On January 16, 2003, Professor Janeen Kerper, a co-founder of Proyecto ACCESO, passed away after a long battle against lung cancer. Born in 1946 in Cody, Wyoming, Ms. Kerper spent her youth in Costa Rica, where her family had moved when she was 13 years old. Living in San José, she acquired a strong commitment for social justice and a passion for multiculturalism. She studied French Literature at Stanford University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1967 and went on to Harvard University where she earned her Master of Arts degree in Romance Languages a year later. In 1973, Ms. Kerper received her Juris Doctor degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

After a decade as a civil litigator, Ms. Kerper joined the faculty at California Western School of Law where she became a Professor of Law. She was the Executive Director of the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy and Academic Director of the Center for Creative Problem Solving. With Professor James Cooper of California Western School of Law, Professor Angel Valencia, Director of the Law School of the Catholic University of Temuco and Hon. Laura Safer Espinoza, Ms. Kerper founded Proyecto ACCESO to promote judicial reform in Latin America.

Concerning the tragic passing of Professor Kerper, Judge Laura Safer Espinoza states it best: “It was an honor to know Janeen Kerper and a privilege to teach with her.  She was the kind of educator who empowered her students and fellow teachers to believe in themselves and in the expansion of possibilities for others. New skills indispensable to furthering justice through legal process became painlessly accessible to so many - and it was that spirit that guided the founding of Proyecto ACCESO.”
James Cooper is a legal educator with two degrees from the University of Toronto and a Master of Law degree from Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

A commentator and journalist, he has appeared on National Public Radio’s Marketplace and Latino U.S.A., ABC News, Fox TV, Newsworld, Warner Brothers News, and Univision in the U.S.A., CBC Newsworld and City TV in Canada, Televisa in Mexico, SBT and O Globo in Brazil, and TVN and Canal 13 in Chile. His work has been published in Marie Claire, O Globo, The Globe and Mail, American Bar Association Journal, The National Law Journal, The San Diego Union Tribune, Michigan Journal of International Law, Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy, The Journal of Legal Education, and Behavioral Sciences and the Law.

Mr. Cooper has written, produced and directed films for the B.B.C., Channel 4 in the U.K., and the U.S. History Channel and his work has been screened in international film festivals, public television in Southern California, as well as the Directors’ Guild of America.

He is an Institute Professor of Law, Director of the International Legal Studies Program and Assistant Dean for Mission Development at California Western School of Law in San Diego where he teaches International Trade Law, NAFTA Law, Introduction to Latin American Legal Culture, the Law of Armed Conflict and Peacekeeping, and Globalization Law.

He is a Canadian Barrister and Solicitor, a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the San Diego County Bar Association. He is co-founder and director of Proyecto ACCESO.