Thiago holds an LLB (Hons.) from Centro Universitário Curitiba (Brazil) and a Master's Degree in International Human Rights Law from Abo Akademi University (Finland), where he graduated with honours eximia cum laude approbatur. He is currently in the final year of his DPhil in Law, researching on the topic of offence to religious belief in international human rights law. His research focuses on how international human rights courts have addressed issues of blasphemy, apostasy, and censorship of expressions deemed offensive to religious belief.

Thiago has been actively involved with NGOs both at a national and international level. For this reason, he received a scholarship from the Norwegian Peace Corps to spend a year in Norway studying Cross-Cultural Communication (2007-2008). Thiago also did internships at the Office of the Public Defender in Brazil and with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Before starting his DPhil, Thiago worked for the International Organization for Migration in Finland, on counter-trafficking and development projects.

Thiago was the Graduate Teaching Assistant for Human Rights Law (2015-17) and a Human Rights Law tutor (2016-2018). He is also the treasurer of the Oxford Society for Law and Religion.

Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish


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  • Juan Pablo Perez-Leon Acevedo and Thiago Alves Pinto, 'Enforcing Freedom of Religion or Belief in Cases Involving Attacks Against Buildings Dedicated to Religion: The Al Mahdi Case at the International Criminal Court' (2020) 37 Berkeley Journal of International Law 437
    The international community has increasingly witnessed widespread and systematic attacks on buildings dedicated to religion in armed conflicts. Such violations of international law have deprived many individuals of places to express their beliefs within their communities. Although international law sources already protect these buildings, recent experience suggests that greater protections are required, particularly in times of armed conflict. This Article seeks to determine the extent to which the International Criminal Court (ICC) can operate to protect human rights, particularly the right to freedom of religion or belief, while dealing with intentional attacks against buildings dedicated to religion. The Al Mahdi case at the ICC provides the analytical foundation for this research. Al Mahdi was convicted in 2016 of the war crime of attacking buildings dedicated to religion. The attack, implemented by a militant group associated with al Qaeda, targeted ten religious buildings in Timbuktu, Mali, severely affecting the city’s religious and cultural diversity. A critical analysis of the Al Mahdi case provides normative guidelines for legal issues arising from the protection of buildings dedicated to religion during armed conflicts. This Article argues that the ICC largely focused on violations of the collective right to cultural life at the expense of a proper consideration of serious breaches of freedom of religion or belief. We also discuss potential interactions between the ICC and international human rights law.
  • Malcolm Evans, Javaid Rehman, Fabio Petito and Thiago Alves Pinto, Article 18: From Rhetoric to Reality (All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief 2017)
  • Iginio Gagliardone, Danit Gal and Thiago Alves Pinto, Countering Online Hate Speech (UNESCO 2015)
    French version: Arabic version:
    ISBN: 978-92-3-100105-5
  • Thiago Alves Pinto, 'Avilkina and others v Russia' (2014) 3 Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 181 [Case Note]
    DOI: 10.1093/ojlr/rwt049
  • Juan Pablo Perez-Leon Acevedo and Thiago Alves Pinto, 'Correspondents’ Reports, Peru' (2011) 14 Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law 1 [Case Note]
    DOI: 10.1007/978-90-6704-855-2

Research programmes

Research Interests

Human Rights Law; Law and Religion; Public International Law; 

Options taught

Human Rights Law

Research projects