New Chair seeks to protect freedom of research

30 April 2020

Anne Rambergs strong commitment to educational issues began when she became Secretary General of the Swedish Bar Association 20 years ago.

Anne Ramberg, an advocate and former Secretary General of the Swedish Bar Association, will soon take up her position as new Chair of the Uppsala University Board (the Consistory). “It’s a great pleasure and honour. I’m looking forward to it tremendously,” she says.

Anne Ramberg is one of eight external members appointed by the Swedish Government. She is now preparing for the first Board meeting, on 17 May, with the new Consistory.

She is by no means a newcomer to Uppsala University. Since 2015, when she was appointed an honorary doctor at the University, she has spent fair amount of time in the city.

“I think it’s hugely appealing that Uppsala University has such a strong student tradition. That’s very appealing. I’ve joined in many different activities at the University, from teaching constitutional issues to law students and appearing at alumni events to taking part in debates on legal policy. For a long time, I’ve also been in touch with the Faculty of Law.”

Her strong commitment to educational issues began when she became Secretary General of the Swedish Bar Association 20 years ago. Innovations during her time there included the launch of the Swedish Bar Examination, which prospective members are required to pass, and of cost-free further training and courses for advocates and legal associates.

Safeguarding good education

Today, protecting high-quality education is more important than ever, Ramberg thinks.

“The times we live in, with anti-intellectual people in power, fake news and ‘alternative facts’, make it essential for education and research to be evidence-based while, of course, they must be open to objective questioning and critical debate. Knowledge is something that always stays with us, and a key defence against populism.”

Education has also grown in importance with globalisation and society’s astoundingly rapid development, in her view.

“Competition is extremely stiff these days, which imposes even more stringent requirements on high standards of education and research. I hope Uppsala University will continue to make progress and keep its prominent position among international higher education institutions.”

Following work at a distance

As the Chair-to-be of the Consistory, she has been familiarising herself with the University’s various steering documents and following the work at a distance. She now hopes to be able, in cooperation with the other members and the University management, to build further on the initiatives and ways forward that have already been chosen.

“It’s a matter of creating an environment that makes good use of all the professional forces for good and gives them scope to develop, so as to fulfil the goals and strategies for quality and renewal that the University has adopted.”

Are there any particular issues you want to pursue as Chair?
“It’s a bit too early to have any detailed ideas. But something I think is crucial is to ensure advanced education and research based on scientific methods. That’s a fundamental issue in a democracy, and its requirements include long-term funding and control. At this stage, my aim is for the University to have as much freedom of action as possible and not be subject to detailed management by the state,” Ramberg says.

Facts about Anne Ramberg

  • Anne Ramberg is a legal advocate, and in 2000–2019 she was Secretary General of the Swedish Bar Association, as the first woman in this position.
  • She has had a range of assignments in Sweden and internationally, including as ad hoc judge in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); Board member in the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA); conciliator and alternate member of the Bureau of the Court of Conciliation and Arbitration in the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE); member of the Management Board of the International Bar Association (IBA), and of the IBA/OSISA Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC); trustee of eyeWitness to Atrocities; and member of the Advisory Board of the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC).
  • She is Board Chair of the Stockholm Centre for the Rights of the Child (at Stockholm University); Vice Chair of the Board of the Swedish Forest Society Foundation; Board Chair of the Foundation for the Stockholm Prize in Criminology; and a Board member of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.
  • She has previously been a Board member of the Swedish Press Council: member of the Judges Proposals Board; Board member of Stockholm University; member of the Swedish Economic Crime Authority’s supervisory council; member of the ‘Forum for promoting establishment of common basic values in central government’ (Värdegrunds­delegationen); member of the Ethics Council at the Swedish National Police Board; and member of the Director General’s reference group at the Swedish Security Service.
  • In 2006 she was awarded H.M. The King’s Medal, 12th size, for her “outstanding contributions to the Swedish judicial system”. In 2016, the title of Honorary Doctor of Law was conferred on her at Uppsala University’s Faculty of Law.