Brief Bio

Eva Maria Belser holds Chair for Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Fribourg (since 2008) and a UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Democracy (since 2014). She has research and teaching experience in Swiss and comparative constitutional law, federalism, decentralisation and globalisation, national and international human rights, minority rights and democracy as well as development cooperation, constitution making and conflict resolution. She is also interested in law and literature and law and film.

She is Co-Director of the Institute of Federalism and heads its international centre. She regularly accepts mandates to serve as a Swiss expert in international cooperation and consultancy projects. Her recent consultancy activities were related to Ethiopia, Iraq, the Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Syria. For her achievement in the field of comparative federalism, she was awarded the federalism prize 2019. She currently serves as president of the International Association of Centres for Federal Studies (IACFS), as deputy dean of the Fribourg Law Faculty, and as advisor of International IDEA. She is currently codirecting an SNF research project on “Improving Swiss Pandemic Governance – How to Strengthen Democracy, Federalism and Human Rights Implementation in Times of Crisis” and part of the EU funded Horizon Project “Legitimate crisis governance in multilevel systems”.

EMB holds a bilingual (German French) Master of Law and a Doctor iuris (PhD) from the University of Fribourg (“Freedom of Contract and Justice of Contract, A Comparative Analysis “, Freiburg 2000). She conducted SNF-funded postdoctoral research at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Paris (2000-2002) and at the Faculty of Law of the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town (2002-2003) and obtained a venia legendi in public international law, economic law, and private law for her habilitation thesis (“The White Man’s Burden, Labour and Human Rights in a Globalised World”, Freiburg 2007). She has been a guest professor at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism in Montréal (2011), at the Center for Federal Studies (CFS) at Addis Ababa University (2013, 2016-2023), at the Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg (2014), a visiting researcher in Vienna (2015), a guest professor at South China Norma University in Ghuangzhou (2017), and at the National University of Singapore (2019).

Courses taught at CTLS

  • Comparative Constitutional Law (Spring 2024, Fall 2013)
  • Human Rights (Spring 2024, Fall 2013)