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.
Eva Maria Lassen
Cluster Responsible: Religion and Human Rights
Eva Maria Lassen is senior researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
Her key qualifications are on research in the relationship between human rights and religion; human rights and Jewish, Christian and Muslim values; in particular the focus area for the research in this field is where religious traditions collide or seem to be in conflict with modern human rights; this applies for instance vis-à-vis women’s rights and the position of women according to norms found within the monotheistic religious traditions; the relationship between religious freedom and other rights; religious freedom and Islam; the history of human rights; culture and human rights; the universality of human rights. Wide-ranging experience of interdisciplinary research cooperation with scholars from other disciplines, in particular law.
Extensive experience with management and research management in capacity of Research Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights since 2007.
Cluster Responsible: Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexual Rights
Koen Lemmens is the Director of the Leuven Institute for Human Rights and Critical Studies (LIHRICS) and since 2012 E.MA Director. He received his PhD from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy,(2003).
He is an attorney at the Brussels bar, specialized in procedures before the European Court of Human Rights, and held teaching positions at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Universteit Antwerpen. He took up his position at KU Leuven in 2010. He has taught extensively at all levels, with specialist modules focusing on human rights (mainly the ECHR–level), comparative (constitutional) law and legal theory. In 2012, he lectured on LGBTI rights in the Sexual Minority Rights Course organized at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
His research interests lie primarily in the field of the ECHR, freedom of expression, law and literature and comparative law.
Cluster Responsible: Human Rights Based Approach to Development Cooperation
Konstantinos Tararas is Programme Specialist at the Social Inclusion Policies Team of UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector.
Holder of a law degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, (1999), he obtained in 2000 the European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratization (EIUC, Venice). He joined UNESCO in February 2001. He has worked since then on human rights linked to the mandate of the Organization, notably on the rights to education, to take part in cultural life and to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications. Acquainted with the human rights-based approach (HRBA) to development programming in 2003, he worked for UNESCO’s human rights mainstreaming programme.
In that context, he acted since 2005 as resource person for capacity-building on HRBA targeting UNESCO staff at headquarters and in the field and since 2008 as main facilitator. He delivered training for UNESCO Office staff and local partners in more than 20 countries in Africa, Latin America and South-East Asia. He contributed to several UNESCO human rights publications, including editing the 6 edition of Human Rights: Questions and Answers.
Katayoun Alidadi is a PhD researcher at the Institute for Human Right and Critical Legal Studies of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Her research and publications focus on human rights and non-discrimination in comparative perspective, in particular as it regards employment, and on possible tensions that can arise between the freedom of religion and non-discrimination (e.g. on the basis of sexual orientation).
She is the co-editor of A Test of Faith? Religious Diversity and Accommodation in the European Workplace (2012, Ashgate). In 2012, she was a lecturer on LGBTI rights in the Sexual Minority Rights Course organized at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Katayoun obtained her initial law degree from the Catholic University of Leuven and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School (Fulbright, Frank Boas and B.A.E.F. scholarships).
During 2010-2013 she was a project researcher in RELIGARE (Religious Diversity and Secular Models in Europe- Innovative Approaches to Law and Policy), a 7th Framework Programme financed by the European Commission to offer policy recommendations for improving responses to current and future dilemmas in framing and protecting religious diversity and pluralism in the EU. Previously, she has worked at the corporate department of an International Law firm in Brussels, at Public Counsel Law Center in Los Angeles, and at the Belgian Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism.
Mark Bell is Head of the School of Law, University of Leicester. He conducts research in the areas of national and European anti-discrimination law and employment law. He is the author of Racism and Equality in the European Union (OUP, 2008) and Anti-Discrimination Law and the European Union (OUP, 2002).
He is an active participant in the European Working Group on Labour Law and he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of Legal Scholars. He was a member of the European Commission's Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination Field (2004-2010) and in 2010/11 he worked with the International Labour Organisation to develop training on the protection of precarious workers.
He has collaborated with many national and European NGOs working on equality law, including ILGA-Europe. Recently, he has been advising the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities on the protection of agency workers from discrimination.
Catarina de Albuquerque
Catarina de Albuquerque is the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation (formerly Independent Expert). She was appointed by the Human Rights Council in September 2008, having started her mandate on 1 November that year. Between 2004 and 2008 she presided over the negotiations of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the UN General Assembly approved by consensus on 10 December 2008.
De Albuquerque is an invited Professor at the Law Faculties of the Universities of Braga and Coimbra and a Senior Legal Adviser at the Office for Documentation and Comparative Law, an independent institution under the Prosecutor General’s Office.
She was awarded the Human Rights Golden Medal by the Portuguese Parliament (10 December 2009) for outstanding work in the area of human rights. Her work in human rights was also honoured by the Portuguese President of the Republic (October 2009) with the Order of Merit, which is a recognition of an individual's personal bravery, achievement, or service.
She holds a Law Degree from the Law Faculty of the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and a DES from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, Switzerland).
Mr. Pablo Espiniella, has a Doctorate/Masters in International Law, a degree in Political Sciences and International Relations and a diplome in Law and over 16 years of progressively work experience within the field of human rights and development. He is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) working as Human Rights Officer/Programme Manager at the Director’s Office of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division.
Since he joined the United Nations in 1998, he has worked as a Deputy Representative in the OHCHR Office for Europe in Brussels and in the Office for South-East-Asia in Bangkok respectively as well as in a number of positions in various OHCHR Divisions, included at the High Commissioner’s Executive Office. In OHCHR Headquarters, he provided service to a number of Human Rights Council - special procedures mandates (summary executions, migrants, internally displaced persons and indigenous peoples): followed very closely the work of the human rights treaty monitoring bodies (Human Rights Committee and the Committee Against Torture) and undertaken numerous field short assignments, just to mention a few, to Timor Leste and Nepal. He has participated in a number of needs assessments missions and developed particular expertise in the areas of technical cooperation, indigenous peoples and minorities and the fight against trafficking in persons.
He took a short break in OHCHR to carry an experience of almost two years in the World Bank, as a Human Rights Specialist. Other professional experiences include work at the World Intellectual Property Organization and the United Nations Information Service. The combination of this academic and professional experience has provided him with sound human rights knowledge and on the work of the United Nations in general. He is fluent in English, French and Italian and his mother tongue is Spanish.
Professor Malcolm Evans OBE was Head of the School from 2003-2005 and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Bristol from 2005-2009. He studied law at Oxford (1979-82; 1983-87), was appointed to a lectureship at Bristol in 1988 and in 1999 was appointed Professor of Public International Law.
His areas of research interest now lie primarily in issues concerning the international protection of human rights, with particular focus on the freedom of religion and the prevention of torture, and also the law of the sea.
He is currently Chair of the United Nations Sub Committee for the Prevention of Torture and is a member of the UK Foreign Secretary's Advisory Group on Human Rights. He is also a member of the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe's Advisory Council of Freedom of Religion and Belief and has worked extensively with numerous international organisations on a broad range of human rights issues.
As Deputy Director of the Human Rights Implementation Centre (HRiC) within the School of Law he is involved in a wide variety of its funded research projects, in particular those in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and in Africa.
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ingeborg Gabriel, Head of the Institute of Social Ethics, Member of the Senate of the University of Vienna, Member of the Ethics Commission of the University of Vienna.
Fields of research: social ethics, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, international ethics, development cooperation and business ethics.
Adriana Jacinto is Course Coordinator in the Development and Human Rights Team in the UN System Staff College. Adriana has graduated in International Relations in 1997 in Lisbon and has completed the European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratization in 1999 in Venice, at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC).
She began her career at the United Nations in 2000. Adriana has spent several years working in Peacekeeping missions (East Timor and Kosovo), mostly on human rights related issues (elections; rights of communities; return of IDPs and refugees). She worked for the Portuguese Diplomatic service in Vienna, Austria, during the Portuguese Chairmanship of the OSCE, as a desk-officer for South-Eastern Europe, and for UNESCO in Mozambique, on Social and Human Affairs. She was then the Programme Coordinator of the University Centre for International Cooperation at the University of Parma, Italy. Prior to joining the UN System Staff College in August 2010, Adriana was working at the Policy, Evaluation and Training Division of DPKO at UN HQ in New York, where she spent almost three years.
Adriana has given guest lectures on human rights and the role of international organizations to reputable academic institutions, such as the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (Venice), the Instituto Superior de Ciencias Sociais e Politicas (Lisbon), the University of Parma and the University of Turin (Italy).
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.
Licentiate in law (University of Antwerp, 1971-74; University of Leuven, 1974-76)
Master of laws (Northwestern University, Chicago, 1978)
Doctor in law (University of Leuven, 1987)
Professor at the University of Leuven (currently international human rights law; previously also constitutional law and civil procedure), since 1986 (part-time since 1994).
Member of the Council of Directors, European Master Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (Venice), 1997-2012.
Expert for Belgium in FRALEX (Group of Legal Experts), EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 2007-10.
Member, National Commission for the Rights of the Child, 2007-12.
Judge in the European Court of Human Rights, since 2012.
Member of the Brussels bar, 1976-84 and 1987-94.
Auditeur in the Council of State (supreme administrative court), 1984-87.
Judge in the Council of State, since 1994 (on leave since 2012).
Member, UN Human Rights Advisory Panel for Kosovo, 2007-12.
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.
Teresa Pizarro Beleza
E.MA Director (Lisbon) since 2001/2, Member of EIUC (www.eiuc.org) Board since December 2008.
Dean of Faculty of Law, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), since March 2009. Research Expertise and Interests in Criminal Law and procedure, prisoners’ rights, gender, equality and discrimination. Teaching Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Criminology, Human Rights and Equality Law.
Patrick van Weerelt
Patrick van Weerelt is the Senior Manager and Course Coordinator of the Development and Human Rights Team in the UN System Staff College. Patrick obtained his LL.M Degree from Maastricht University (the Netherlands), and a Master of International Law Degree from the University of Lund/Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Sweden).
He began his career at the Law Faculty of the University of Maastricht; moved to the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and started at the United Nations in 1996. Since then, and before joining the UN System Staff College in 2011, Patrick served at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva; UNDP South Africa; UNDP Geneva and New York (Human Rights Adviser) and Senegal (Practice Leader Democratic Governance for West and Central Africa). From 2006-2009 Patrick also served as Adjunct Professor at Washington College of Law, American University, Washington DC, and has given numerous guest lectures to reputable institutions such as George Washington University, Columbia University, Lund University and the University of Turin. Patrick is also the co-founder of the UN Summer Academy (www.unsummeracademy.org), launched in 2012.