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Stefaan SMIS



Prof. Dr. Stefaan Smis is a member of the Department of International and European Law of the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and vice-president of the Research Group Fundamental Rights and Constitutionalism (FRC). He teaching courses on international law, international protection of human rights, and international dispute settlement. He publishes, supervises PhDs and leads research projects in the domains of his expertise.

At the University of Westminster (UK – London) he has a part-time position as Reader in International Law. As guest lecturer he has taught at the Belgian Royal Higher Institute for Defense (International Criminal Law and the Law of Internal Armed Conflicts), the Université Catholique de Bukavu in the DR Congo (International Criminal Law), the University Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique (International Criminal Law), the University of Ghent (History of Africa), the University of Antwerp (Law and Development), the University of Abkhazia in Abkhazia (European Law) and the University of Georgia in the USA (Regional Integration in Africa). He has created the Centre régional des droits de l’homme et de droit international humanitaire in Bukavu as a interuniversity development cooperation project between the VUB and the University Catholique de Bukavu. This regional center organizes a D.E.S. en droits de l’homme et droit international humanitaire and conducts research in the area of human rights and humanitarian law in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. 

Stefaan Smis is the VUB representative in the VLIR-UOS board (Inter-university development co-operation). He is listed as one of the five Belgian ad hoc judges of the European Court of Human Rights, is editor-in-chief of the international peer reviewed journal Human Rights & International Legal Discourse and member of the editorial board of the Revue de droit africain. For years he has been the secretary of the Belgian Branch of the International Law Association (ILA) and member of the ILA Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He is corresponding editor for Belgium of the International Legal Materials and member of several committees of the American Society of International Law, member of the Flemish Interuniversity Research Network on Law and Development (, member of The Global Challenge of Human Rights Integration: Towards a Users’ Perspective research network ( and board member of various NGOs active in the field of human rights or development cooperation. 


Pleinlaan 2
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Building B
1050 Brussel