Participants in the Moot Court Room of BYU Law School, as well as listeners worldwide via live webcast of the opening session of the 20th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, were privileged to hear keynote remarks from Professor Malcolm Evans, OBE, who spoke to the topic “Religion and Human Rights,” from his perspective as Professor of Public International Law at the University of Bristol Law School and Chair of the United Nations Sub Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
Professor Evans was also presented during this session with the Distinguished Service Award from the International Center for Law and Religion Studies for longtime and extraordinary service to the cause of freedom of religion and belief worldwide.
Professor Evans is a member of the UK Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Group on Human Rights and of the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Advisory Council of Freedom of Religion and Belief and has worked extensively with numerous international organizations on a broad range of human rights issues. As Deputy Director of the Human Rights Implementation Centre (HRiC) within the School of Law he is involved in a wide variety of its funded research projects, in particular those in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and in Africa.
Born in Wales, Professor Evans is one of the United Kingdom’s most distinguished international lawyers, with an outstanding global reputation. He studied law at Oxford (1979-82; 1983-87) and was to a lectureship at Bristol in 1988 and in 1999 was appointed Professor of Public International Law. From 2003-2005 he was Head of the School and from 2005-2009 was Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. His areas of research interest now lie primarily in issues concerning the international protection of human rights, with particular focus on the freedom of religion and the prevention of torture, and also the law of the sea.
His major published works include: Maritime Delimitation and Relevant Circumstances (OUP, 1989), Religious Liberty and International Law in Europe (CUP, 1997), Preventing Torture (OUP, 1998), Protecting Prisoners (ed.) (OUP, 1999), Combating Torture in Europe (Council of Europe, 2002), Manual on the Wearing of Religious Symbols in Public Areas (Council of Europe/Brill, 2009). He is also editor of the work International Law (OUP, 3rd ed., 2010) and of Blackstones’ International Law Documents (OUP, 10th ed., 2011). He is an editor of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly and also of the journal Religion and Human Rights as well as of The Oxford Journal of Law and Religion and numerous other collections of essays.
Professor Evans is the holder of major prestigious research grants from leading funded-research bodies such as the European Commission and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. In 2004 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to the prevention of torture, and the promotion of religious liberty.