Walter KälinWalter Kälin

Walter Kälin was awarded his doctorate from the University of Bern in 1982 and received his LL.M from Harvard Law School in 1984. Since 1985 he has been professor and since 1987 full professor of constitutional and international law at the Faculty of Law, University of Bern. Between 1995 and 1996 he was Dean of the Faculty and Head of the Legal Department. Kälin’s main areas of research include refugee law, human rights law, legal aspects of internal displacement, Swiss constitutional law and legal aspects of decentralization. Kälin has published widely with his most recent books being Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement: Annotations, American Society of International Law, Washington D.C., 2nd edition, 2008; (together with Jörg Künzli) and the The Law of International Human Rights Protection, Oxford University Press, 2009.

In addition to his academic positions Kälin has held numerous United Nations mandates: Representative of the Secretary General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (since 2004); Member of the UN Human Rights Committee (2003 – 2008); Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the Situation of Human Rights in Kuwait under Iraqi Occupation (1991/92).

On several occasions, Kälin has served as an expert for the Swiss Parliament and the Swiss Federal Administration (inter alia chairman of expert group drafting the chapter on the judiciary as part of the total revision of Swiss Constitution 1999; consultancies with Swiss Development Cooperation on governance projects and Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs on human rights issues), for cantonal and communal governments (on questions of federalism and local self-government), for non-governmental organizations (on questions of refugee law, human rights and development) and for the United Nations (UNHCR, OHCHR, UNDP).


  • Walter Kälin last accessed 24 April 2014.
  • Kurzbiografie Prof. W. Kälin, last accessed 24 April 2014.


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