Fernand de Varennes is Extraordinary Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria (South Africa), Adjunct Professor at the National University of Ireland-Galway (Ireland), and Cheng Yu Tung Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong (China). He was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues by the Human Rights Council and assumed his functions on 1 August 2017.
Fernand de Varennes’ work and commitment focuses on the human rights of minorities, as well as the prevention of ethnic conflicts, the rights of migrants, the relationship between ethnicity, human rights and democracies, and the use of federalism and other forms of autonomy arrangements to balance competing cultural interests. His contributions on these topics in many parts of the world, including as a professor for almost 20 years at Murdoch University in Australia, and as a guest professor at several institutions in Africa, Asia and Europe. He has written reports for and spoken in numerous forums on these issues including before UN committees in Geneva, the European Parliament in Brussels, and with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Fernand de Varennes holds degrees from the Université de Moncton (LLB), the London School of Economics and Political Science (LLM), and the Rijksuniversiteit Limburg (now the University of Maastricht, Dr Juris).