Brian Concannon

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Brian Concannon
Brian Concannon Jr.

(1963-11-18) November 18, 1963 (age 55)
Alma materMiddlebury College
Georgetown University Law Center
OccupationHuman Rights Lawyer and Activist
Years active1995–present

Brian Concannon, Jr. (born November 18, 1963) is a human rights lawyer who directs the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). Brian also serves as a member of the Editorial Board of Health and Human Rights: An International Journal at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is an alumnus of Boston College High School'81, as well as an Ignatius Award[1] winner. He holds an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and JD from Georgetown Law. He is the recipient of the Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowship[2] from Harvard Law School the Brandeis International Fellowship in Human Rights, Intervention, and International Law[3] and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Canisius College.

Bureau des Avocats Internationaux[edit]

After working for the United Nations as a Human Rights Officer for 2 years (1995–1996), Concannon co-managed the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), Haiti's only public interest law office with Mario Joseph between 1996 and 2004. During his time at BAI, Concannon played an essential role in preparing the prosecution of the landmark Raboteau Massacre trial in 2000. As many as 50 people were killed in the Raboteau in 1994.[4] Six years after the slaughter, Concannon and BAI were able to convict 16 defendants guilty for their role in the massacre. The Court also issued a civil damages judgment against the defendants for 1 billion gourdes (roughly $43 million).[5] A documentary was made about the trial which features extensive interviews with Concannon.[6] BAI was tasked with various other cases during this time period, geared primarily toward seeking justice for the victims of ex-military and paramilitary violence in Haiti (which has been documented in depth),[7] and BAI was also involved in the investigation into the murder of famed Haitian radio journalist Jean Dominique.[8]

Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti[edit]

In 2004, Concannon left Haiti and returned to the United States to found the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) after the February 2004 coup d’etat that overthrew Haiti’s president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. IJDH was founded specifically as the sister group of BAI. IJDH and BAI work collaboratively on all their projects. IJDH is based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Concannon successfully represented former Prime Minister and political prisoner Yvon Neptune in the first Haiti case ever decided by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In January 2016, Concannon taught a class on human rights at Whitman College. He was also an integral part of the IJDH that sued the United Nations for their responsibility in bringing cholera to Haiti.[9] The case was dismissed both by the UN and in the NY Federal Court on the basis of UN immunity. [10] [11]In December 2016, the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally apologized for the cholera outbreak in Haiti, saying he was "profoundly sorry" for the outbreak.[12]


  1. ^ "BC High St. Ignatius Award Recipients". Boston College High School. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Past Wasserstain Fellows". Harvard Law School. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Brandeis International Fellowships in Human Rights, Intervention, and International Law" (PDF). Brandeis University. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
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  9. ^ "New York Times' Excellent Analysis of our March 1 Cholera Hearing". Retrieved 2016-03-16.
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