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Prof. Janusz Symonides

Prof. Janusz Symonides
Professor Ordinarius
Section of Law and International Institutions


Graduated from the Diplomatic and Consular Department at the Main School of Foreign Service in Warsaw (1959). Ph.D. in Law earned from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (1963). D.Litt. in International Law awarded by Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Professor Extraordinarius of Law (1973). Professor Ordinarius of Law (1980).Doctor Honoris Causa at the International Systems Institute, University of Windsor, Canada. Full Member of the Academy of Pedagogical and Social Sciences in Moscow (1994). Honorary Member of the Centre for International Studies in Bogota (1980).


Studies completed abroad: 1964-1965 University College, London; 1963 and 1965 Hague Academy of International Law; 1965 Diploma awarded by the Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations at the Hague Academy of International Law. Visiting Professor at Columbia University in 1974 and 1989, University of Pittsburgh in 1983 and at Albrecht University of Cologne in 1985.


Functions and Posts held: Head at the Chair of International Law, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń (1968-1977); Director of the Institute of Legal Studies and Constitutional Systems, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń (1971-1973), Vice-Rector (1969-1973), Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń; Deputy Director (1973-1980) and Director (1980-1987) of the Polish Institute of International Affairs, Warsaw; Distinguished Scholar, Institute for East-West Security Studies (1987-1989), Director of the Division of Human Rights, Democracy and Peace at UNESCO, Paris (1989–2000); Professor at the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw (1984-1987, and again since 1999).

Areas of Expertise and Research Interests

Human rights, the law of the sea, theory of international law, universal international organizations and European organizations, issues of security and disarmament, global problems, new tendencies in international law, education for peace



International Protection of Human Rights, International Law of the Sea, Diplomatic Law, International Organizations, New Trends in International Law.

Lectures delivered at various foreign institutions: the Hague Academy of International Law, 1988; the Salzburg Seminar, 1989; the University Centre in Dubrovnik, 1985, 1987 and 1990; the International Institute for Human Rights in Strasbourg, 1993; the Institute of International Relations and International Law in Thessaloniki, 1998; the Summer University on Human Rights in Geneva, 1998, 1999 and 2000. A participant in over 350 conferences, seminars and symposia.

Seminar Themes

International organizations, the United Nations system, European institutions. International protection of human rights. The United Nations system and regional systems. Issues concerning peace, security, disarmament and peaceful settlement of conflicts. Legal aspects of international relations and global problems

Major Publications


Publications in 2008

  • Debates and Controversies Concerning International Legal Aspects of the Struggle against Terrorism, Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Scholar, Warsaw 2008, Series: Żurawia Papers, Vol. 11, p. 68.
  • Prawo międzynarodowe jako normatywna podstawa stosunków międzynarodowych (International Law as the Normative Basis for International Relations), in: Współczesne stosunki międzynarodowe (Contemporary International Relations) [collective work], Wydawnictwo Akademii Finansów, Warsaw 2008, pp. 31 – 50.
  • Prawo międzynarodowe: kierunki zmian (International Law: Directions of Change), in: Dokąd zmierza świat? (Where is the world going?), [scientific editor A. D. Rotfeld], The Polish Institute of International Affairs, Warsaw 2008, pp. 43 – 66.
  • Międzynarodowe prawo migracji – stan i perspektywy (International Migration Law – Status and Prospects), in: Migracje międzynarodowe modernizacja systemu politycznego i społecznego (International Migration Modernization of the Political and Social System), [scientific editor G. Firlit-Fesnak], Oficyna Wydawnicza ASPRA-JR, Warsaw 2008, pp. 237- 259.
  • Status prawny i roszczenia do Arktyki oraz Bieguna Północnego (Legal Status and Claims to the Arctic and the North Pole), Państwo i Prawo, year LXIII, January 2008, Issue 1 (743), pp. 31 – 45.
  • Powszechna Deklaracja Praw Człowieka (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights), Państwo i Prawo, year LXIII, December 2008, Issue 12 (754), pp. 3 – 16.


More than 550 scientific publications, materials, documents, monographs and collections of documents in multiple languages, including:


  • Kontrola międzynarodowa (International Control), Toruń 1964;
  • Zasada efektywności w prawie międzynarodowym (The Efficiency Principle in International Law), Toruń 1967;
  • Terytorium państwa w świetle zasady efektywności (State Territory in the Light of the Efficiency Principle), Toruń 1971;
  • Nowe prawo morza (The New Law of the Sea), Warsaw 1986;
  • Geographically Disadvantaged States under the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea, Dordrech-Boston-London, 1988;
  • The Struggle against Discrimination, Paris 1996;
  • Human Rights: New Dimensions and Challenges, Aldershot-Brookfield-Singapore-Sydney,1998;
  • Human Rights: Concept and Standards, Aldershot-Burlington-Singapore-Sydney, 2000;
  • Human Rights: International Protection, Monitoring, Enforcement, Aldershot-Burlington-Singapore-Sydney, 2003;
  • Human Rights of Women; A Collection of International and Regional Normative Instruments (wspólnie z V. Volodinem), Paris 1999;
  • Prawo międzynarodowe publiczne (International Public Law) [with z R. Bierzanek) Warsaw 1985-2005 (8 editions);
  • Access to Human Rights Documentation (wspólnie z V. Volodinem) Paris 1994;
  • UNESCO and Human Rights (wspólnie z V. Volodinem), Paris 1999 (2 wydania);
  • A Guide to Human Rights: Institutions, Standards, Procedures (wspólnie z V. Volodinem), Paris 2001.;
  • Organizacja Narodów Zjednoczonych: Bilans I perspektywy (The United Nations Organization. Balance and Perspectives), Warsaw 2006;
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