Odio Benito, Elizabeth (1939–)

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Odio Benito, Elizabeth (1939–)

Costa Rican lawyer, judge and political figure. Born Sept 15, 1939, in Puntarenas, Costa Rica; dau. of Emiliano Odio Madrigal (teacher, scientist and founder of 1st high school in Puntarenas, Costa Rica) and Esperanza Benito Ibañez.

Forceful lawyer, judge, educator and human rights advocate, established law practice (1970); served as 1st woman professor at University of Costa Rica Law School (1986–95), while also conducting research as director of the university's Institute for Judicial Research and Institute for Social Law and eventually serving as university administrator; taught at numerous universities in US (including Fletcher School of Law) as well as in Spain, Netherlands and France; served in numerous governmental positions, including 1st woman minister of justice and attorney general (1978–82), minister of justice (1990–94) and 2nd vice president and minister of environment and energy (1998–2002); began to focus on human rights in international context (1980s–90s), working extensively with UN organizations and holding many posts, including rapporteur with Human Rights Subcommission (1984–87) and head of Costa Rican delegation to International Conference for Human Rights in Vienna (1993); elected as judge on International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (1993, 1998) and International Criminal Court (2003); taught human-rights related courses at Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and University for Peace. Received Monseñor Leónidas Proaño Award.

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Odio Benito, Elizabeth (1939–)

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