Roland Adjovi, Resident Scholar at Arcadia University, Elected to United Nations Working Group

By Purnell T. Cropper | May 13, 2014

Roland Adjovi, resident scholar at The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University, has been elected to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The three-year mandate (2014-16) begins immediately.

A jurist with extensive teaching experience, Adjovi served as academic director at the Arcadia Center in Tanzania from 2009 to 2013 through The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University. At Arcadia, he teaches a course on international human rights law and is a member of the University’s Pan African Studies Collective, which sponsors lectures and presentations at Arcadia throughout the year on Africa and its Diaspora.

“With an impressive background in education and international law, Roland Adjovi brings with him qualities and strengths that will make him an invaluable member of the Working Group,” said Dr. Nicolette DeVille Christensen, president of Arcadia University. “I am sure that this experience will deepen and enrich his scholarship, teaching, and service to the international community. We applaud him on this appointment.”

The United Nations Working Group was established in 1991 as a subsidiary of the Human Rights Council with a focus on arbitrary detention. The Working Group investigates complaints and conducts field missions in regard to arbitrary detention worldwide and works with individuals, governments, and civil organizations to address the violations. The Working Group recently has addressed complaints from Guantanamo Bay, Egypt, Algeria, Israel, Iran, China, Thailand, Iraq, and Uzbekistan.

Adjovi is an expert in human rights and international law, publishing and lecturing on both topics. In 2010, he was the keynote speaker at a briefing session at the U.N. Office in Nairobi, presenting on U.N. administrative law, and last year he published a paper in the African Yearbook of International Law that criticized the seemingly unjust acquittal and lenient sentence in the Gumisiriza et al. case (2008, 2009), in which General Wilson Gumisiriza and military subordinates associated with Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s rebellion army were accused of crimes committed in 1994.

Mr. Adjovi’s appointment will be most welcome to all those whose lives and welfare are affected by arbitrary detention,” said Lorna Stern, vice president and executive director of The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University. “Mr. Adjovi combines a rigorous intellectual and legal acuity with a deep understanding of the global context of detention. His sterling reputation for integrity and knowledge of the rights of the state and the individual will serve him well in this important post.

Adjovi has served as senior legal officer with the Registry of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, as legal assistant for the Organization for African Unity, and as lead counsel in a successful case against Tanzania before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in the matter of Rev. Christopher R. Mtikila v. the United Republic of Tanzania.

Adjovi earned a bachelor’s degree in law and public administration, a master’s degree in political science, and a Master of Laws in Human Rights at the University of Paris. He is the fourth African to sit on the working group since its establishment.