Mr Mario Lana was born in Florence on 26th October 1931 and died in Rome on 21st December 2015. He graduated in Law with Professor Piero Calamadrei at the University of Florence. In 1956, he was admitted to the Italian Bar. In 1964, he founded, with Senators Lelio Basso and Luciano Ventura, one of the first law firms in Italy focused on international law, providing legal advice for several governments of developing and Eastern European countries.
He is the author of a wide variety of articles and held a deep knowledge about the socio-economic reality of the Middle East and North African countries. He was Professor of Urban Planning Law at the University of Florence and Head of the International Centre for Studies and Advice on Economic and Territorial Planning (CIPET).
In 1971, he was tasked, together with the lawyer, Sen. Lelio Basso, by the Arab League to institute the Arab-Italian Chamber of Commerce, where he served as vice President up to the early Eighties. In 1976, he coordinated the International Committee of Jurists, writing the Charter of the Peoples’ Rights, known as “Charte d’Alger”.
In 1990, he became Director of “I diritti dell’uomo – cronache e battaglie”, a legal journal under the patronage of UNESCO and recognised by the European Union. In 1991, he became President of the Unione Forense per la Tutela dei Diritti Umani (UFTDU). In 1990, he took part in the foundation of the Italian Committee for Refugees (CIR) and starting from 2008, he held the position of deputy Chairman.
He was a board member in the Italian section of the International Law Association (ILA). Since 2007, he acted as Attachè de mission at the Bureau international of the Fédération des droits de l’homme (FIDH). He was a member of the jury for “Prix International des Droits de l’Homme LUDOVIC TRARIEUX”, established by Institut des Droits des l’Homme des Avocates Europeens (IDHAE), where he served as vice President.
He was a board member of the National Institute for Children’s Rights (INDiMi).
Among the most recent activities of international defence, in 2008 he went to Iraq to assist Tarek Aziz with matters concerning human rights.