Prior to joining the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Eugenia Relaño Pastor was a legal adviser for the Spanish Ombudsman in the Department of Migration and Equal Treatment between 2004-2017. She investigated complaints concerning violations of fundamental rights and monitored public authorities and public policies regarding immigration and equality matters by delivering effective resolutions. She worked as legal trainer in a number of short-term legal training missions at several National Human Rights Institutions in Kazakhstan, Armenia, Macedonia and Turkey. She is also a trained legal practitioner on human rights and diversity.
From November 2017 to April 2021 she was scientific coordinator in the first stages of the CUREDI project as a senior researcher at the ‘Law and Anthropology’ Department. She stays connected to the project as a member of both the coordination team and the editorial team.
Relaño Pastor holds a Doctorate in Law from the University of Granada. Her doctoral dissertation (2001) is entitled ‘The protection of religious minorities in multicultural societies: Canada, USA, Spain and international human rights law’. She also holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and in Sociology. She is an Assistant Professor at the Complutense University (Madrid) and was granted a tenure in 2006. She taught at the Faculty of Anthropology, Complutense University and at the Law Faculties of the Granada University and the Almeria University. She was a Fulbright Fellow in the Salzburg Seminar in 2001 and was a visiting scholar at several universities, including the University of Ottawa (1998), the University of California at Berkeley (1999), the Institute of Human Rights in Oslo (2000), the Law School at Harvard University (2001), the Institute of Comparative and European Law at the University of Oxford (2002), and the Robbins Collection at the University of California at Berkeley (2004). She was a member of the Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion and Belief, ODIHR-OSCE (2005–2012). She was appointed as a member of the Management Board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) by Spain for a five years mandate (2020-2025).
Her research expertise includes international religious freedom, comparative law, equality and non-discrimination, religious and national minorities, xenophobia, multiculturalism, and immigration. She has extensively published on those matters. Some of her latest publications are ‘When Religious Discrimination Is Not Related to Religion or Belief’, International Labor Rights Case Law, vol. 5, issue 3 (2019) 325-329 and ‘Christian Faith-based organizations as a Third-party Intervener at the European Court of Human Rights’, Brigham Young University Law Review, vol. 46:5 (2021).