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Westminster Law Professor appointed ad hoc judge for the European Court of Human Rights

17 June 2013

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Stefaan Smis, a Reader in Law in Westminster Law School, has been appointed by the Belgian Minister of Justice to the list of five national ad hoc judges who are chosen to sit in cases against Belgium before the European Court of Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasburg, controls the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights and its protocols. Every state that is party to the convention has one judge elected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to sit as member of the Court for a period of nine years.

If that judge is unable to sit in a case initiated against the state that has nominated him, an ad hoc judge is elected from a list of three to five people fulfilling the same requirements as the elected judges and having the same rights in the court proceedings. Stefaan has been appointed one of these ad hoc judges.

Stefaan is able to bring his experience of practice to the students in the Law School; he contributes to a first year LLB module, ‘Introduction to Rights’, and teaches PG students on the on the LLM in International Law course in subjects including International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal law.

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