Guyana’s Arif Bulkan elected Vice-Chair of UN Human Rights Committee  

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Guyana’s Dr Arif Bulkan has been elected as one of the Vice Chairpersons of the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Dr Bulkan is a senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, a former temporary judge of the Guyana Court of Appeal and a recipient of the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence.

The election of the committee was held on Monday when the 131st session was opened in a virtual session.

The Committee elected Photini Pazartzis (Greece) as its new Chairperson.

Ms. Pazartzis said it was a great honour for her to serve as Chair for the next two years.

The rest of the Bureau was then elected. Christopher Arif Bulkan (Guyana), Shuichi Furuya (Japan), and Vasilka Sancin (Slovenia) were elected as Vice-Chairpersons, and Duncan Muhumuza Laki (Uganda) was elected as Rapporteur of the Committee.

Dr Bulkan joined the Faculty of Law at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies in September 2008 and transferred to the St Augustine campus in January 2012, teaching Constitutional Law, Commonwealth Caribbean Human Rights Law, International Human Rights Law and Law and Legal Systems in the LLB programme. His other interests include Criminal Law and Environmental Law.

Previously, he practiced law in Guyana, first at the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions, where he left as Assistant DPP in 1996, and then in private practice from 1999 to 2004.

He obtained his PhD in law on the subject of the land rights of indigenous peoples in Guyana from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in 2008, and is one of the few experts on the emerging legal framework dealing with the rights of indigenous peoples in the Caribbean.

Dr Bulkan has published on democracy, the rule of law and constitutionalism in the Caribbean, the rights of indigenous persons, environmental law, and Caribbean human rights law. He has also provided expert advice as a consultant on human rights, environmental law, indigenous law and HIV/AIDS and the law to regional and international non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations, and has worked in law and policy reform in the areas of indigenous rights, natural resource extraction laws and health and human rights.

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