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Paul Hunt

Paul Hunt
Chief Commissioner, New Zealand Human Rights Commission


A national of Aotearoa and UK, Paul Hunt studied law at Cambridge University and Waikato University. He has lived, and undertaken human rights work, in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Aotearoa. In 1992, he was appointed senior lecturer at Waikato University and in 2000 he was appointed professor at Essex University. Paul served as an independent expert on the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1999-2002) and UN Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of health (2002-2008). Between 2011 and 2013, he advised WHO Assistant Director-General Dr. Flavia Bustreo on human rights. He was a member of the statutory public inquiry into emergency health care established by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (2014-15). In 2018, he was a member of the Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership established by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. Paul has written extensively on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. In 2008, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Nordic School of Public Health and he became the New Zealand Chief Human Rights Commissioner in 2019.

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