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Compiling a liber amicorum is always a difficult exercise. Not only because it is not easy to choose the authors from amongst the many friends of the one being celebrated, but also because it is often difficult to align the theme and style of the contributions offered. While one friend enjoys collecting amusing, but not always very relevant, memories for the reader, the other exhausts himself/herself in an extensive legal-technical argument. While one contributes to a classical and sometimes segmented theme, the other writes a contribution on a niche topic from an already niche area.
This tribute avoids the classic pitfalls and contains contributions that are focused on human rights, in all their diversity, but with a strong emphasis on the European Convention on Human Rights. The aim of the book was to meet the highest academic standards, as Paul Lemmens has always embodied them. The well-renowned group of international authors already guarantees that quality.
But this work is also, primarily, a Festschrift, with each contribution having a clear link to Paul Lemmens. Many authors make this link explicit, while others do this more implicitly, by dealing with a theme that they know Paul takes to heart. It is obvious that the contributors express great appreciation of Paul Lemmens.
The image of Paul as known and appreciated by his friends and colleagues emerges from the collected contributions: that of an excellent and knowledgeable lawyer, but especially that of a warm and committed person. Few people may know that Judge and Professor Lemmens is a big fan of the American rock star Bruce Springsteen. The (sub) title of this book is gratefully derived from one of his albums, Human Touch. Indeed, there is no better way to describe Paul’s relationship with human rights than Human Rights with a Human Touch.