Adjunct Professor - Prof Fernand de Varennes

Feb 20 2019 Posted: 12:15 GMT

The Irish Centre for Human Rights is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, as an Adjunct Professor of Human Rights Law.

Professor de Varennes was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues by the UN Human Rights Council and assumed his functions on 1 August 2017.

Fernand de Varennes’ work and commitment focusses on the human rights of minorities, as well as the prevention of ethnic conflicts, the rights of migrants, the relationship between ethnicity, human rights and democracies, and the use of federalism and other forms of autonomy arrangements. As part of his UN mandate, he recently completed a country visits to Spain and has continued to focus on the international law questions relating to statelessness and citizenship rights of minorities.

Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Professor Siobhán Mullally welcomed Professor de Varennes’ appointment:

“The Centre has a long tradition of research, teaching and advocacy on the rights of minorities. Professor de Varennes’ appointment builds on this tradition, giving students and staff the opportunity to work with and to learn from one of the world’s leading experts on this subject. Through this new collaboration, we will further expand the opportunities for our students to gain hands-on, ‘real world’ experience of international human rights law practice.

The UN Special Rapporteur’s focus on Language Rights is of particular significance in Ireland, and to the work of the Language Commissioner, located in Spiddal, Co. Galway. The Special Rapporteur’s work on statelessness, as a global phenomenon affecting migrant communities, will be of great interest to students on our new LLM programme in International Migration and Refugee Law and Policy.”


Commenting on his new appointment to the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Professor de Varennes said:

“The international human rights system is a bulwark against injustice and instability. I'm looking forward to working with the staff and students at the Irish Centre for Human Rights to better understand and help strengthen, in Europe and elsewhere, this essential dimension of the global community in which we now live."

Professor de Varennes will speak at a series of events at NUI Galway, April 29-May 1st, including a joint event on Language Rights, with An Comisinéir Teanga (the Language Commissioner), and a seminar on Minority Rights and Ethnic Conflict.

For further information, please contact the Irish Centre for Human Rights,

Information on the work of the Un Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues is available at: