Professor David Weissbrodt passed away at the age of 77 on Nov. 11, 2021 after more than four decades at the Law School dedicated to promoting human rights globally. For more information about Professor Weissbrodt and his lasting legacy, please see Minnesota Law Mourns the Passing of Legendary Human Rights Professor David Weissbrodt.
Professor David S. Weissbrodt was a distinguished and widely published scholar of international human rights law. He taught international human rights law, administrative law, immigration law, and torts. In 2005, he was appointed as the first Regents Professor at the Law School. Since 1998 he was the Fredrikson and Byron Professor of Law. He was the Briggs and Morgan Professor of Law for 1989-97 and the Julius E. Davis Professor of Law for 1985-86.
Professor Weissbrodt attended Columbia University and the London School of Economics. He received his J.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), where he was Note and Comment Editor of the California Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After graduation, he clerked for Justice Mathew O. Tobriner of the California Supreme Court and practiced law with Covington & Burling.
He joined the University of Minnesota Law School faculty in 1975 and was a Visiting Professor at the Université Jean Moulin in Lyon, France; the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland; Kellogg College, Oxford University; the U.N. University in Tokyo; and the Monash University Law School in Melbourne, Australia. He established the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center and helped establish the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library online. He represented and served as an officer or board member of the Advocates for Human Rights, Amnesty International, the Center for Victims of Torture, the International Human Rights Internship Program, Readers International, and the International League for Human Rights.
During 1996-2003 he served as a member of the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and was elected Chairperson of the Sub-Commission for 2001-02. He also was designated the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the rights of non-citizens for 2000-03. In 2005 he was selected as a member of the Board of Trustees of the U.N. Trust Fund for Contemporary Forms of Slavery and in 2008 he was elected Chairperson of the Board. In 1998 he was awarded the Twin Cities International Citizen Award. In 1999, the University of Minnesota honored Professor Weissbrodt with its Outstanding Community Service Award. In 2003 Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights gave him its annual Human Rights Award. He was a member of the American Law Institute, the American Society of International Law, and on the editorial review boards of Human Rights Quarterly and the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights.