Venice School of Human Rights

Lecturers 2015

Carmen Márquez Carrasco

Carmen Márquez Carrasco is full Professor of  Public International Law and International Relations at the University of Sevilla (Spain), where she teaches the general course of  Public International Law, a course of European Union Law and International Human Rights Law and International Organizations. Her main areas of research are international law and conflict prevention, environmental law, governance and human rights, and business and human rights, including ongoing research activities on a new human rights approach to water management and extraterritorial human rights obligations of States. She is also the Chairperson of the European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation at EIUC, Venice since 2007; and a Member of the Academic Support Group of the ETOs Consortium. At EIUC, Carmen Márquez Carrasco has developed and spearheaded international initiatives to increase the visibility of democracy (The EIUC Photo competition visualising democracy) in and out the EU partner universities. In February 2007 Carmen Márquez Carrasco was co-director of the first international conference on the new human rights diplomacy. It was held at the Three Cultures Foundation (Seville, Spain).

Scientific Director

Florence Benoît-Rohmer

Prof. Dr. Benoît-Rohmer took up the function as EIUC Secretary General on 1 January 2009.
Born in Strasbourg, Florence Benoît-Rohmer holds a PhD in Public Law.
President of the Université Robert Schuman (URS), Strasbourg, from 2003 to 2008, Florence Benoît-Rohmer is Professor at the Law Faculty in Strasbourg. She is Director of the Master programme in Human Rights at the University of Strasbourg and has served as Vice-President of EIUC from 2002 till 2008 and as French national director of the European Master's Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA) since its inception in 1997.
Prof. Benoît-Rohmer is acting as human rights expert for the Council of Europe, was member of the European Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights set up by the European Commission, and is currently the President of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU. She is also member of the scientific committees of several international journals specialised in human rights, and in particular minority rights.
Prof. Benoît-Rohmer’s research interests range from the study  of Fundamental Rights in the EU,  the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights and other conventions, and Constitutional Law  including national minority rights.

Academic Responsibles

Prof. Dr. Horst Fischer

Cluster Responsible: Business and Human Rights

The President of EIUC is Prof. Dr. Horst Fischer since 2002 and he was the first Chairperson of the European Master's Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation from 1997 till December 2000. Prof. Dr. Fischer is Director of the Brussels Office of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH since 2007. Prof. Dr. Horst Fischer He is Academic Director of the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (Institut für Friedenssicherungsrecht und Humanitäres Völkerrecht/IFHV) at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany; Professor of International Humanitarian Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands and adjunct Professor at SIPA/Columbia University, New York. From 1996 to 2004 he was the General Editor of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law. In 1999 he received a special price for outstanding performance in international university co-operation by the German Rectors Conference and the Ministry for Education and Research.

Prof. Dr. Fischer covers also the following other key posts in the area of human rights, humanitarian law, and humanitarian action:

  • Co-founder in 1993 and since 1999 President of the ECHO-funded NOHA-Association in Brussels, offering the NOHA Master which has been selected as an Erasmus Mundus programme in 2004;
  • Co-founder of the European University Network comprising of 60 universities 'HUMANET' focusing on issues of humanitarian activities;
  • Adviser for international affairs for the German Red Cross since 1986 and the Netherlands Red Cross since 2001; President of the Berghof Peace Foundation Board in Berlin since 2001;
  • Member of the Board of the German Red Cross since November 2009.

Prof. Jean-Paul Jacqué

Cluster Responsible: Human Rights and New Technologies

Prof. Jean-Paul Jacqué, is Honorary Director General of the Council of the European Union, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Strasbourg – of which he was President from 1983 till 1990 (at the time Université Robert Schuman, Strasbourg). Within EIUC he is member of the Board of Administrators since 2010. Prof. Jean-Paul Jacqué, in addition to his academic career within the University of Strasbourg, holds Visiting Professorships and research positions in several other prestigious institutions, including the College of Europe - Bruges, the European College of Parma, The Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) in Brussels, and the universities of Barcelona, Bologna, Louvain, Lisbon, Madrid and Santiago du Chili. Author of books and articles on Administrative Law, International Law, and European Law, he has contributed – within the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union – to the drafting of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Prof. Maria Teresa Pizarro Beleza

Cluster Responsible: Violence against women, gender equality, gender violence from “CEDAW” to Istanbul and beyond

Prof. Teresa Pizarro Beleza graduated in Law and became an academic shortly after. She taught and did research on Criminal law and Women’s Law in Coimbra, Lisbon, Cambridge and Venice (EIUC). She initiated the teaching and research on Women’s Rights in Portugal, where she taught “Women’s Law” for the first time in 1998-1999, after being invited to join the new (1997) Faculdade de Direito (Law School) of the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (

Her PhD thesis, on The Consruction of the Concept Women in the Criminal Law, was a daring and innovative feminist approach to Women’s Law and Criminology in Portugal. She opened up the way for many other younger lawyers and students who went on to doing research in such areas.

She has taught and published extensively on Criminal Law and on Women’s Law and Women’s Rights, both at pre- and post- graduate level.

She has supervised many Master and PhD dissertations on Human Rights, including Women’s Rights, some of which by E.Ma Students (Venice).

She served at the CPT (Council of Europe) as an elected member in respect of Portugal. She also participated as an expert in Human Rights in the EU-China and EU-Iran Dialogues.

She is now Director (Dean) of the Law School, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, and a member of the Board of EIUC in Venice.

Prof. Kalliope Agapiou - Josephides

Cluster Responsible: Violence against women, gender equality, gender violence from “CEDAW” to Istanbul and beyond

Kalliope AGAPIOU-JOSEPHIDES is a Jean Monnet Chair Holder (2001) and Assistant Professor at the University of Cyprus, Department of Social and Political Sciences.

She holds a PhD in Political Science from the Sorbonne University PARIS I Panthéon-Sorbonne, a Post Graduate Diploma in High European Studies and a Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies (D.E.A.) in History of the XXth Century (International Relations) both from the Robert Schuman STRASBOURG III University. She also holds a Degree in Applied Foreign Languages (French-English-German) from the Sorbonne Nouvelle University PARIS III.

Her current research interests/ publications with regard to human rights and democratisation include: Women in Democratic Transitions, Women Political Participation, Election Observation Missions, e-Democracy, Parliaments and European Integration, Europe and the Mediterranean. She has undertaken/participated in several nationally and internationally funded research projects related to a variety of aspects of European integration.

She is the Deputy-President of the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation in Venice and the European Master (E.MA) Director (European Master's Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation) for the University of Cyprus.

She is also Member of the Management Board of the European Institute for Gender Equality in Vilnius.


Wolfgang Benedek

Head of Institute of International Law and International Relations and Director of the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy of the University of Graz

His main research interests are in the fields of human rights, human security and the regulation of the internet as well as international economic law where he has a focus on the WTO and Global Governance. He also has a specific interest in South-Eastern Europe and Africa. He has been involved in several research projects funded by national and European research foundations. He is the executive editor of the European Yearbook on Human Rights.

Prof. Benedek is teaching at all levels in international law and human rights law, international economic and development law, human rights in the Balkans, human security and the governance of the information society.

Maria Virgínia Brás Gomes

Born in Goa, India, senior social policy adviser in the Ministry of Solidarity, Employment and Social Security of Portugal. Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. From 2008 to 2010 she served as vice-chair of the Committee and from 2012 to 2014, as rapporteur.   Presently involved in the drafting of a new General Comment on Article 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, on the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work.

Member of the International Board of PWESCR (Programme for Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights); of the European Social Network high level advisory group on de-institutionalisation; of the UNRISD Advisory Group for the project on Linking Social Protection and Human Rights; of the Board of the Portuguese UNICEF Committee; and of the National Committee for Human Rights.

Faculty member of the Nottingham University Human Rights Law Centre Summer School (2008); of the UNDP Global Human Rights Community of Practice Meeting (2009); of the Leadership Institute in Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2011 tom 2014). Invited expert at the Australian National University (2015). She has also conducted training in treaty body reporting, on behalf of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

Emilio De Capitani

Emilio De Capitani is Executive Director of the Fundamental Rights European Experts Group (FREE Group – He is also visiting Professor at the “Orientale” University of Naples and the “Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna” of Pisa.

From 1998 to 2011 he was Secretary of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee at the European Parliament. Emilio De Capitani was also responsible for the institutional external relations of the European Parliament. He is author and co-author of numerous books and articles on European policies related to civil liberties, security and justice.

Giulia Di Tommaso - CSR Expert

Giulia Di Tommaso in an international lawyer with over twenty years of global experience in Legal and Public Affairs on a wide range of business issues, based mainly in Brussels, London, Africa and Italy.

She has been for over a decade with Unilever in a variety of roles - as Director, Legal Policy and International Relations, Director of External Affairs for Africa and then as Board Member, General Counsel and Code Officer in Italy - leading legal and corporate affairs/communications teams on Compliance and Human rights issues, Anti-trust & Competition Law, IPR, Trade, Regulatory, as well as driving Sustainability/CSR strategy. 

She represented the business at the World Economic Forum in Davos and Africa, the Investment Climate facility for Africa, the Southern Corridor of Tanzania, the Transatlantic Business Dialogue as well as the EU-Africa Summits. 

She has led the negotiations culminating in the international agreement on sustainable sourcing from smallholders farmers between Unilever and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

Both in her capacity and leadership roles, Giulia has had extensive experience in engaging with governments, media and companies across all sectors. 

Prior to the corporate experience, Giulia was senior associate and managed the Brussels office of Chiomenti Studio Legale and worked at the European Commission as well as at the European Parliament in Brussels. 

Giulia is a qualified attorney at law and was called to the bar in 1992. She holds a Master of Laws in European Law from the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven and is fellow of Salzburg Seminar and visiting fellow at Berkeley University- Faculty of Law/Boalt Hall. 

Regular speaker at international conferences, she is a fellow of the Institute of Sustainability Leadership, Prince of Wales Program. She is currently cooperating with the Centre of Human Rights/EIUC in Venice on Business and Human Rights academic program. 

Denis Fosselard

Denis Fosselard is a partner in the Competition and EU Law department. His practice focuses on all aspects on EU and Italian antitrust law and has 20 years’ experience in advising leading European corporates in relation to behavioural and merger control cases. He also has significant experience in assisting companies in State Aid investigations.

Mr. Fosselard regularly represents clients before both the European Commission and the Italian Competition Authority, as well as the EU General Court and Court of Justice in antitrust and other community law proceedings.

Mr. Fosselard graduated cum laude in Law from the University of Brussels "University Louvain-la-Neuve" in 1991 and has a LL.M. degree in European Law from the University of Bruges "College of Europe" (1992). He qualified as Italian lawyer in 2004 and is also qualified in Belgium (1994). He is bilingual in French and Italian and speaks fluent English.

Heidi Hautala - MEP

Heidi Hautala has been elected to the European Parliament for a third time in the 2014-2019 term. She was formerly an MEP from 1995-2003 and 2009-2011. She is the only Finn to have chaired a European Parliament political group or committee. As chair of the Parliament’s subcommittee on human tights she had the opportunity to influence the human rights situation.

In Finland she was the minister for international development from June 2011 to October 2013. She was responsible for development cooperation in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and for state ownership steering in the Prime Minister’s Office. She sat as a member of the Finnish Parliament from 1991-1995 and 2003-2009, and chaired its legal affairs committee from 2007-2009.

She served as a member of the Helsinki City Council 1985-1994 and 2008-2014.

Her particular specialist areas are human rights, transparency, global justice and environmentally responsible legislation.

Stephanie Hennette-Vauchez

Stephanie Hennette-Vauchez is Professor of Public Law at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. She was previously involved as a Fulbright post-doctoral research scholar at the Northwestern University of Chicago, School of Law.

At the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne she obtained her PhD in Law. Her main areas of studies involve Fundamental Rights, Bioethics Law, European Law and Human Rights Law.

Ms Hennette-Vauchez is Member of the Scientific Council of the Emilie Institute of Châtelet since 2011 and she is also Member of the Scientific Council of the research project of Law&Justice since 2012. Finally, she took part in numerous Expertise Missions on Ethics and Bioethics Law.

Truus Huisman – Unilever

Truus Huisman is director of global issues, crises and stakeholders management at Unilever and is based in London. Previously she was head of Unilever’s public affairs office in Brussels.  She has over 15-year experience in European public affairs, including six years as secretary general of a European trade association.

She has also a broad and in-depth experience in Communications, External Affairs and issues/crises management as well as sustainable development, gained in the EU and in the United States. As Vice President of Sustainable Business and Communications at Unilever she is responsible for driving and implementing a pro-active Sustainable Business and Communications strategy which makes a difference in the market place. She is also a member of Unilever Europe's leadership team.

Ms Huisman is fluent in English, German, French and Dutch and she has also working knowledge of Spanish. At the University of Groningen she gained the titles of Doctor in History and Doctor in Management of International Organisations.

Constance Kann - EIB

Constance Kann is Director of Corporate Responsibility and Communication at European Investment Bank since 2010. As Director for corporate responsibility and communication, she is responsible for managing the Bank's reputation with key stakeholders and developing and implementing its corporate responsibility commitments.

She was previously involved as the Head of Group Communications at Swiss Re and she was Senior Vice President at Unilever. At Unilever she was responsible for managing Unilever corporate brand, for developing CEO platforms, for setting up global reputation management system. She was also responsible for media, internal communication, corporate communication and NGO relations. Ms Kann holds a Master of Law at Leiden University.

Ryszard Komenda

Ryszard Komenda currently holds a position of the Senior Advisor on Human Rights to the UN Country Team in the Russian Federation. Mr. Komenda is a human rights lawyer with Master’s of Laws (LL.M.) degree in International Human Rights (University of Ottawa, Canada) and Magister Juris (University of Gdansk, Poland).
His professional career spans over the last twenty years advancing international agenda with relation to human rights, human security and gender equality.  The area of his expertise include: international human rights protection, international development, peace and security, gender and peacebuilding.
His professional assignments included the organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross Society, the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Canadian Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Canadian International Development Agency, the Council of Baltic Sea States, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the UN department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
Among others, Mr. Ryszard Komenda was the Head of Human Rights Office in Abkhazia, Georgia (UNOMIG) in November 2007, and held this position till the closure of the office in 2009.

Patrice LeNormand - DEVCO

Patrice LeNormand is Deputy Head of Unit, working for the International Cooperation and Development area of the European Commission (DevCo). This experience started in 2001 and since then he is involved in building partnerships for change in developing countries.

In his educational career, Mr. LeNormand studied at the Institut d'études politiques de Strasbourg (Institute of political studies of Strasbourg). He was previously involved at EIUC for an event organised in Brussels and titled: “Human Rights and the EU: Five years after the Lisbon Treaty what next?” 

Fabrizio Marrella – EIUC

A member of the EIUC Board since the EIUC foundation in 2002 (until 2008), Prof. Marrella has lectured for ten years in the E.MA Programme in the section "Economic globalization and human rights" developing the section on Business and Human Rights. Then, from 2008 until July 2011, he has served as E.MA Programme Director being also the cluster responsible of the section Business and Human Rights of the EIUC Venice School on Human Rights.

He is general editor of the EIUC series on Human Rights and Democratization by Cambridge University Press and has participated in international symposia or given invited lectures at a range of Universities and professional organizations in the five continents. As a professor of International Law at the University "Cà Foscari" of Venice (Italy), he has written extensively on, taught and practiced International Law, International Investment Law and International & European Business Law. Prof. Marrella speaks fluently four languages (English, French, Spanish and Italian) and holds the highest doctorates with top grades from the University of Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne and the University of Bologna, as well as the Diploma from The Hague Academy of International Law.

Lydia Malmedie

Lydia Malmedie has been working for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people for many years and in a variety of capacities.

Invited by UNESCO, she contributed to the first ever International Expert Meeting on Homophobia in Education Institutions held in Rio de Janeiro and presented part of the findings at a UNESCO high-level stakeholder event in Paris on International Day Against Homophobia 2012. As Education Officer for Stonewall, Europe’s largest human rights charity for gay equality, she was a member of several UK government advisory groups and lead on the highly sensitive and successful primary school campaign Celebrating Difference.

In this role, she also trained university lecturers of trainee teachers and led workshops raising awareness of homophobic bullying with students themselves. Lydia has published on the proliferation of non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and lectured on LGBT and Human Rights including at the E.MA, Institute for Commonwealth Studies University of London and Humboldt University Berlin. She currently works for a fostering agency in London with responsibility for equality and diversity strategy and implementation as part of the business development. An E.MA graduate herself, Lydia is also a Board Member and Vice President of the E.MAlumni Association.

Chris Oldknow - Elipe

Chris Oldknow is co-founder and Director of Elipe Limited, a specialist consultancy providing strategic government relations, corporate affairs and communication services designed to promote the intellectual property interests of companies. Prior to co-founding Elipe, he spent 15 years at Microsoft leading counterfeiting, piracy and license compliance activities in the UK and Central & Eastern Europe and driving international policy and advocacy, integrating IP enforcement with corporate affairs.

After leaving Microsoft, he was interim Vice President of Anti-Piracy at NBC Universal and a consultant to trade associations and companies. Mr. Oldknow is the Chair of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group and has been actively involved in many other associations. He has a track record of delivering business focused results through these engagements. He has a degree in Physics, a Masters in IP Law and was called to the bar in 1995. 

Paulo Sérgio Pinto de Albuquerque

Paulo Sérgio Pinto de Albuquerque has been a judge and a lawyer at the national level, a board member of Amnesty International Portugal and an associate professor at the Catholic University of Lisbon. He thus has experience both on a theoretical and a practical level. He also was an expert with the Council of Europe's GRECO (Group of States against Corruption) and was on the list of three nominees for ECHR judges in 2004. Then in 2011 he was elected as judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Portugal. During 1998-2001 he was a member of the European Committee on Crime Problems PC-OC. Since 2000 he has been a member of the Management Board of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.

After a Master Degree in Law at the Catholic University of Lisbon, Mr. Pinto de Albuquerque obtained his Ph.D in Law at the same University. He is author of numerous publications on criminal law and he participated in a vast number of conferences worldwide.

Stefano Rodotà

Stefano Rodotà is Professor of Law at the University of Rome “La Sapienza.” He is one of the authors of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. He serves as Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Agency for Fundamental Rights of the European Union and of the Internet Governance Forum, Italy. He is also the former President of the Italian Data Protection Commission and of the European Group on Data Protection. Professor Rodotà has taught at many universities, including the Universities of Paris, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Lima, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, as well as Oxford and Stanford Law School. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the University College of Turin. He is a member of the Convention for the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. He is a former Member of the Italian Parliament, the European Parliament, and of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Salla Saastamoinen

Salla Saastamoinen is the Director in charge of Equality in the Directorate-General Justice and consumers, European Commission since 2014. The Directorate Equality contributes to the development and consolidation of an area of freedom, justice and equality, ensuring that citizens benefit from progress made at European level. To this end, the Directorate coordinates and promotes policy developments to combat discrimination on grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, promotes awareness on gender equality and non- discrimination and coordinates policy developments in respect of the Roma. The Directorate is also responsible for the relationship to the European Institute for Gender Equality.

Salla Saastamoinen headed the Unit Fundamental rights and rights of the child (2013-14) and the Civil Justice Policy Unit (2007-2013) in Directorate General Justice before taking over her current post.

Salla Saastamoinen is a lawyer from the University of Helsinki, Finland. She has worked in the Commission for 18 years, in the beginning in the legal unit of the Directorate General Environment and then as legal and policy official in the Directorate General Justice, Freedom and Security in the unit Fundamental rights and citizenship. 

Albie Sachs

From a young age Albie Sachs played a prominent part in the struggle for justice in South Africa. As a result he was detained in solitary confinement, tortured by sleep deprivation and eventually blown up by a car bomb which cost him his right arm and the sight of an eye. His experiences provoked an outpouring of creative thought on the role of law as a protector of human dignity in the modern world, and a lifelong commitment to seeing a new era of justice established in South Africa.

After playing an important part in drafting South Africa's post-apartheid Constitution, he was appointed by Nelson Mandela to be a member of the country's first Constitutional Court (1994-2009). Over the course of his fifteen year term on the Court he has grappled with the major issues confronting modern South Africa, and the challenges posed to the fledgling democracy as it sought to overcome the injustices of the apartheid regime.