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This booklet contains the text of the Theo van Boven Lecture by Carlos Villan Duran, Professor of International Human Rights Law (University of Alcala, Madrid) and President of the Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law. Professor Carlos Villan Duran is also a former staff member of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Theo van Boven lectures are organised annually by the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights as a tribute to Theo van Boven, emeritus Professor of International Law at Maastricht University, and formerly Director of the UN Division of Human Rights, member of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and UN Special Rapporteur against Torture. Each year the Centre invites a prominent scholar to share with the audience her/his views on a topical issue in the field of human rights. The themes covered by the speakers reflect the wide range of interests of Theo van Boven.