Helena Torroja Mateu is a senior tenured professor of Public International Law and International Relations at the University of Barcelona (UB) Law School (Barcelona, Spain), where she has been teaching since 1993. She holds a JD (1992) and a PhD in Law from the UB, with a dissertation on humanitarian action, law and policies at the United Nations (Summa cum laude and Special Award for the Best Thesis, 2001). Her research interests and publications have covered topics such as: United Nations law, human rights law, humanitarian law, international criminal law, diplomatic protection, privatization of the use of force, and territorial sovereignty and self-determination of peoples. She is currently studying populism in liberal democracies and international and European law. In this area, she is leading the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation research project “Secession, Democracy and Human Rights: The Role of International and European Law in the Catalan Case” (2020-2024).
In addition to the University of Barcelona, she has taught, among other places, at the Public Prosecutor’s Office-Spanish Ministry of Justice, the Spanish General Council of the Judiciary, the Vitoria-Gasteiz International Law and International Relations Courses, the Army War College (Spanish Ministry of Defense), the Spanish Red Cross; as well as at the Universities of Granada, Seville, and Valencia, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra University in Spain and the Universities of Puerto Rico and Ottawa abroad.
Her international practice includes consulting for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2014) and serving as an OSCE International Election Observer in Sarajevo (1996), among other activities.