(c) Rueda Studio
Academic Program Manager
Walter Suntinger is the Academic Program Manager of the Vienna Master and the primary liaison person to all lecturers. Walter accompanies and steers the curriculum development process, coordinates the inputs from experts in the fields of human rights and the arts and ensures that teaching is upheld to its highest standards.
Walter is an independent human rights consultant, with a background in (international) law and systemic change management. His speciality is the practical application of human rights in a variety of contexts. His training and consulting journey took him to South Africa, Kosovo, Armenia, Brazil, Turkey, Tunisia, Mauritania, Morocco and other countries. His human rights work benefits from the fact that Walter works professionally in several languages (German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French).
Walter’s main working areas are: preventing monitoring of places of detention, human rights reform and training in the police and the criminal justice system, consulting activities for business. He has produced academic work (on torture, asylum law, monitoring, training, systemic approaches to human rights) and several practical tools, e.g. police training manuals and guidance documents for preventive human rights monitoring. He was a member of the Austrian Human Rights Advisory Board (1999-2012) and of a visiting commission of the National Preventive Mechanism in Austria (2012-2015). Currently he is part of the Advisory Board to the Austrian NPM. Furthermore, as a Managing Partner at HumanRightsConsulting Vienna (HRCV), he advises business enterprises on how to integrate human rights in their policies and operations.
Walter taught for many years at the predecessor program at the University of Vienna (Vienna Master on Human Rights) as well as in other university contexts, including the Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins University and in a US study abroad program in Vienna.
Within the program, Walter introduces human rights students to the interdisciplinarity of human rights studies, he teaches basic legal knowledge for non-lawyers and coordinates a “thematic cluster on torture“, which draws on different disciplines in order to understand and help eradicate this phenomenon.