Public Lecture on Human Rights and Migration by Secretary General of the Council of Europe

On 3 November 2011, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe – Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland – will visit Leiden Law School to give a public lecture on “Human Rights and Migration”.

The lecture will start with a word of welcome and short introduction by prof. dr. R.A. Lawson, Dean of the Leiden Law School. After the lecture there will be an opportunity for further discussion on the topics addressed by Mr. Jagland during a reception in the Faculty Club (next door to the Academy Building).

The protection of migrants (immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees) is one of the greatest challenges currently facing Council of Europe Member States. Severely restrictive migration laws and policies applied in many countries not only foster xenophobic and discriminatory reactions among the populations of the member states, but also raise serious concerns regarding their compatibility with international human rights standards. The case-law of the European Court of Human Rights bears witness to the importance of looking at the human rights of refugees and other migrants. Several important issues have been dealt with by the Court, including cases concerning asylum requests by boat people arriving in Greece or Italy (i.a. on the island of Lampedusa), the right to family life of immigrants, interim measures to prevent expulsions and the use of diplomatic assurances in the context of extradition. Judgments of the Court have had a significant impact on laws and policies in the field of migration. This concerns/affects not only the laws and policies of individual States, but also of the European Union. A worrisome development is that especially in this field some States seem reluctant to implement interim measures and judgments of the Court. 


Mr Thorbjørn Jagland is Secretary General of the Council of Europe since 1 October 2009. He was the President of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) from 2005 to 2009. Before that, he held two influential governmental positions in Norway – Prime Minister (1996-97) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000-2001) – and was the leader of the Norwegian Labour Party for ten years (1992-2002). He was elected Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize every year and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Oslo centre for Peace and Human Rights, and Member of the International Board of Governors at the Peres Center for Peace.

Members and students of the Institute for Public Law are cordially invited to attend this lecture. More information may be obtained from Jan-Peter Loof (Constitutional and administrative law) and Nelleke Koffeman (Europa Instititute).

Venue: Academy Building (‘Groot Auditorium’), Rapenburg 73, Leiden
Date and time: Thursday 3 November 2011, 10.00 a.m. (doors open from 9.30 a.m.)

Last Modified: 19-10-2011