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Alfred-Maurice de Zayas is an American lawyer, writer, historian, an expert in the field of human rights and international law, a retired high-ranking United Nations official, a peace activist, and since 2012 the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order (also known as Special Rapporteur), appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
De Ma is a retired senior lawyer with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Secretary of the Human Rights Committee, and Chief of the Petitions Section. He practised corporate law in New York from 1970 to 1974, and is a retired member of the Florida Bar, where he practised family law. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a doctorate in modern history from the University of Göttingen. He has written nine books, including “Nemesis at Potsdam” (Routledge), “A Terrible Revenge” (Palgrave/Macmillan), and together with Jakob Möller, “United Nations Human Rights Committee Case Law” (N.P.Engel). He has been a member of P.E.N. International Centre Suisse Romand, since 1989 and is currently its President.