Judith Armatta

Biographical Information

Judith Armatta, Photo by Ron Titus

Judith Armatta, is a champion for the Rule of Law. As a lawyer, journalist, and human-rights activist she monitored the trial of Slobodan Milošević on behalf of the Coalition for International Justice and wrote nearly 300 articles for CIJ’s website. Her dispatches from The Hague also appeared in Tribunal Update, published by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, and Monitor, a magazine of political commentary published in Montenegro. Throughout the trial, she was the “go-to” person for the international press, giving countless interviews and providing extensive background information and analysis. Her commentary was published in The International Herald Tribune and The Chicago Tribune and aired on NPR, BBC, CBC, Voice of America, CNN, and ITN.

Prior to her work in The Hague, Armatta was liaison for the American Bar Association’s Central and East European Law Initiative, opening offices in Belgrade, Serbia (in 1997) and Montenegro (in 1999), where she assisted local efforts to promote rule of law. In Serbia, she supported the formation of an independent judges’ association and helped organize the first conference of women lawyers from throughout the former Yugoslavia since the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia. During the Kosova War, she headed a War Crimes Documentation Project among Kosovar Albanian refugees in Macedonia. In Montenegro, she assisted the Minister of Justice on a sweeping law reform agenda.

Armatta has consulted on international humanitarian, human rights, and other rule-of-law issues, primarily in the Middle East. Her work has included assisting law professors at Al Quds University in the West Bank to establish a moot court program, a women and the law course, and an international humanitarian and human rights law institute. In 2009, she co-authored an assessment of Iraqis’ access to legal redress.

For over three decades, she has worked to increase awareness of and response to violence against women and children—in her home state of Oregon, as well as at the national and international level. For ten years she was legal counsel to the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, a network of 33 grassroots programs throughout Oregon. Armatta ran a shelter program, counseled survivors, trained advocates, police, judges and other professionals, organized grassroots lobbying campaigns and testified before the legislature, served on boards of directors and state and local commissions relating to violence against women and children, and with the Chief Justice of Oregon’s Supreme Court, she organized a statewide multidisciplinary task force to address violence against women. The Oregon Commission for Women recognized her as a “Woman of Achievement.” and the Multnomah Bar Association granted her its Award of Merit. She lectures widely and has authored numerous articles on human rights and justice.

Armatta returned to her home state of Oregon in 2012, where she focuses on reform of the U.S. criminal justice system. She is Board President of Oregon Advocates and Abuse Survivors in Service (an advocacy organization for survivors of child sexual abuse) and Board President of Oregon Voices (seeking a more productive response to sex crimes and those who commit them), while also supporting the work of the Partnership for Safety and Justice, the ACLU of Oregon, and the Oregon Justice Resource Center, which oversees the Oregon Innocence Project and the Women’s Justice Project. She is currently at work on a book about the U.S. criminal justice system and a memoir of her years in the former Yugoslavia.