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Max van der Stoel Human Rights Awards 2014 awarded to dissertations and Master's thesis Universities of Groningen and Tilburg

On the occasion of World Human Rights Day on December 10th, the Max van der Stoel Human Rights Awards 2014 have been awarded to two PhD theses and one Master’s thesis at Tilburg University. Etienne Ruvebana of the University of Groningen won the first prize for his PhD thesis on states’ obligations under international law to prevent genocide.


Press Release 9 Dec. 2014

According to the jury led by Emeritus Professor of Immigration Law Pieter Boeles of Leiden University, Etienne Ruvebana has showed courage in writing this thesis by performing a pioneering job, and providing very concrete conclusions and recommendations that can be built upon. Ruvebana investigated the obligation to prevent genocide under international law and more particularly the extent of that obligation under the Genocide Convention and customary international law. Ruvebana won 2250 euros for his research, entitled Prevention of Genocide under International Law; an analysis of the obligations of States and the United Nations to prevent genocide at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

The second prize (1750 euros) was awarded to Ilse Griek of Tilburg University for her dissertation Human Rights in Translation; dispute resolution in the Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal. Her book reveals that international human rights norms are often ‘lost in translation’ on the ground, and that human rights law is not always the best or the only framework that can be used to achieve fairness on the ground.

The prize for best Master’s thesis went to thesis (1000 euros) went to Omar Sheira, who studied at Tilburg University. He examined the necessary preconditions for building an environment which can foster human rights implementation and enforcement in Egypt.

This year, the jury assessed eleven nominations, from the universities of Tilburg, Utrecht, Leiden, Maastricht, Groningen, and Amsterdam, both VU and UvA.  The Dutch politician and foreign minister Max van der Stoel (1924-2011) was High Commissioner for National Minorities at the OSCE and UN Human Rights rapporteur.