Dr Fernand de Varennes


Dr Fernand de Varennes has had a close involvement with the refugee issue here in Australia. Dr de Varennes recently initiated the case to bring a civil suit action in the United States federal courts under the Alien Tort Claims Act, alleging violations of the "law of nations" in relation to the detention of asylum seekers and the conditions under which they are held. The legal argument being used is that these are violations of the prohibition of arbitrary detention, and constitute conditions that are cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Dr de Varennes is the former Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Human Rights and the Prevention of Ethnic Conflict and the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law. Dr de Varennes is recognised as one of the world's leading legal experts on language rights and has written two seminal works on this topic: Language, Minorities and Human Rights (1996) and A Guide to the Rights of Minorities and Language (2001). His teaching experience covers topics such as international law, human rights in Asia, rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, equity and criminal law. He was the first to set up a regular law course on Asia-Pacific human rights in an Australian law school and established the then first LL.M. in human rights in Australia. Dr de Varennes has taught students from a variety of cultural backgrounds in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. He also has extensive international recognition for his research work on international law, human rights, minorities and ethnic conflicts and has worked with numerous international organisations such as the United Nations' Working Group on the Rights of Minorities, UNESCO and the OSCE's High Commissioner on National Minorities on these issues. He is Senior (Non-Resident) Research Associate at the European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg, Germany, on the advisory board of numerous research centres and journals around the world and has been a visiting scholar at the European Academy in Bolzano, Italy, the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain, the Hungarian University of Transylvania in Romania, Sam Ratulangi University in Manado, Indonesia, and Seikei University in Tokyo. He recently held the prestigious Tip O'Neill Peace Fellowship at INCORE (Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity) in Derry, Northern Ireland. He has published five books and over fifty scientific articles and reports. His most recent publications include a two-volume series on human rights documents on Asia. He is currently writing a three-volume book series on ethnic and internal conflicts worldwide. His research has appeared in a dozen languages (Azeri, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Japanese, Russian, Slovenian and Spanish).

Pub Talk | 2002

New: 2 April, 2002 | Now: 6 May, 2015