Skip to main content



Stefaan Smis is professor at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. He is member of the departments of International and European Law and vice-president of the research Group Fundamental Rights and Constitutionalism. His research focuses on international law, international protection of human rights, settlement of international disputes, states in transition, the prosecution of grave violations of human rights, relationship between human rights and international humanitarian law, and regional integration in Africa.

At the University of Westminster (UK – London) he has a part-time position as a reader where he has taught International Criminal Law, Criminal Law of the European Union and Introduction to Rights. He also teaches the law of internal armed conflicts at the Belgian Royal Higher Institute for Defense and International Criminal Law at the Université Catholique de Bukavu (UCB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he created the Centre régional des droits de l’homme et de droit international humanitaire as a interuniversity development cooperation project between the VUB and the UCB. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Georgia (USA), the University of Ghent (Belgium), the University of Antwerp (Belgium), the Catholique University of Bukavu (DR Congo) and the University Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique).

Stefaan Smis is editor-in-chief of the international peer reviewed journal Human Rights & International Legal Discourse and member of the editorial board of the Revue de droit africain. He is secretary of the Belgian Branch of the International Law Association (ILA) and a former member of the ILA Committee on Indigenous Peoples, corresponding editor for Belgium of the International Legal Materials, member of the Law&Dev (law and development) inter-university network and board member of various human rights NGOs. He has published widely in scientific journals including the American Journal of International Law, the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, the Revue belge de droit international, the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, the Journal of African Law, the Review of African Political Economy, the Goettingen Journal of International Law.


Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels