Levin College of Law

Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol

Stephen C. O’Connell Chair
UF Research Foundation Professor 2019-2022
Professor of Law

Mailing Address:
Box #117625 Gainesville, FL 32611

(352) 273-0928


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.


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, named Levin Mabie & Levin Professor of Law in 2000, and named Stephen C. O’Connell Chair in 2019.
  • 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 Arbitration Association, American Association of Law Schools, American Association of University Women, American Bar Association, American Society of International Law, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Hispanic National Bar Association, International Law Association.


International Law - LAW 6260
  • An introduction to international law as applied between nations and in United States courts.
International Human Rights Law - LAW 6263
  • Introduction to international protection of human rights, including theoretical and practical aspects of human rights law, focusing on international, regional and domestic law contexts. Particular attention is given to procedures that characterize human rights mechanisms for both prescribing and applying human rights precepts.
Human Rights and Globalization - LAW 6936
  • Although Human Rights and Globalization are not usually topics that are discussed at the same time, or even in the same forum, they are ideas that are inextricably intertwined. Globalization, for example, has not had a positive role in reducing the gap between the haves and the have-nots; has not resulted in good jobs for those at the margins; and has contributed to the shrinking social safety nets.
Trade and Human Rights - LAW 6936
  • This seminar will explore the premises of the trade and human rights debate from the perspectives of both free trade advocates and human rights activists, with the purpose of imparting a better understanding if 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.
Globalization and the Rule of Law in the Americas: Trade, Labor and the Environment - 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.
Constitutional Law - LAW 5501
  • Introduction to United States Constitutional Law. Topics include judicial enforcement of the Constitution to preserve individual liberties; judicial review; separation of powers; structure and powers of the federal government; and federalism.
Practicum in International Law: Treaties - LAW 6930
  • The Practicum in International Law: Treaties course will provide students with a hands-on familiarity with treaties, the primary international law instrument, in their core context: negotiation. The course will have a seminar setting in which the written work product of the students will satisfy the writing requirement. This term the class will negotiate a US-Cuba Investment Treaty presenting a case in which a U.S. multinational wishes to invest in a newly opening market, Cuba. Students will mock negotiate myriad treaty provisions that facilitate international commerce, such as trade, investment, labor, culture, education, human rights, transportation, Statute of Forces Agreement, and tax agreements. The course exposes the complexity of international relations and its reflection on the law and its interpretation in domestic and international courts and other dispute resolution fora. Students can satisfy the writing requirement by writing a paper on the topic (or one of the topics) that s/he negotiates, such as trade, investment, labor, culture, education, human rights, transportation, SOFA, and tax agreements.



  • Orientamento Sessuale, Identità Di Genere E Tutela Dei Minori (Berta Esperanza Hernandez-Truyol and Roberto Virzo, eds., Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 2016)
  • 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

  • “Religion: Rites vs. Rights: Resolving Tensions Between LGBT Equality and Religious Liberty,” in Oxford Handbook of International LBGTI Law – Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Law from an International-Comparative Perspective (forthcoming 2021)
  • “Embracing Our LGBT Youth—A Child Rights Paradigm,” in Oxford Handbook of Children’s Rights Law from an International-Comparative Perspective (Berta Esperanza Hernandez-Truyol, 2020)
  • “Migration Flows and Border Control Present Crises and Lessons from U.S. History,” in International Migrations and Social Sustainability (forthcoming 2016)
  • “Talking Back: From Feminist History and Theory to Feminist Legal Methods and Judgments,” in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Cambridge; Kathy Stanchi, Linda Berger and Bridget Crawford, eds. 2016) [Link]
  • La Juventud y las Familias LGBTI Como Poblaciones Vulnerables: Mito y Realidad de las Protecciones Legales, in Orientamento Sessuale, Identità Di Genere E Tutela Dei Minori (Berta Esperanza Hernandez-Truyol and Roberto Virzo, eds., Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 2016).
  • International Organizations and Gender Discrimination, in Evolutions in the Law of International Organizations (Brill Nijhoff, 2015.)
  • Latinas, Culture and Globalization: Unveiling Gendered Inequalities” in Changes, Conflicts and Ideologies in Contemporary Hispanic Culture (Teresa Fernandez‐Ulloa, ed., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, U.K., 2014)

Encyclopedia Entries

  • “LGBTI-Transnational Law: Sex as Crime, Violence as Control” in Oxford Encyclopedia of LGBT Politics and Policy (2020)
  • “Latina/o Indigena” (with Devon Pena) and “Human Rights” in The Encyclopedia of Latino/a Politics, Law and Social Movements (Oboler & Gonzalez, eds., Oxford Univ. Press, 2015)


  • “Tribute to Professor Sharon E. Rush,” 71 Fla. L. Rev. vii (2019).
  • “Introductory Note to Resolution Cp/R, Es. 1106 (2168/18) (Oas), Precautionary Measure No. 731–18 & Precautionary Measure No. 505-18 (Iachr) Aq1,” in International Legal Materials (ILM) on Precautionary Measures for Migrant Children in the U.S., Resolutions 63 and 64 (IACHR) and Resolution 1106 on the U.S. Policy of Separating Migrant Families (OAS) 371 (2019).
  • “Hope, Dignity, and the Limits of Democracy,” 10 N.E. U.L. Rev. 654-90 (2018) [SSRN]
  • “The Culture of Gender/The Gender of Culture: Cuban Women, Culture, and Change-The Island and the Diaspora,” 29 Fl. J. Int’l L. 181 (2017) (Also published in Spanish as “La Cultura del Género/El Género de la Cultura: Cubanas, Cultura y Cambio-La Isla y La Diáspora,” 29 Fla. J. Int’l L. 181S (2017)
  • “Glocalizing Women’s Health and Safety: Migration, Work, and Labor,” 15 Santa Clara J. Int’l L. 48 (2017) [SSRN]
  • “Culture Clashes: Indigenous Populations and Globalization – the Case of Belo Monte,” 12 Sea. J. for Soc. Just. 775 (2014) [SSRN]
  • “Globally Speaking – Honoring the Victims’ Stories: Matsuda’s Human Rights Praxis,” 112 Mich. L. Rev. First Impression 99 (2014) [SSRN]
  • “A Need for Culture Change: GLBT Latinas/os and Immigration,” 6 FIU L. Rev. 269 (2012) [SSRN]
  • “Revisiting Mothering? – A Mother’s Thoughts: A Response to Darren Rosenblum’s Unsex Mothering: Toward a Culture of New Parenting,” Harv. J.L. & Gender Online (2012) [SSRN]
  • “On Que(e)rying Feminism: Reclaiming the F Word,” (Kathryn Abrams, ed.), in Issues in Legal Scholarship, (Be. Press, 2011)
  • “Unsex CEDAW? No! SuperSex It!,” 20 Colum. J. Gender & L. 195 (2011) [SSRN]
  • “Narratives of Identity: Nation, and Outsiders Within Outsiders: Not Yet a Post-Anything World,” 14 Harv. Latino L. Rev. 325 (2011) [SSRN]
  • “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,” Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. Colloquium (2011)
  • Maria Lugones’s Work as a Human Rights Idea(l) (with Mariana Ribeiro) , 18 Berkeley La Raza L.J. 28 (2009) [SSRN]
  • The Gender Bend: Culture, Sex, and Sexuality–A LatCritical Human Rights Map of Latina/o Border Crossings, 83 Ind. L.J. 1283 (2008) [SSRN]
  • Sex & Globalization, 11 Harv. Latino L. Rev. 173 (2008) [SSRN]
  • Beyond the First Decade: A Forward-Looking History of LatCrit Theory, Community and Praxis (with Angela Harris & Francisco Valdés), 17 Berkeley La Raza L.J. 169 (2006); 26 Chicana/o-Latina/o L. Rev. 237 (2006) [SSRN]
  • On Disposable People & Human Well-Being: Health, Money & Power, 13 U.C. Davis J. Int’l L. & Pol’y 101-132 (2006) [SSRN]
  • Children & Immigration: International, Local, & Social Responsibilities (with Justin Luna), 15 B.U. Pub. Int. L.J. 297-317 (2006) [SSRN]
  • Sexual Labor and Human Rights (with Jane Larson), 37 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 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 Fla. L. Rev. 225 (2003)
  • Out of the Shadows: Traversing the Imaginary of Sameness, Difference and Relationalism – A Human Rights Proposal, 17 Wis. Women’s L.J. 111 (2002) [SSRN]
  • Crossing Borderlands of Inequality with International Legal Methodologies – The Promise of Multiple Feminisms, 44 German Yearbook of Int’l L. 113 (2001)
  • On Becoming the Other: Cubans, Castro and Elian – A LatCritical Analysis, 78 Denv. U. L. Rev. 687 (2001)
  • Latinas, Culture and Human Rights: A Model for Making Change, Saving Soul, 23 Women’s Rts. L. Rep. 21 (2001) [SSRN]
  • Property, Wealth, Inequality and Human Rights: A Formula for Reform (with Shelbi D. Day), 34 Ind. L. Rev. 1213 (2001) [SSRN]