Elisbat Fura, the new chairperson

Elisabet Fura New Chair of Raoul Wallenberg Institute


Elisabet Fura has been appointed Chairperson of the Board of Trustees at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund. She assumes the new position on 1 July.

Most recently Fura was the Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman in Sweden where she served from 2012 to 2016. From 2003 till 2012, she served as a judge at the European Court of Human Rights.

“For a long time we were always saying that human rights were moving in a positive direction,” says Fura. “Now some world leaders are questioning human rights. Many of them choose security over human rights as if these two were in opposition to each other. Today, more than ever, we have to ensure that human rights underpin all of our decisions and actions. Human rights are constantly under development and you have to work to develop the concept, otherwise it’s not real.”

Fura succeeds current Chairman of the Board, Lennart Svensäter, who has decided to step down after four years at the Institute.

Fura studied law at Stockholm University where she graduated in 1979. She practiced law in Sweden and became a member of the Swedish Bar Association in 1985. From 1999 to 2001, she was Chairperson of the Swedish Bar Association.

Besides being involved in several public investigations in Sweden, Fura has also been involved on the international stage. This work has included chairing an international union of lawyers and participating in different development projects in the field of justice in Russia, Laos and Vietnam.

“RWI is unique in how it combines human rights research and implementation,” says Fura. “By doing both you are connected to what’s happening on the ground yet you still have the possibility, time and resources to analyze and develop the field further. That’s part of what makes being connected to this institute very exciting.”

“I’d like to thank Lennart Svensäter for leading the Institute during these past four years when we continued to build momentum despite major human rights challenges around us,” says Morten Kjaerum, the director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. “Looking forward, I’m very pleased to now have Elisabet Fura, with her broad and diverse experience, on board as we together face the major challenges and seize the opportunities before us.”