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Dr. Despoina Glarou , LL.M, MBA


Department of Law

Freie Universität Berlin

Managing Director & Senior Lecturer

Boltzmannstraße 3
Room 2209
14195 Berlin
  • Guest lecturer at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Summer Semester 2017) on International Human Rights Law, The UN Human Rights System, Public International Law
  • Senior Lecturer at the ‘Human Rights under Pressure’ Graduiertenkolleg, Freie Universität Berlin (2014-today) on Human Rights Law, Public International Law, The UN System, International Criminal Justice
  • Lecturer at the International Diplomats Programme – German Ministry of Foreign Affairs  (2009-2014) (delegations from: Libya, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Tunisia) on Public International Law, Responsibility to Protect, International Affairs, Humanitarian Response, Negotiation Techniques, Rhetoric and Distribution of Public Information
  • Lecturer at the Chair of Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Public International Law Including Environmental Protection Law at the FU Berlin (2009-2014) on the UN Human Rights System, Public International Law, International Relations and Diplomacy, International Organizations
  • Guest lecturer at the Universität Wien, Austria, School of Law at the Section for International Law and International Relations (Summer Semester 2013) on Human Rights Law, Humanitarian/Refugee Law, MUN workshop
  • Guest lecturer  at the University of Pune, India, Department of Law (Summer Semester 2009) on „Human Rights Treaties and the Supreme Court’s Judicial Activism in India“ and „Cultural relativism in India“, Women's Rights
  • Lecturer at the FU Berlin Faculty of Law (LL.M, DAAD) (Summer Semester 2009) on „Academic Writing and Research“ 

Despoina's doctoral dissertation on the Impact of Naturalistic and Legal Positivist Doctrines on the Implementation of International Human Rights Treaty Law - The Case of Reservations to Human Rights Treaties focuses on the progressive development of public international law in the light of the effective realization of a modern human rights regime.

The concept of human rights has developed during the last 60 years mainly through multilateral treaties as a positivist branch of public international law. However, key positivist doctrines such as pacta sunt servanda or state sovereignty pose significant obstacles to the effective realization of a modern human rights regime. The universal, inherent and inalienable nature of fundamental human rights, deriving from their natural law origins, are often set aside by such doctrines and annulled. Through close examination of reservations to human rights treaties, this study sheds new light on the deep interplay of naturalistic and legal positivist doctrines on the progress and implementation of human rights law (CEDAW, HR Committee, ILC). It is argued that the positions of apex human rights bodies regarding reservations reveal that establishing a human rights concept within a legal positivist environment, without a systematic methodological foundation, endangers its basic sustainability.

Despoina's research focuses i.a. in the following topics: 

- International and regional human rights protection (UN, European, EU, ASEAN, and MENA Systems)

- Critical legal theory of Public International Law (Ethics, cultural relativism, naturalistic and legal positivist doctrines)

- Women's rights - Gender - Diversity Management

- Counter-Terrorism and National Security

- International Affairs and Diplomacy

- Refugee/Asylum Law

- Humanitarian Law - Crisis and Emergences

- Strategic Communication and Public Relations (inc. counter-narratives and digital marketing)

- Corporate Social Responsibility

- International Criminal Justice

Selected Publications:

▪    Despoina Glarou, Die Frauenrechtskonvention in Indien: Stand und Perspektiven, Verfassung und Recht in Übersee / Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America Vol. 44, No. 2 (2011), pp. 196-219

▪    Despoina Glarou, The Impact of Naturalistic and Legal Positivist Doctrines on the Implementation of International Human Rights Treaty Law - The Case of Reservations to Human Rights Treaties), 387 p., Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden, Germany 2017

▪    M. Lemke (Hrsg.), Despoina Glarou u.a., Der ökonomische Ausnahmezustand in Griechenland. Juristische Defizite, verpasste Chancen und politische Improvisation in Ausnahmezustand: Theoriegeschichte – Anwendungen – Perspektiven, Springer, Wiesbaden 2017

▪     Glarou, Despoina and Avner de Shalit (forthcoming), 'Philoxenia 'φιλοξενία': Thessaloniki's Model of Social Integration', in Bell, Daniel and Avner de Shalit (eds.) The Spirit of Cities II, Beijing, Chongqing Publishing House.

Freie Universität Berlin
The Minerva Center for Human Rights
Menschenrechtszentrum Uni Potsdam
DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Einstein Foundation Berlin
Dahlem Research School