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Nils Melzer is a Swiss academic, author and practitioner in the field of international law. Since 1 November 2016, Melzer has been serving as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. He is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow, and also holds the Human Rights Chair at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Switzerland, where he has been teaching since 2009, including as the Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law (2011–2013). Melzer has previously served for 12 years with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as Delegate, Deputy Head of Delegation and Legal Adviser in various zones of conflict and violence. After leaving the ICRC, Melzer held academic positions as Research Director of the Swiss Competence Centre on Human Rights (University of Zürich), as Senior Fellow and Senior Advisor on Emerging Security Challenges (Geneva Centre for Security Policy) and at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He has also served as Senior Adviser for Security Policy at the Political Directorate of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Melzer has written several books, including: Targeted Killing in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2008), the ICRC's Interpretive Guidance on the Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities (ICRC, 2009) and the ICRC's Handbook International Humanitarian Law - a Comprehensive Introduction (ICRC, 2016). He is also a co-author of the NATO CCDCOE Tallinn Manual on the International Law applicable to Cyber Warfare (Cambridge, 2013), and of the NATO MCDC Policy Guidance: Autonomy in Defence Systems, (NATO ACT, 2014).
Education and career
Melzer visited Julian Assange in prison on 9 May 2019 to assess his situation. He described the treatment Assange had received from the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and Ecuador as psychological torture and the US indictments as the "criminalisation of investigative journalism".
Honours and awards
- Targeted Killing in International Law was a joint-winner of the 2009 Paul Guggenheim Prize in International Law given by the Geneva Graduate Institute.
- “Targeted Killing in International Law” (Oxford University Press, 2008).
- “Interpretive Guidance on the Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities under International Humanitarian Law” (Geneva: ICRC, 2009).
- "Cyberwarfare and International Law" (Geneva: UNIDIR, 2011)
- With Hans-Peter Gasser: "Humanitäres Völkerrecht – Eine Einführung", 2nd ed. (Zürich: Schulthess, 2012).
- With Michael N. Schmitt (ed.) et al., “Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare” (Cambridge: University Press, 2013).
- “International Humanitarian Law - a Comprehensive Introduction” (Geneva: ICRC, 2016).
- "Dr Nils Melzer". Speakers' Biographies. ACO - Allied Command Operations, NATO / OTAN. 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- "Introduction, Dr. Nils Melzer, Legal Adviser for the International Committee of the Red Cross, 'Targeted Killing in International Law'". The Graduate Institute. 16 October 2008. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- "UN expert says "collective persecution" of Julian Assange must end now". OHCHR. 31 May 2019. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
- Oxford University Press, USA (2010), "Winner of the 2009 Paul Guggenheim Prize (Geneva Graduate Institute)", OUP USA Home, www.oup.com, archived from the original on 29 June 2011, retrieved 10 April 2016
- Melzer, Nils (2008). "Targeted Killing in International Law". Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199533169. Retrieved 14 July 2018.