Manuel José Cepeda Espinosa served as a magistrate on the Constitutional Court of Colombia from 2001 to 2009 and was president of the Court from June 2005 to April 2006. After his term ended, he has combined academic activities with other engagements. He was a member of the technical negotiation team on Transitional Justice in the peace process with FARC. He is the President of the International Association of Constitutional Law (2014-2018).

Manuel José Cepeda Espinosa served as a magistrate on the Constitutional Court of Colombia from 2001 to 2009 and was president of the Court from June 2005 to April 2006. From 1987 to 1990, he served as presidential advisor for legal affairs to Colombian President Virgilio Barco Vargas. From 1990 to 1991, he was advisor to Colombian President César Gaviria Trujillo for the Constituent Assembly of Colombia. From 1993 to 1995, he was Ambassador of Colombia to UNESCO and thereafter to the Helvetic Confederation (1995-1996). He served as Dean of the Universidad de los Andes Law School from 1996 to 2000. The author of several constitutional law books, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Universidad de los Andes in 1986 and received his Master of Laws from Harvard Law School in 1987. In 1993, he received the Order of Boyacá from the President of Colombia.