Dr Julian Burger awarded prize for best policy-relevant article

Thursday 18 December 2014

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies is delighted to announce that Dr Julian Burger has been awarded the third annual Peter Lyon Memorial Prize. Dr Burger has been awarded the prize for his article, ‘Indigenous Peoples in Commonwealth Countries: the Legacy of the Past and Present-Day Struggles for Self-Determination’, published in The Round Table, volume 102, issue 4 (August 2013).

The Peter Lyon Memorial Prize is an annual prize awarded by Routledge, the publishers of The Round Table, for the best policy-oriented article on a theme of significance for the contemporary Commonwealth published in the journal each calendar year. The prize, which carries a value of £1000, is awarded each year to the author of the best policy-relevant article published in the previous year.

The prize has been instituted in memory of Peter Lyon (1934-2010), who was Reader in International Relations at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, and Editor of The Round Table from 1983 to 2004. Widely acknowledged as one of the leading experts on the Commonwealth, he was keen to bridge the divide between academia and policy-making, and over the period of his editorship he wrote almost 100 editorials and other articles for the journal, commenting on more or less every issue of relevance to the contemporary Commonwealth.

Dr Burger teaches on the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights, being the convener of the module 'The Politics of Human Rights in Latin America'. He is also an Associate Fellow at the Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study, and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Essex's Human Rights Centre. Prior to this, he worked at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for 20 years, during which time he headed the programme on indigenous peoples and minorities. 

During this period, he organized the discussions on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and helped launch the principle human rights mechanisms on indigenous peoples - the Special Rapporteur, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He also helped establish inter-agency networks of UN organizations to improve integration of indigenous and minority rights into development programmes. He has visited indigenous and minority communities in many parts of the world and has published books and articles on indigenous peoples and human rights since the 1980s. His most recent publication was a policy analysis on “Indigenous peoples, extractive industries and human rights” presented to and published by the European Parliament in September 2014.