The President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Professor Alexandros Sicilianos, gave an inspiring speech to hundreds of European University Cyprus Law School students, academics and lawyers. The topic of his speech was “The Challenges faced by the ECHR and its contribution to European equity”. He referred to transnational appeals on issues such as the Crimean War, but also to refugee issues, the general problems caused by the financial crisis, the institutional crisis, terrorism and counterterrorism, as well as the interception of telephone conversations or electronic messages, the illegal CIA flights, and the transfers of suspected terrorists to Guantánamo Prisons.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nikos Christodoulides (Speech read by Director of his Office, Mr. Dim. Samouil), the Rector of European University Cyprus, Professor Kostas Gouliamos and the Dean of the Law School, Professor Konstantinos Tsimaras also addressed the event.
The presence of Professor Alexandros Sicilianos is particularly noteworthy, as it is the first time that a President of an International Court of Justice delivers a speech at a Cypriot University. It is also the first time in the 60 years of this European Institution (1959-2019) that a Greek national has been elected to this post.
Linus-Alexandros Sicilianos was born in Athens on 9 May, 1960 and assumed his judicial duties at the ECHR in 2011. He was elected Chamber President in February 2017 and Vice-President of the ECHR in May 2017. His term as President of the Court began on 5 May, 2019.
He is an associated member of the Academy of Athens. He is also a member of the Senate of the Hague Academy of International Law, an affiliated member of the Institute of International Law, which brings together top international experts from around the world, as well as a member of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration. He has served, among others, as a member and Vice-President of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Vice President of the National Commission for Human Rights, Vice President of the International Institute of Human Rights, and a member of the Executive Board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and of the experts at the Council of Europe.