Professor Olivier De Schutter

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food

Olivier De Schutter (LL.M, Harvard University ; Ph.D., University of Louvain (UCL)), was the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food 2008-2014. He currently co-chairs IPES-FOOD, and serves as a member of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union (2013-2018).

Mr. De Schutter is Professor of Law at the University of Louvain (UCL) and at the College of Europe (Natolin), and a member of the Global Law School Faculty at New York University. He holds a LL.M. from Harvard University, a diploma cum laude from the International Institute of Human Rights (Strasbourg) and a Ph.D. in Law from the University of Louvain. He has been lecturer in law at the University of Leicester (UK) and has been teaching European Union law, international and european human rights law and legal theory at numerous universities, including Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs. He was a visiting professor at Columbia University on a regular in the years 2008-2013 and, in 2013-2014, he was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, where he helped launch the Berkeley Food Institute. Mr. De Schutter was appointed the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food by the Human Rights Council in March 2008 and assumed his functions on 1 May 2008. In that capacity he did official missions in Benin, China, Cameroon, Canada, South Africa, Madagascar, Guatemala, Brazil, Nicaragua and Mexico, and he has published a range of reports presented to the Human Rights Council and to the UN General Assembly (see An expert on social and economic rights and on economic globalization and human rights, served between 2004 and 2008 as a Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). He currently serves as a member of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union (2013-2018), and he has been elected a Member of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2015-2018). Mr. De Schutter has published widely on economic and social rights and on the relationship between human rights and development. His most recent books are International Human Rights Law (Cambridge University Press, 2010, 2nd ed. 2014), Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as Human Rights (editor) (Edward Elgar, 2013), Accounting for Hunger. The right to food in the era of globalization (Hart, 2011) and Foreign Direct Investment and Human Development. The Law and Economics of International Investment Agreements (Routledge, 2012). He is the founder and Editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Human Rights / Journal européen des droits de l’homme. Between 2002 and 2007, Mr. De Schutter was the coordinator of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights, a hihg-level group of experts from the then EU-25 Member States that provided advise to the European Commission and the European Parliament (LIBE Committee) on fundamental rights protection in the European Union. He was the Director of the International Center for the teaching of human rights in Universities, at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg (2001-2006). He is, inter alia, the co-founder and General Secretary of the Journal des tribunaux – Droit européen, member of the Scientific Committees of the Revue belge de droit international, the Nordic Journal of Human Rights and the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. Mr. De Schutter is the author of several expert reports for the Council of Europe, such as in the framework of the accession process of central and eastern European countries to the Council of Europe. He also prepared a number of reports for the European Commission, related to the implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and to the preparation of the Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for the European Union. He is the author and co-author of dozens of books and articles about issues ranging from European law to immigration law, from transnational corporations to international law. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Francqui Prize for his contribution to international and European human rights law and to the theory of governance.