Prof. Horst Fischer joins Vesalius College as Distinguished Professor of International Law

Professor Fischer

Vesalius College is pleased to announce that Professor Horst Fischer joined Vesalius College in the Spring Semester as Distinguished Professor of International Law.

Prof. Fischer is an internationally renowned expert on International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights, Disaster Response Law and European Affairs. He had an extensive career as an academic, practitioner and advisor. Joachim Koops, Dean of Vesalius College, underlined the importance of the appointment of Professor Fischer for the further development of the International and European Law programme and the College’s ambitions in the area of global human rights and international law: ‘I am very pleased to welcome Prof. Fischer as our new faculty member – his knowledge, expertise and new ideas in the field of human rights and international law will be an excellent addition to the growing VeCo community and will strengthen our growing ambitions in the area of global justice and human rights. His wide-ranging and innovative career in academia and the policy world fits perfectly the College’s philosophy of Theory-Guided, Practice-Embedded and Experiential Learning.’

Before joining VeCo, Horst Fischer has been Professor of International Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands, Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, New York as well as Visiting Professor at KU Leuven.  He is also a Senior Professor at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany.

Between 1997 and 2016 Prof. Fischer represented the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) vis a vis the European Institutions in Brussels as Director of the GIZ Representation. He has been working closely with and for the European Commission and the European Parliament in different functions since 1991.

He was Visiting Professor at the University of Strasbourg, France (2004 – 2012). For 14 years Prof. Fischer was President of the European Interuniversity Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation in Venice, Italy (2002 – 2016). Other positions in Brussels and with task related to the EU include the NOHA Presidency (1998 – 2007), the Presidency of the Venice based EIUC Human Rights Institute (2002 – 2016) and the position of Academic Director of the IFHV law Institute at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (1991 – 2007). Prof. Fischer was the President of the Global Campus Programme representing a hundred universities from all continents vis a vis the European Institutions (2012 – 2015).

Prof. Fischer has been regularly teaching in ten EU member states, Switzerland, the United States, Brazil, Peru and Chile invited by ministries, international organisations, civil society organisations or academic institutions.

He had been a member of the Board of the German Red Cross in 2009 – 2011 and has served also as adviser for international affairs for both the German Red Cross and the Netherlands Red Cross from 1994 to 2007. He was chairman of the Berghof Foundation Board in Berlin (1999 – 2012).

In 2010 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1. Class, by the President of the Republic of Germany for his activities in international cooperation. In 1999 he received a special price for outstanding performance in international co-operation by the German Rectors Conference and the Ministry for Education and Research. He was also awarded the Medal of Merit of the German Red Cross.

Horst Fischer has worked as adviser for German and Dutch Ministries including the Germany Ministry of Justice and the Foreign Ministry. He served also as advisor for international and non-governmental organizations including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Amnesty International and other bodies.

Horst Fischer is Associate Editor of ‘Europe’s World’ the prominent policy Journal in Europe (Brussels), Editor of the EIUC Series with Cambridge University Press (Cambridge/UK) and the Series ‘Studien our Friedensforschung’ (Studies on Conflict Research/Münster, LIT-Verlag). He had established and been the General Editor both of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law (Cambridge), the Bochumer Schriften (Berlin), the International Humanitarian Law Journal (Bochum) as well as several other international law publications.

His work has focused on International Law and International Criminal Law, European Law, Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Law, Disaster Response Law, Sustainable Development, the External Action of the European Union and questions related to the functioning of international institutions including responses to natural and man made disasters, diplomatic relations, technology and law and the maintenance of international peace and security.