Spees, Pamela

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Senior Staff Attorney


Pam Spees is a senior staff attorney in the international human rights program at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She has a background in international criminal and human rights law with a gender focus, as well as criminal trial practice. She serves as lead counsel on several of CCR’s cases and initiatives including, Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively, a case brought against a U.S. based anti-gay extremist for his role in the persecution of LGBTI people in Uganda; Murillo v. Micheletti, a case brought by the parents of a youth killed by the coup regime in Honduras;  and in the legal effort to hold Vatican officials criminally responsible for the crimes against humanity of rape and sexual violence within the church. She is also involved in CCR’s efforts in coalition with other groups on initiatives around post-earthquake Haiti, including efforts to stop forced evictions from displacement camps, prevent sexual violence in the camps, and to prevent U.S. deportations into cholera-ridden Haiti. She also serves as co-counsel in Patel v. Maricopa County, for the wrongful arrest and detention of CCR attorney Sunita Patel by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies when she was acting as a legal observer at a protest against S.B. 1070.

Prior to joining CCR, Pam practiced criminal law for a number of years in Louisiana, where she primarily represented indigent persons in state and federal courts, and also worked as a consultant in international law with a focus on women's human rights. She previously served as Program Director of the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice, an international advocacy network dedicated to ensuring accountability for crimes of sexual and gender violence included in the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court. She now serves as an advisor to the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice (formerly the Women's Caucus), which is now based in The Hague, to monitor the Court and continue the advocacy for accountability for gender-based violence. She also serves on the board of MADRE, a 30-year-old organization that works to advance women’s human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and building lasting solutions to the crises women face.

Her publications include, Gender Justice and Accountability in Peace Support Operations: Closing the Gaps, International Alert: London (2004); “Women’s Advocacy in the Creation of the International Criminal Court: Changing the Landscapes of Justice and Power,” 28 Signs: J. Women Culture & Soc’y 1243 (2003); “Mainstreaming Gender in the Pursuit of International Justice and Accountability,” Africa Legal Aid Quarterly, January-March 2003; and “The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court” in Rule of Power or Rule of Law? An Assessment of U.S. Policies and Actions Regarding Security-Related Treaties, New York: Apex Press 2003.


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