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Invitation: Public Lecture by the World Leading Minority Rights Scholar

01 March 2013

Dear colleagues, you are kindly invited to a public lecture On Neighbours and Names: Neighbours and Languages in the EU

by Prof. Fernand de Varennes, Universities of Hong Kong Law School, Pretoria Law School, and Maldives National University, Faculty of Shari’ah and Law.

8 March 2013, Senaatskamer, Academiegebouw, 13.30

Prof. Fernand de Varennes, one of the most renowned scholars in the field of law and language, will focus on the right to a name in the European legal context, critically analyzing the jurisprudence of the ECt.HR, ECJ and the UN Human Rights Committee. He holds degrees from LSE and Maastricht and has represented linguistic minorities in countless cases in front of the international tribunals. Prof. de Varennes is 2004 Linguapax Award laureate (Barcelona, Spain), the Tip O’Neill Peace Fellowship recipient (Northern Ireland) and was nominated for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights (Gwangju, South Korea). He has been a guest professor at 20 Universities worldwide, including in China, Indonesia, Japan, the Maldives, Italy, La Réunion, Finland, Ethiopia and Northern Ireland among numerous others and is a founding editor-in-chief of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Human Rights and the Law.

As an advocate committed to the protection of human rights, rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, Prof. de Varennes plays an advisory role in court litigation programmes at Minority Rights Group International and Interights, both in London, and sits on the advisory board of a number of research centres and scientific journals in Asia and Europe. He was consulted on the Organization of American States’ draft Inter-American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, on OSCE initiatives dealing with the rights of minorities (the Lund Recommendations on the Effective Participation of National Minorities in Public Life and the Oslo Recommendations regarding the Linguistic Rights of National Minorities), on the conformity of Bhutan’s Constitution with international human rights standards, as well as prepared responses with minority organisations on proposed language legislation for Northern Ireland and South Africa. In legal proceedings internationally, he has provided advice in the (successful) case of Raihman v. Latvia, before the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee. He has also been involved in other proceedings presently before the European Court of Human Rights (Catan et al. v. Moldova and Russia), among others.

Dr de Varennes’ research and publications record spans some 150 publications in 26 languages covering six continents. In addition to traditional scientific books and articles, he continues to write reports for international governmental organisations such as UNESCO (on the rights of migrants), the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (on indigenous language rights), and the UN Working Group on the Rights of Minorities and UN Independent Expert on Minorities (language rights, prevention of ethnic conflicts, political participation of minorities), as well as for non-governmental organisations such as Minority Rights International (on minorities in Southeast Asia, Central Asia and East Asia).

The public lecture is delivered upon the invitation of Prof. Dimitry Kochenov (EU Constituional Law) and makes part of the conference on ‘The Principle of Good Neighbourly Relations in the EU: Theory and Practice’, which Professor Kochenov co-organised with Elena Basheska, a Ph.D. student at the department of European and Economic Law.

This article was published by the Faculty of Law.

Last modified:19 January 2024 1.05 p.m.

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