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Human Rights First

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Human Rights Committee - Members

Walter KALIN (Switzerland)

Born: 20 May 1951 in Zurich , Switzerland

Languages: German, English, French


1957-1963 Primary School at Rickenbach/Schwyz, Switzerland.

1963-1971 "Gymnasium" (grammar school) at Einsiedeln , Switzerland.

1971-1972 Legal studies at the Faculty of Law, University of Fribourg/CH.

1972-1976 Legal studies at the Faculty of Law, University of Bern/CH.

June 1976 Lic. iur. (summa cum laude).

1976-1977 Training (at a court and a law firm) for the bar exam (Canton of Schwyz).

Aug. 1979 Member of the bar (Rechtsanwalt) of the Canton of Schwyz.

Feb. 1982 Dr. iur. (summa cum laude). Dissertation received Theodor-Kocher and Walter-Hug-Foundation awards.

1983-1984 Postgraduate studies at Harvard Law School , Cambridge/USA.

June 1984 LL.M. ( Harvard Law School ).

1984-1985 Visiting researcher at Harvard Law School.

June 1985 "Privatdozent" (university lecturer), Faculty of Law, University of Bern.

Professional activities

1978-1982 Assistant at the Institute of Public Law of the University of Bern

(Prof. J.P. Müller; part-time) and council for refugees and asylum-seekers on behalf of a non-governmental organization (part-time).

Since Oct. 1985 Professor of constitutional and international public law at the Faculty of

Law and Economics of the University of Bern (full professor "Professor ordinarius" since April 1988).

1995-1996 Dean of the Faculty and Head of Legal Department, respectively.

Nov. 1992-Mar. 1993 Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland).

Nov. 1993-July 1994

Additional professional experience

On several occasions, served as expert for the Swiss Parliament and the Swiss Federal Administration (on questions of refugee law, human rights, foreign policy including development related topics, total revision of Swiss Constitution), for several cantonal and communal governments (on questions of federalism and local self-government), for non-governmental organizations (on questions of refugees, internally displaced persons, human rights and development) and for the United Nations (on questions of human rights, refugee law, internal displacement and decentralization), including the following:

Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the Situation of Human Rights in Kuwait under Iraqi occupation (1991/92).

Consultant to SDC (Swiss Development Corporation) (in Nepal 1992 - today, in Pakistan since 1998 - today, in India 1999, in Kyrgyzstan 2001).

Consultant to UNDP (decentralization in Jordan 1994 and Lebanon 1997, in Pakistan since 1998).

Expert of the German Constitutional Court in its asylum cases (1995/96).

Consultant to UNHCR (on several occasions, including studies on temporary protection 1996, and on supervisory mechanisms 2001; regular teacher at UNHCR's Refugee Law Courses in San Remo).

Consultant to UNHCHR (in Indonesia 2000, on legislation in East Timor 2001-2002).

Chair of the group of legal experts assisting the United Nations Representative on Internal Displacement, Dr. Francis Deng, in the preparation of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Author of Annotations to the Principles. Coordinator of studies on compatibility of national legislation with Guiding Principles in South Caucasus (2001-2002).

Consultant to IOM (2002).

Member of Swiss federal commissions of experts responsible for drafting a new asylum act (1990, 1993-1995), for drafting new legislation on the organization of the Swiss federal judicial system (1993-1995), for developing a new migration policy (1996). Chairman of commission of experts on the constitutional reform of the Swiss judicial system (1995) and member of the Steering Committee on the Swiss Constitutional Reform (1995-1996).

Consultant to the parliament of the Canton of Bern on a new cantonal constitution; co-author of the draft articles on human rights (1988-1992).


[This profile can be found in the document CCPR/SP/58]



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