Philip Alston, Harvard Law School’s Sidley Austin Visiting Professor of Law, received an honorary doctorate from Maastricht University in the Netherlands on Jan. 20 as part of the university’s 35th anniversary celebration.

Alston, who is also faculty director and co-chair of New York University’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, gave a lecture titled “Dilemmas of Fact Finding” during his visit. The lecture “drew on his work during six years as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, and was followed by comments from Professor Theo van Boven, former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture,” NYU School of Law reported.

“Philip Alston is one of the world’s most authoritative academics in the field of human rights, and author of a wide-ranging and substantial oeuvre. His work is characterized by a high degree of erudition and originality,” said Menno Kamminga, professor of international law at Maastricht, according to NYU. “His affiliation with U.M. dates from as far back as 1986, when he first attended an international conference organized by the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights. It’s a bond that we hope to foster for a long time to come.”

Alston taught HLS’s International Human Rights class during the fall 2010 term.