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Brunel experts at the United Nations

Brunel Law School’s Professor Alexandra Xanthaki and Professor Javaid Rehman serve as United Nations Special Rapporteurs, giving the university the rare distinction of having two of its members serving such high level mandates at the same time.

Special Rapporteurs are leading independent human rights experts elected by the UN to report on specific human rights issues. There are currently 55 working around the world, and it is thought that Brunel is now the only UK university to have two of its members active in the roles.

Initially for three years, Professor Xanthaki’s mandate is to promote and protect cultural rights and cultural diversity. From the right to participate in culture, to the right to cultural heritage, and rights to artistic and scientific freedom, the mandate is quite broad. 

In her new role, Prof Xanthaki will complete two thematic studies every year after consultations with all stakeholders. She is also expected to visit formally two countries a year to monitor and discuss their position on cultural rights and provide technical help to those countries where required. She will also be responsible for communicating with states where specific complaints have been made to the UN on the issue.

Professor Xanthaki was appointed in October 2021. 

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Professor Javaid Rehman, an expert in human rights, international law and Muslim constitutionalism was appointed as the third Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran since this mandate was re-established by the Human Rights Council.

As part of his mandate the Special Rapporteur submits reports to the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He also engages with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and investigates human rights violations and transmits urgent appeals to the Iranian authorities on allegations of human rights violations. 

Professor Rehman was appointed in July 2018. 

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