Jurij Toplak, Ph.D., is the Chief Executive Officer of the Alma Mater Europaea ISH, the oldest Slovenian private higher education institution, and the Chairman of the European Administrative Academy, the Alma Mater's parent nonprofit organization. He is the Chair of the It's About People conference of Europe's sciences and arts leaders and scholars, held annually by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and Alma Mater Europaea. He is the Alma Mater's Management Board member and former founding dean of the European Business Studies master's program.
Between 2016 and 2022, he served as the Provost/Executive Vice-President of Alma Mater Europaea, and since 2022, he has been chairing the internationalization activities aiming at expanding the university's activities globally. For over fifteen years, he has managed higher education institutions, served as a dean, supervised doctoral programs and dissertations, built global academic partnerships and led the development of in-person and online social studies, humanities, health and business education.
A distinguished legal and human rights scholar, Professor Toplak has advised governments worldwide and international organizations Council of Europe, OSCE, ODIHR, European Union and UNDP. He spent three months working for the EU in Uganda and observed elections on expert missions in Finland, Canada, Latvia, France, Malta, Monaco, the US and elsewhere.
He is among the leading European election law authorities with experience lecturing worldwide, including at Harvard, Fordham, Yale, Columbia, UCLA, and Washington & Lee. He served as a Fulbright scholar at the UCLA School of Law and researched at Georgetown, Oxford, Central European University, and others. The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Guardian and The Boston Globe published Professor Toplak's legal views.
With Daniel Smilov, he co-edited Political Finance and Corruption in Eastern Europe (Ashgate, 2008). With David Schultz, he co-edited the Routledge Handbook of Election Law (2022), the most thorough comparative book on the law of democracy on six continents, launched at Keble College, Oxford University, in August 2022.
Jure Toplak has led impact litigation projects and was involved in a fair trial, election law, free speech, government transparency, equality, disability, discrimination and torture cases before the highest national courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg. In 2017, he wrote a challenge to the referendum results that led to the first-ever public hearing by the Supreme Court of Slovenia and the annulment of referendum results. In Toplak and Mrak v. Slovenia, one of the leading disability voting judgments, the ECtHR found a violation of his uncle's rights.
At the University of Maribor Faculty of Law, he has taught since 2000 and chaired the Public Law Department between 2016 and 2022. Since 2019, he has taught at the Fordham Law School in New York.
He has served as the board member or the CEO of several profit and non-profit academic institutions and served on three corporate boards. He was a member of the Central Election Commission of Slovenia for twelve years.
Professor Toplak is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2000, the Slovenian Lawyers’ Association awarded Jure Toplak with the 'Young Lawyer of the Year' award for his book on electoral redistricting, and in 2022, with the title 'Lawyer of the Year'.