Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee of FOREF was launched in order to (1) to assist the work of FOREF, (2) to advise on issues of their specific expertise, and (3) to inform the FOREF board about developments and news related to FoRB-issues. The board currently (as of January 2017) consists of three members:

Patricia DUVAL is an Attorney and member of the Paris Bar in France. She has a master’s in public law from La Sorbonne University and specializes in international human rights law. She has defended the rights of minorities of religion or belief in domestic and international fora and before international institutions such as the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Union and the United Nations. She has also published various papers and articles which contain critical legal analysis of draft legislation and final laws on religion and religious minorities, and the role of the State in religious matters, including “Abduction and Deprivation of Freedom for the Purpose of Religious De-Conversion under International Law” (The case of Japan, Human Rights Without Frontiers, 2012) and “Anti-sect Movements and State Neutrality” (Journal for the Study of Beliefs and Worldviews, Dresden Technical University, 2012).

Willy FAUTRÉ is the director of the Brussels-based NGO Human Rights Without Frontiers Int’l. He was chargé de mission at the Cabinet of the Belgian Ministry of Education and at the Belgian Parliament. He started defending religious freedom in Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War, in the mid-1970s. He is a lecturer in the field of human rights and religious freedom. He develops advocacy in international institutions (UN, OSCE, EU). He is the editor of an Annual Report on FORB in the World and an Annual FORB Prisoners List comprising this year over 1500 individual cases. He has carried out fact-finding missions in more than 20 countries.

Susan J. PALMER lives in Montreal, Quebec and is an Affiliate Professor at Concordia University, where she teaches. She is a Research Associate at McGill University and a Co-Researcher with Centre expertise et de formation sur les intégrismes religieux et la radicalization (CEFIR) at the Cégep Édouard-Montpetit. Her research in the field of new religious movements has been funded by six federal grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). She has published eleven book-length sociological studies of new religious movements, most notably, The New Heretics of France (2011); Aliens Adored: Rael’s New Religion (2004); and Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities, co-authored with Stuart Wright (2015).