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2021 M.C. Bassiouni Justice Award winner

Dag Halvor Nylander painted by Roberto Caruso.


Dag Halvor Nylander

Ambassador Dag Halvor Nylander has been granted the 2021 M.C. Bassiouni Justice Award in recognition of (a) his central facilitator-role in the peace process between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC–EP) (2012-2016), contributing significantly to the Final Agreement of 24 November 2016 through (i) his effective and quiet diplomacy in support of a process driven by the parties, (ii) his emphasis on a clear structure of the peace talks and mandate of the mediators, and (iii) his low-profile leadership of a group of Norwegian facilitators in Bogotá, Havana and Oslo; (b) his recognition of the importance of protecting the rights and interests of victims in peace and reconciliation mediation, not only through accountability for violence, but also distributive justice to address root-causes of the conflict; (c) his confident and innovative use of experts during peace processes, including legal and transitional justice expertise, and by creating a knowledge-continuum between his support for Colombia-related research projects on distributive justice in transitions and law in peace negotiations in 2007-2010 and the later peace talks; (d) his contribution to the energising of the discipline of peace and reconciliation mediation, including the importance of knowledge-sharing and of an increased role for female mediators; and (e) his personal qualities of watchful attentiveness, calming presence, steadiness, even-handedness, and incremental problem-solving.

Ambassador Nylander is the Director of the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF) and a facilitator in the Venezuelan reconciliation process. Having joined the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1997, he has previously served in positions such as Director of its Section for Peace and Reconciliation (2018-2020); Norwegian Special Envoy to the Colombian peace process (2010-2016); Norway’s Chargé d’affaires in Bogotá (2006-2008); Deputy Judge, Fosen District Court, Trondheim (2005-2006); Adviser, Cabinet of the Norwegian Foreign Minister (2004-2005); First Embassy Secretary and Legal Adviser at the Norwegian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York (2001-2004); and Second Embassy Secretary at the Norwegian Embassy in Buenos Aires (1999-2001). He has been the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Border Controversy between Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (as Under-Secretary-General) (2017-2018). He holds a law degree from the University of Oslo and Université d’Aix Marseille, and has also practiced as a lawyer.

The Award is granted by the Centre for International Law Research and Policy (CILRAP). The 2021 Award Committee consisted of Professor LING Yan (China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing), Professor William A. Schabas (Middlesex University London), Assistant Professor CHEAH Wui Ling (National University of Singapore), Mr. Arne Willy Dahl (former Judge Advocate General, Norway), Committee Secretary Devasheesh Bais (CILRAP Fellow and Advocate before the High Court of Indore), and CILRAP Director Morten Bergsmo (Committee Chair). The decision was made by consensus. The Award has been associated with CILRAP’s department FICHL (the Forum for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law) since 2012, but is an Award of CILRAP.

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