Dr. Réka Varga, Associate Professor of Public International Law at Péter Pázmány Catholic University (Budapest) is a highly acclaimed expert of international law. She is a former Legal Adviser of the ICRC, former Legal Adviser and Head of International Law Department of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Chief Legal Adviser on the international law at the Ministry of Justice of Hungary. Dr. Varga is a member of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.
Dr. Réka Varga is an experienced and highly regarded academic and practitioner of international law. She has been invited as a guest speaker to nearly 100 conferences and training events in Europe and overseas, including the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law, Saint Louis University in Missouri, OSCE, REDRESS/FIDH, ICRC, National Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, UN OCHA, UK Defense Academy, Hungarian and foreign ministries and armed forces. She has regularly published in various fields of international law and contributed to the launching of the Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law as its first co-editor. Being an experienced trainer for various audiences including government experts and armed forces, she has always sought to interpret international law having regard to its practical ramifications when applied. This desire led her to be Co-Director of the Vienna Course on international law for military legal advisers, a leading theoretical and practical training event that is well sought by legal advisers in Europe.
Due to her career in the practice of international law, she is an experienced negotiator in many fields, including negotiating with states and international organizations on issues of international humanitarian law (IHL), international criminal law, headquarters agreements, treaty law, immunities, defense agreements, human rights law and the revision of the Danube Commission’s Belgrade Convention. Her knowledge of IHL and international criminal law is widely respected. She is a talented, energetic person of high integrity, seeking to bring compromise to debates, with a personality of vitalizing force. Fluent in English and German with basic speaking and reading skills in French, she is a seasoned participant in international fora.
Dr. Varga has extensive knowledge of the theory and practice of international law as well as that of state practice in this field. She is aware of the current trends, issues, and challenges and the practical ramifications of codification and development of international law.
Hungary has not had a member in the ILC since 1976. It is important that the ILC represents all legal cultures, and diversity is ensured within the ILC through the participation of members from all regions of the world.
Currently, 30 out of 34 ILC members are men. It is important to seek a balanced representation of men and women within the ILC. Dr. Réka Varga is one of the few female candidates to the ILC.
- Nearly two decades of teaching international law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law
- Numerous books and publications in international and national journals in English and Hungarian
- Member of the Editorial Board, Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law (Eleven Publishing, The Hague)
- Almost 100 professional presentations given at national and international conferences as well as training events
- Public administration (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Ministry of Justice, Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary)
- Humanitarian organizations (Hungarian Red Cross, International Committee of the Red Cross)
- Solid practitioner’s perspective through participation in the UN Sixth (Legal) Committee, the expert committee of the Council of Europe (Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law, CAHDI), European Union working parties (working party on international law, COJUR, COJUR ICC), International Red Cross/Red Crescent Conferences, meetings of the initiative on Strengthening Compliance with International Humanitarian Law (organized by ICRC and the Swiss government)
- Work experience with international bodies through membership in the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law Sanremo, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration
- Deep understanding of the practical aspects of international humanitarian law: over 20 years of experience through providing pieces of training to armed forces in Europe and beyond, field mission in the Middle East
- Experience in drafting bilateral and multilateral treaties and negotiating with governments and armed forces on implementation and application of international humanitarian law
- Former Chair of the Hungarian National Inter-Ministerial Commission on the implementation of International Humanitarian Law
- Former President of the Preparatory Committee on the modernization of the Belgrade Convention on the Regime of Navigation on the Danube
SELECTED FORMER POSITIONS
- Secretary-General, Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary
- Legal Adviser, Head of International Law Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary
- Senior Legal Advisor, Hungarian Red Cross
- Legal Adviser, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Regional Delegation for Central Europe
2013 Ph.D. (summa cum laude), Pázmány Catholic University, Budapest. Title of doctoral thesis: Challenges of domestic prosecution of war crimes with special attention to criminal justice guarantees
2007 Hungarian State Bar exam
1995 - 2001 Legal studies, M.A., Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences, Faculty of Law
„My goal has always been to connect the theory of international law to practice. In the end, we must never forget that international law is not an abstract body, but a field of law with profound practical relevance, applied by states and other subjects and eventually affecting our lives. Answering the need to combine well-based theoretical assessments with a practical understanding of international law, the International Law Commission is in a unique position to address issues that are of primary concern for the international community.” Dr. Réka Varga