Istanbul Convention as a Hostage of Populism

Anglo-American University in cooperation with the Institute of International Relations Prague brought you the expert discussion named “Istanbul Convention and International Treaties as a Hostage of Populism.” The event was followed by the AAU Mentorship Hub: Networking and Fellowship Reception.

27. 3. 2019 (16:00)

Anglo-American University, conference room 2.07

The Istanbul Convention is a significant international treaty preventing violence against women and domestic violence that has already been ratified by 34 European countries. The Czech Republic is one of the few remaining countries in Europe delaying its ratification. Other countries refusing to sign or ratify the treaty include Russia, Hungary, Slovakia or Bulgaria. The aim of the discussion was therefore to analyze the problems associated with the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in the context of rising populism in Central Europe, which is also demonstrated by rising adverse attitude of local political representatives towards international human rights law. Only thirty years after the Velvet Revolution, the Czech Republic is distancing itself from its Western partners and taking a risky path towards a new isolationism.

The event was organized as part of AAU’s women's leadership and mentorship efforts by the Career Center’s Mentorship Hub, AAU’s School of Law and School of International Relations and Diplomacy, the Center for International Law of the IIR and finally


The panel featured the following distinguished guests:

Doc. JUDr. PhDr. Veronika Bílková, Ph.D., E.MA
Ms. Bilkova is the head of the Centre for International Law at the Institute of International Relations, Prague, and an associate professor in International Law at the Faculty of Law of the Charles University in Prague, the Czech Republic. She is also the vice-president of the European Commission for Democracy Through Law (Venice Commission) of the Council of Europe and the secretary-general of the European Society of International Law. She focuses on human rights, international humanitarian law, the use of force, fight against terrorism, and the theory of international law.

JUDr. Barbara Havelková, D.Phil., LL.M.
Ms. Havelková holds degrees from the Charles University in Prague, Europa-Institut of Saarland University and the University of Oxford. She is currently the Shaw Foundation Fellow at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. Her research and teaching interests include gender legal studies and feminist jurisprudence, equality and anti-discrimination law, constitutional law, EU law and law in post-socialist transitions. Between 2014 and 2017 she advised the Czech Prime Minister on issues of gender and the law. Her book, Gender Equality in Law: Uncovering the Legacies of Czech State Socialism, was published by Hart/Bloomsbury 2017.

Mgr. Jan Potměšil
Mr. Potměšil is a high ministerial counselor of the Ministry of Interior in the department of security policy and a lecturer and examiner of the Centre for Public Administration in Prague; he also cooperates with several other institutions and NGOs. He studied law at the University of West Bohemia and he specializes in administrative offenses law and procedure and domestic violence agenda since the beginning of his career. He is a vice-chair of the Governmental Committee on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Violence against Women and he co-authored several publications including: Practical Commentary on the Assembly Law and Administrative Punishment in Terms of Practice and Case Law.

Mgr. Zuzana Fellegi, M.A, LL.M.
Ms. Fellegi is an attorney and a lecturer at AAU School of Law and International Relations and Diplomacy. She studied in the Muhlenberg College, USA, the Humboldt University, Berlin, and the Sciences-Po and l´ENA, Paris. She previously worked for the European Commission and the Slovak Government in the field of Justice and Human Rights and cooperated with numerous organizations including the UN, OECD, and OSCE. She specializes in human rights, gender issues, and European law and politics; and she is a member of the Czech Gender Expert Chamber, the International Sociological Association and the European Consortium for Political Research.

JUDr. Daniel Bartoň, LL.M. (Cantab), Ph.D.
Mr. Bartoň is an attorney, and a researcher and instructor at the Evangelical Theological Faculty of Charles University, Prague. He studied law in Prague, Athens, and Cambridge, and also theology in Prague and Paris. His particular field of interest is religious freedom, which he likes to analyse from both legal and theological viewpoints. He has broad experience with managing the work of international NGOs specialised in human rights, inter-religious & ecumenical dialogue, and formation of young leaders. He served as an advisor to Czech ministers and other politicians.




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