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Kushtrim ISTREFI 


Dr Kushtrim Istrefi is Assistant Professor of Human Rights Law and Public International Law at Utrecht University. He is part of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) and the Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law (Ucall).


Kushtrim has a general interest in the European Convention on Human Rights and its intersection with international law and security. He has published on a wide range of topics, such as states of emergency and derogations, the right to life and prohibition of torture in peacekeeping operations, freedom of expression and assembly in the context of mass migration, UN targeted sanctions and security detentions, counter-terrorism, statehood, accession to international organisations, jurisdiction, the law of treaties, and judicial activism. He is currently co-editing a Compendium to the European Convention on Human Rights, the first comprehensive book to feature over 300 entries on ECHR legal notions. He serves on the editorial board of the European Convention on Human Rights Law Review and the ECHR Blog.


Previously, he taught at the University of Amsterdam, Leiden University, the VU University Amsterdam, the Riga Graduate School of Law and the University of Prishtina. Kushtrim was a visiting fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law of Cambridge University, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University, the Max Planck Institute for International Law and the European Court of Human Rights. He holds a PhD from the University of Graz, LLM from the Riga Graduate School of Law and LLB from South East European University.


Next to academic work, Kushtrim has advised States and non-State actors on issues of human rights and international law. Since May 2022 he serves as Kosovo’s chief legal advisor on the accession of Kosovo to the Council of Europe. He successfully litigated the first case of enforced disapearence before the EULEX Human Rights Review Panel and served co-counsel in Stichting Mothers of Srebrenica v the Netherlands and Subašic and Others v the Netherlands before the European Court of Human Righs. Recently, he provided legal advice on the cases cocerning the murder of journalists before the People's Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists and contributed to a third party intervention before the Strasbourg Court on the 'Academics for Peace Case'. Previously he advised the Kosovo Constitutional Court and Parliament on issues pertaining to Kosovo-Serbia agreements. As a Senior Peace Fellow with Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) he was involved in different peace projects in Sudan and Cameroon.


A more up to date CV with a list of publications can be accessed here:


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