Former Costa Rican vice president elected to Inter-American Court of Human Rights

June 16, 2015

Elizabeth Odio Benito, 75, a Costa Rican lawyer and former vice president, has been elected to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The vote took place Tuesday afternoon during a meeting of the Organization of American States General Assembly in Washington, D.C. Odio will sit on the bench of the San José-based court from 2016 to 2021.

The jurist’s election to the human rights body comes at a time when Costa Rica has been ordered to appear before the court to explain its noncompliance with a 2012 IACHR order to legalize in vitro fertilization.

“Costa Rica is honored by the election of Elizabeth Odio as an IACHR justice. Congratulations, Costa Rica!” tweeted President Luis Guillermo Solís.

Odio won the seat with 20 out of 22 votes, according to Foreign Minister Manuel González.

Odio has a long resume of accomplishments in international human rights and national government. She was a justice on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia between 1993-1998 and also on the International Criminal Court from 2003 to 2012.

Nationally, Odio served as vice president of Costa Rica and environment minister from 1998-2002 and minister of justice from 1990 to 1994. She also represented Costa Rica as the country’s permanent representative at the United Nations in Geneva in 1993.

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