAW 6930

  • Introduction to the topic, including the historical, theoretical and practical aspects. Reviews “global snapshots” – a series of current events – and historical documents that form foundation for the international human rights system. Traces pre-World War II status of human rights and post-war developments. Particular attention is given to sources of international law (including human rights) in the U.S. and the role of global norms in local legal systems, leading to an interrogation of whether the international human rights system has changed the concept of state sovereignty and whether the rights that have evolved constitute a universal conceptualization or whether they are culturally relative. Brief review of the structures that exist for implementation and enforcement of rights – both internationally and regionally. Also discussion of a number of particular topics in the human rights field and themes of current interest/concern – including human rights and war, trade and human rights, and globalization and human rights.

Human Rights (2 credits) - LAW 6936

  • Seminar presents international human rights system and explores range of human rights issues. Themes studied may include speech, sex, race, children, health, globalization, democracy, the environment, citizenship, education, language, poverty, culture, health, war, property, family and violence. Specific topics covered are dependent upon student interest.

Trade and Human Rights (2 credits) - LAW 6936

  • Seminar explores premises of trade and human rights debate from perspectives of both free trade advocates and human rights activists, with the purpose of imparting a better understanding of the rationales for both systems of law and the ways each is attempting to avoid a clash that could have profound impact on the protection of human rights and on the global market. Attempts to answer the question: Must trade and human rights regimes necessarily conflict?

Globalization and the Rule of Law in the Americas: Trade, Labor and the Environment (3 credits) - LAW 6936

  • Seminar explores implications of globalization and in particular the emerging role of nongovernmental organizations, civil society, and the potential for direct consumer enforced labor and environmental standards. Academic studies and commentaries on globalization are reviewed in parallel with news reports and commentaries on current developments in trade, labor and the environment in the Americas. The goal is to gain a realistic understanding of the potential for sustainable democracy, as well as working criteria for hemisphere-wide rule of law.

International Human Rights: Women in the Americas (3 credits) - LAW 6936

  • Seminar reviews basics of the international human rights regime and the inter-American regional system (including the OAS) as well as the trade regimes – WTO, NAFTA, MERCOSUR and the proposed FTAA – as they intersect with human rights and specifically women. Covers specific topics that coincide with students’ writing projects. Range of topics include women and their relationship with family, the state (representation, democracy), the global economy (labor, trade, etc.), armed conflict, globalization, education, the environment, the rule of law, intersectionalities (gender, race including indigenous populations, class, sex, sexuality, religion), culture, property, violence, and health.


  • Senior Editor, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in Contemporary Politics, Law, and Social Movements (Deena Gonzalez & Suzanne Oboler, eds.) (Oxford U. Press, 2012)

Book Chapters

  • “Indigenous Hispanics Living in the Americas” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latino/a Politics, Law and Social Movements (2014)
  • “Culture Clashes: Indigenous Populations and Globalization — The Case of Belo Monte,” in Ideology, Politics and Demands in Spanish Language, Literature and Film (Teresa Fernández Ulloa, ed.) (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012)
  • “Latina/o Indigenas” (with Dr. Devon Peña), in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latino/a Politics, Law and Social Movements (2012)
  • “On Que(e)rying Feminism: Reclaiming the F Word,” (Kathryn Abrams, ed.), in Issues in Legal Scholarship, (Be. Press, 2011)


  • “A Need for Culture Change: GLBT Latinas/os and Immigration,” 6 FIU Law Review 269 (2012)
  • “Revisiting Mothering? – A Mother’s Thoughts: A Response to Darren Rosenblum’s Unsex Mothering: Toward a Culture of New Parenting,” Harvard Journal of Law & Gender Online (2012)
  • “Unsex CEDAW? No! SuperSex It!,” 20 Columbia Journal of Gender & Law 195 (2011)
  • “Narratives of Identity: Nation, and Outsiders Within Outsiders: Not Yet a Post-Anything World,” 14 Harvard Latino Law Review 325 (2011)
  • “A Rose by Any Other Name, A Response to Libby Adler’s Gay Rights and Lefts: Rights Critique and Distributive Analysis for Real Law Reform,” Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review Colloquium (2011)
  • Maria Lugones’s Work as a Human Rights Idea(l) (with Mariana Ribeiro) , 18 Berkeley La Raza Law Journal 28 (2009)
  • The Gender Bend: Culture, Sex, and Sexuality–A LatCritical Human Rights Map of Latina/o Border Crossings, 83 Indiana Law Journal 1283 (2008)
  • Sex & Globalization, 11 Harvard Latino Law Rev. 173 (2008)
  • Beyond the First Decade: A Forward-Looking History of LatCrit Theory, Community and Praxis (with Angela Harris & Francisco Valdés), 17 Berkeley La Raza Law Journal 169 (2006); 26 Chicana/o-Latina/o L. Rev. 237 (2006)
  • On Disposable People & Human Well-Being: Health, Money & Power, 13 U.C. Davis Journal of International Law & Policy 101-132 (2006)
  • Children & Immigration: International, Local, & Social Responsibilities (with Justin Luna), 15 Boston University Public Interest Law Journal 297-317 (2006)
  • Sexual Labor and Human Rights (with Jane Larson), 37 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 391-445 (2006)
  • The Global & The Local: Legal Considerations of “Nine-One-One,” Oregon Law Review (forthcoming) Building Bridges V – Cubans Without Borders: Mujeres Unidas por su Historia, 55 Florida Law Review 225 (2003)
  • Out of the Shadows: Traversing the Imaginary of Sameness, Difference and Relationalism – A Human Rights Proposal, 17 Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal 111 (2002)
  • Crossing Borderlands of Inequality with International Legal Methodologies – The Promise of Multiple Feminisms, 44 German Yearbook of International Law 113 (2001)
  • On Becoming the Other: Cubans, Castro and Elian – A LatCritical Analysis, 78 Denver University Law Review 687 (2001)
  • Latinas, Culture and Human Rights: A Model for Making Change, Saving Soul, 23 Women's Rights Law Reporter 21 (2001)
  • Property, Wealth, Inequality and Human Rights: A Formula for Reform (with Shelbi D. Day), 34 Indiana Law Review 1213 (2001)