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The Human Rights Centre (German: MenschenRechtsZentrum; MRZ) was founded in 1994 (founding director: Prof. Dr. Eckart Klein). It was the first independent academic human rights institute in the Federal Republic of Germany. The Human Rights Centre is one of the key research institutes of the University of Potsdam. It promotes interdisciplinary research and teaching and offers policy advice in the field of human rights. The Centre itself does not offer any courses of study; however, its academic members lecture at the Faculties of Arts and Law of the University of Potsdam. The Human Rights Centre is located at Campus Griebnitzsee.
Since 2010 and 2011 respectively, the directors of the Human Rights Centre have been Prof. Dr. Andreas Zimmermann, LL.M. (Harvard), who is the chair for Public Law, particularly European and Public International Law as well as European and International Economic Law, and Prof. Dr. Logi Gunnarsson, who is the chair for Ethics/Aesthetics at the Department of Philosophy.
The Centre co-operates with various institutions dealing with human rights issues, such as Council of Europe, Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Foreign Office, as well as the German Institute for Human Rights, where Prof. Zimmermann is a member of the board of trustees.
The Human Rights Centre holds conferences and publishes regularly in the field of human rights. Its interdisciplinary library, which is specialized in human rights, is part of the University’s library and is open for on-site research.