Paul Hunt (academic)

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For other uses, see Paul Hunt.

Paul Hunt, a national of both New Zealand and the UK, is a professor and a member of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, England, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, specialising in international and domestic human rights law.

Professor Hunt has held several positions at the United Nations as a human rights expert.

1980s Legal Officer of the National Council for Civil Liberties (Liberty), London
1990-1992 Associate Director of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies in Banjul, Gambia
1992-2000 Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato, New Zealand
1999-2002 independent expert on the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
2001-2002 co-author of Guidelines on Human Rights Approaches to Poverty Reduction
2002-2008 UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health


Guantanamo Bay Report[edit]

On February 15, 2006, Hunt was one of the authors of a UN report on human rights abuses of suspects in extrajudicial detention at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The report condemned the American treatment of detainees. It said that the detainees should all either be charged in a court of law, or released. It said that Guantanamo should be shut down, and that U.S. authorities should start adhering strictly to the accepted worldwide standards of treatment of prisoners.

U.S. spokesmen responded to this report by criticizing them for declining a recent invitation to visit the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Hunt replied to this criticism by pointing out that he and his four fellow authors had struggled for several years to get permission for a fact-finding visit. The invitation from U.S. authorities was limited, only open to three of the five committee members, and the visitors would have to agree to refrain from any efforts to speak with any of the detainees. Hunt and his colleagues felt that it was essential to talk to the detainees, if they were to travel to Guantanamo.

Right to Health[edit]

As well as being an academic and expert called upon by UN agencies, Paul Hunt is an active campaigner for a human rights approach to healthcare.

In 2008 Professor Hunt was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Nordic School of Public Health.[1]

In his TEDx talk in 2014 Paul Hunt called for equality in health systems.[2]

Main Publications[edit]

Reclaiming Social Rights: International and Comparative Perspectives (Dartmouth, 1996)

Culture, Rights and Cultural Rights: Perspectives from the South Pacific (Huia, 2000, edited with Margaret Wilson)

World Bank, IMF and Human Rights: Including The Tilburg Guiding Principles on World Bank, IMF and human rights (Nijmegen, 2003, edited with Willem van Genugten and Susan Mathews)


  1. ^ a b "Professor Paul Hunt". The School of Law. University of Essex. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  2. ^ "TEDx 'Equality - the Road Less Travelled'".