Photini Pazartzis elected to lead the United Nations Human Rights Committee

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Professor of Public International Law, Photini Pazartzis, has been elected the new Chairperson of the influential United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Ms Pazartis was elected unanimously by all 198 participating states during the Committee’s 131st session. She became the first Greek woman to assume the leadership of the Committee.

According to a press release from the Committee, Ms Pazartis said “it was a great honour… to serve as Chair for the next two years.”

Professor of Public International Law, Photini Pazartzis.

“She was touched by the kind words and support expressed by her colleagues. This was a very challenging period and she would do her best,” she said.

Later in the session, the rest of the Bureau was then elected. Christopher Arif Bulkan (Guyana), Shuichi Furuya (Japan) and Vasilka Sancin (Slovenia) were elected as Vice-Chairpersons, and Duncan Muhumuza Laki (Uganda) was elected as Rapporteur of the Committee.

The Human Rights Committee is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its state parties.

Who is Photini Pazartzis?

Ms Pazartzis completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Athens (1983) and her graduate studies at the University of Paris-II Panthéon-Assas.

Since then, she’s become Director of the Athens Public International Law Center at the Faculty of Law of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is also the President of the European Society of International Law (from September 2019) and Member of the ESIL Board.

She’s been Visiting Fellow at the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law (1998), Director of Studies at the Hague Academy of International Law (French section, 2003), and has lectured in various universities and institutions, including the Universities of Bordeaux, the European University Institute and the Xiamen Academy of International Law (2015).

Ms Pazartsiz teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of public international law, settlement of disputes, international courts and procedures, international human rights law, international criminal law, law of the sea.

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