Eva Brems


Human Rights Lawyer

Eva Brems’ field is human rights law. According to Eva, ‘in a small country such as Belgium, the same people have to do everything’. As a result, she has intervened in human rights wearing several hats, sometimes all at once: a professor, a human rights activist and a politician.

Eva does not consider the law to be the most important driver of change toward human rights protection. Yet it happens to be her field of expertise, and she is determined to get the most out of it. She does this amongst others by engaging with the European Court of Human Rights with her team of ‘Strasbourg watchers’ that critically comment on judgments, as well as intervene directly in cases.

A lot of Eva’s work addresses human rights in relation to gender and cultural diversity. She likes to theorize the universality of human rights. But her preference is for human rights based solutions to concrete multicultural tensions. She is tired of the headscarf debate, in which she has been involved since the 90s, but she cannot avoid it, as it remains relevant. During her short stint in politics, she was the only member of the Belgian Parliament to vote against the face veil ban. Currently she is contemplating the purchase of a ‘burkini’ for in-depth research into the latest debate that has again turned women’s dress choice into a multicultural mine field.