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Manfred Nowak

Manfred Nowak

Title: ao Univ. Prof., Dr., LL.M

Name: Manfred Nowak

Position: Founder


Telephone: + 43 (1) 4277 35310 (Juridicum)

Address: Freyung 6 (Schottenhof), 1. Stiege II, A-1010 Wien


Curriculum Vitae

Born 26 June 1950 in Bad Aussee

  • Secretary General, European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC), Venice
  • Independent Expert leading the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty
  • Founder, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights



  • 1986 Dr. Habil of Constitutional Law (University of Vienna)
  • 1975 LL.M (Columbia University New York)
  • 1973 Dr. Iuris (University of Vienna)


Other Functions

  • Since 2016 Member of the Advisory Board of the European Forum Alpbach
  • Since 2012 Scientific Director of the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights, University of Vienna
  • Since 2012 Member of the OMV (International oil and gas company) Advisory Board for Resourcefulness
  • Since 2011 Member of the Advisory Board of the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Berlin
  • Since 2010 Vice-President of the Austrian UNESCO Commission
  • Since 1995 Member and Honorary Member of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Geneva
  • Since 1992 Member of the Board/Advisory Board of the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), Geneva
  • 1992 - 2019 Founder and Scientific Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights


Former Relevant Experience

  • 2014-2018 Head of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre Human Rights at the University of Vienna
  • 2016-2017 Chair of an International Review Committee on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Appointed by the Government of Taiwan
  • 2012-2017 Vice Chair of the Management Board of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Vienna
  • 1998-2016 Austrian National Director Representing the University of Vienna in the EMA (European Master Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation) Programme, appointed by the Rector of the University of Vienna
    •  EMA is based in Venice, was initiated by the European Commission and is jointly organized by 41 European Universities. As a model for similar multidisciplinary educational programmes, EMA was awarded the 2006 UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education (Honourable Mention)
  • 2012-2015 Head of Visiting Commission of the Austrian Ombudsman Board (National Mechanism for prevention of torture)
  • 2010-2015 Consultant for the Danish Institute for Human Rights
  • 2014 Holder of the Austrian Visiting Chair at the University of Stanford, U.S.
  • 2008-2014 Head of the Inter-disciplinary Research Platform “Human Rights in the European Context” at the University of Vienna
  • 2012-2013 Chair of an International Review Committee on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Appointed by the Government of Taiwan
  • 2009-2013 Head of the Inter-Disciplinary PhD Research School “Empowerment through Human Rights”  at the University of Vienna
  • 2009-2013 Chair of COST Action “The Role of the EU in UN Human Rights Reform
  • 2008-2012 Member of the Austrian Monitoring Committee established in accordance with Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • 2007-2012 Fralex Senior Expert/International Expert to the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), established in March 2007
  • 2000-2012 Head of an Independent Human Rights Commission at the Austrian Ministry of Interior (under the Human Rights Advisory Board of the Ministry)
    • Preventive visits to places of police detention and control of the use of force by Austrian law enforcement personnel
  • 2009-2010 Member of the Coordinating Committee of UN Special Procedures
  • 2008-2010 Member and rapporteur of a Panel of Eminent Persons (later named to Panel on Human Dignity) selected by the Swiss Foreign Minister to draft and promote an Agenda for Human Rights, which was launched in Geneva on 5 December 2008
  • 2004-2010 United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
    • Fact-finding missions to Georgia, Mongolia, Nepal, China, Jordan, Paraguay, Nigeria,  Togo,  Sri  Lanka,  Indonesia,  Denmark  and  Greenland,  Moldova, Equatorial Guinea, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, and Greece; joint reports Guantanamo Bay, Darfur and Secret Detention in the Fight against Terrorism
  • 2008-2009 Swiss Chair of Human Rights, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
  • 2000-2007 EMA Chairperson
  • 2002-2006 Member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights
    • Network set up by the European Commission on the initiative of the European Parliament, which published, inter alia, annual reports on the situation of human rights in the EU and its member states
  • 2001-2006 UN Expert on Disappearances
    • Examination of the existing international criminal, humanitarian and human rights framework  for  the  protection  of  persons  from  enforced  or  Involuntary disappearances
    • Adviser to the Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights drafting the Convention   for   the   Protection   of   All   Persons   from   Enforced Disappearance, which was adopted by the General Assembly in December 2006
  • 2001-2006 Consultant to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on a human rights based approach to poverty reduction strategies, which led to the adoption of the Principles and Guidelines for a Human Rights Approach to Poverty Reduction Strategies
  • 2004 Visiting Professor at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) in Venice
  • 2002-2003 Olof Palme Visiting Professor on Human Rights at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) at the University of Lund
  • 1996-2003 Judge at the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo elected by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
    • 1998: Vice-President
    • The Human Rights Chamber was established under the Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995
  • 1989-2002 Professor of Law and Head of the Legal Department at the Austrian Federal Academy of Public Administration in Vienna
  • 1993-2001 Expert Member of the UN Working Group on Involuntary or Enforced Disappearances
    • Fact-finding missions to Yemen and Sri Lanka
  • 1994-1997 UN Expert in Charge of the Special Process on Missing Persons in the Former Yugoslavia
    • Started a process of identification of missing persons through exhumation of mortal remains
    • Initiated International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP)
  • 1993 Coordinator of NGO-Input into the Second World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna
  • 1986-1993 Member of the Austrian Delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights
  • 1987-1989 Director of the Netherlands Institute of human rights (SIM) at the University of Utrecht
  • 1973-1987 Assistant and Associate Professor at the Institute of Constitutional and Administrative Law of the University of Vienna (with Felix Ermacora)
    • Sabbatical leaves for research and field studies in the USA (Columbia University New York), Latin America, Africa, UK (LSE London), Netherlands (Institute of Public and European Law, University of Amsterdam), Germany (Institute of Public and European Law, University of Bielefeld), and the United Nations in Geneva.



  • 2018 Prize for Humanities, Cultural Studies, Social Sciences and Law, City of Vienna, Austria                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
    CDO Excellence Award, International Cultural Diversity Organisation, Vienna, Austria                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
    Best Book Award for “Human Rights or Global Capitalism”, American Political Science Association, Washington, US                                                                                                                                                                                           
    Nomination of “Torture -- An Expert s Confrontation with an Everyday Evil”  for North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award
  • 2017 Dr. Honoris causa, University of Bucharest, Rumania
  • 2015 Egon Ranshofen-Wertheimer-Award, Braunau, Austria
  • 2014 Golden Otto Hahn Medal of Peace for the Achievements in the Field of Human Rights, United Nations Association of Germany, Berlin, Germany
  • 2013 University of Oslo s Lisl and Leo Eitinger Human Rights Award, Oslo, Norway
  • 2012 Prof. et Dr. Honoris causa, Eötvös Lorand University Budapest, Hungary
  • 2011 IAFS 2005 Hong Kong Forensic Foundation Lecture Award, presented at the 19th LAFS Triennial Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal   
  • 2010 Human Rights Award, Panteion University Athens, Greece
  • 2008 Human Rights Medal, University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • 2008 Medal of Honour, European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, Venice, Italy
  • 2007 Bruno Kreisky Prize for Human Rights for outstanding achievements for services to International human rights, Vienna, Austria
  • 1994 UNESCO Prize for the Teaching of Human Rights (honorable mention) in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the development of the teaching of Human rights, Paris, France.


Further Relevant Information

  • Married to Suada Nowak with two children: Una (born 1998) and Dino (born 2003)
  • Author of more than 600 Publications in the fields of constitutional, administrative and international law, human rights as well as development studies
  • Editor or Advisory Moard member of Periodicals and Series, e.g. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, Austrian Review of International and European Law (ARIEL), BIM Human Rights Study Series, European Yearbook on Human Rights, Taiwan Human Rights Journal, “All Human Rights for All”(Study Series of the Vienna Master of Human Rights);
  • Rich Teaching and Training Experience at universities and training institutions in all world regions
  • Advisor to various governments, development agencies, international organizations and the corporate sector in human rights capacity building
  • Patronage: e.g. Redress, international Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims
  • Human Rights Network: Due to numerous research activities and various functions in the field of human rights for many years, establishment of a large personal network with key actors in the field of international human rights protection
  • Various Human Rights Fact-Finding Missions outside the UN, e.g. To Brazil (for the Brazilian Bishops Conference), Surinam (for International Alert), India (Tibet mission for the ICJ), Yemen and Iraq (OMV).


Key Publictions

  • 2018 Equal Access to Justice for All and Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Agenda (edited together with Helen Ahrens, Horst Fischer, Véronica Gomez), LIT Berlin/Muenster/Wien/Zuerich/London 2018, 304 pages.
  • 2018 Using Human Rights to Counter Terrorism (edited together with Anne Charbord), Elgar Studies in Human Rights, Edward Elgar Publishing House, Northampton, 384 Pages.       
  • 2018 Torture-- an experts confrontation with everyday evil, University of Pennsylvania press, Philadelphia, 191 pages.
  • 2017 Human Rights or Global Capitalism, The limits of privatisation, Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 256 pages   
  • 2015 Menschenrechte -- Eine Antwort auf die wachsende ökonomische Ungleichheit, Vienna/Hamburg, 176 pages
  • 2014 Vienna +20 Advancing the  Protection of Human Righrs. Achievements, Challenges and Perspectives 20 Years after the World Conference (edited together with Julia Kozma and Anna Müller-Funk), Vienna/Graz, 450 pages
  • 2012 All Human Rights for all-- Vienna Manual on Human Rights (edited together with Karolina Januszewski, Tina Hofstätter), Vienna/Graz, 672 pages
  • 2012 Folter: Die Alltäglichkeit des Unfassbaren, Vienna, 240 pages
  • 2010 A World Court of Human Rights - Consolidated Statute and Commentary (together with Julia Kozma and Martin Scheinin), Vienna, 112 pages
  • 2008 The United Nations Convention against Torture—A Commentary (together with Elizabeth McArthur), Oxford, 1649 pages
  • 2003 Introduction to the International Human Rights Regime, Leiden 2003 (Spanish translation 2009, Chinese translation 2010), 365 pages
  • 1994 World Conference on Human Rights, The Contribution of NGOs, Reports and Documents (ed.), Vienna, 298 pages
  • 1993 U.N.   Covenant   on   Civil   and   Political   Rights   -   CCPR   Commentary, Kehl/Strasbourg/Arlington (2nd edition 2005, Chinese translations 2003 and 2008), 1277 Pages       
  • 1989 CCPR-Kommentar, Kommentar  zum  UNO-Pakt  über  bürgerliche  und  politische Rechte und zum Fakultativprotokoll, Kehl am Rhein/Straßburg/Arlington 1989, 946 Pages       
  • 1988 Politische Grundrechte, Vienna/New York, 585 pages
  • 1983 Die   Europäische   Menschenrechtskonvention   in   der   Rechtsprechung   der Österreichischen Höchstgerichte (edited together with Felix Ermacora and Hannes Tretter), Vienna 1983, 732 pages.
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