Professor Aceves graduated from the University of Southern California with a JD and MA in international relations. After practicing law for two years, Aceves returned to academia to earn an MA in government at Harvard University and an LLM in international law at the UCLA School of Law. He also served as the Ford Foundation Fellow in International Law at the UCLA School of Law. In 1998, he joined the faculty at California Western, and was promoted to professor of law in 2001. He served as the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs from 2007-2014.
Aceves frequently works with Amnesty International, the Center for Justice & Accountability, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union on projects involving the domestic application of international law. He has also represented several human rights and civil liberties organizations as amicus curiae counsel in cases before the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Aceves is the author of The Anatomy of Torture and coauthor of The Law of Consular Access. He co-edited Lessons and Legacies of the War on Terror. He is also the principal author of the influential Amnesty International USA Safe Haven report. He has published numerous articles on human rights and international law. Aceves served as co-chair for the 101st Annual Meeting of American Society of International Law, and the 2016 and 2019 International Law Weekend Conferences of the American Branch of the International Law Association.
Aceves is a member of the American Law Institute. He has served on the National Boards of Amnesty International USA and the International Law Students Association. He serves as the AIUSA Ombudsperson. He currently serves on the Boards of the Center for Justice & Accountability and the American Civil Liberties Union. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association. Aceves has appeared before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Migrants, and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Aceves is admitted to the State Bar of California, the U.S. District Courts for the Central and Southern District of California, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the First Circuit, Second Circuit, Fifth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, D.C. Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.