THE TEAM

TEAM LEADER

Veronika Fikfak

Email: veronika.fikfak@jur.ku.dk

Veronika Fikfak is an Associate Professor in Human Rights Law at the Centre of Excellence, iCourts at the University of Copenhagen and a Senior Humboldt Fellow at the Institute of Law and Economics in Hamburg. She previously taught at the University of Cambridge as a Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer. Prior to this, Dr Fikfak worked at the European Court of Human Rights, the International Court of Justice, at UNESCO and at the Law Commission for England and Wales. She holds a Magister Juris, M.Phil and a D.Phil from the University of Oxford.

Veronika’s research interests are in the fields of international law, human rights, and public law. Her research on damages for human rights violations was funded by the UK’s ESRC Future Research Leaders Grant and the British Academy. She has published articles in the European Journal of International Law, the Leiden International Law Journal, the Cambridge Law Journal and Law Quarterly Review, amongst others. She has also co-authored a book Parliament’s Secret War (Hart 2018) on international law’s influence on UK Parliament’s decisions to go to war.

In addition to running the Human Rights Nudge Project, she is a co-founder of the ESIL Interest Group on Social Sciences and International Law, co-convenor of the ESIL Interest Group on Courts and Tribunals and a member of the editorial board of Elgar International Law Book Series and the Cambridge Journal of International Law.

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Niccolò Ridi

Email: niccolo.ridi@jur.ku.dk

Niccolò Ridi is a Research Fellow on the Human Rights Nudge Project. He is a Lecturer in Law at King's College London as well as the Assistant Editor of the Journal of International Dispute Settlement.

 

His interests cover most areas of international law (public and private) and International dispute settlement. His current research applies doctrinal and empirical methodologies, including large-scale data mining and social network analysis, to questions concerning the work, argumentative process, and performance of international courts and tribunals, as well as the makeup of the communities of practice that exist in and 'create' international law.

 

Niccolò is also a co-investigator in the ESRC-funded project The Social and Psychological Underpinnings of Commercial Arbitration in Europe, led by Tony Cole at the University of Leicester, and, before that, he was a research fellow in a Swiss National Science Foundation Project on the role of the principle of comity in private and public international law based at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. He holds degrees from the University of Florence (LLB/MA and Diploma In Parliamentary Studies), the University of Cambridge (LLM), and King’s College London (PhD). He is currently completing two monographs, one on private international law, the other on public International law.

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Aysel Küçüksu

Email: aysel.eybil.kucuksu@jur.ku.dk

Aysel Küçüksu is a Postdoctoral Researcher on the Human Rights Nudge Project. She was a Marie Curie PhD fellow in Law and Political Philosophy at the University of Geneva and LUISS-Guido Carli di Roma and is a member of the interdisciplinary GEM-STONES network. Her PhD studied the interface of law and political philosophy in the asylum jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice through theories of vulnerability. She is currently an external lecturer in Fundamental Human Rights at the bachelor programme in Danish Law at the University of Copenhagen.

 

Aysel holds an LLM in International Law from the University of Copenhagen (2016) and an LLB in English and European Union Law from Queen Mary, University of London (2015). She previously interned at the European Court of Justice and the Italian think tank, Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome. Prior to that, Aysel worked as a research assistant on Prof. Henrik Palmer Olsen’s project entitled ‘From Dogma to Data’. Her work involved uncovering hidden patterns in the vast jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights through citation network analysis.

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Ula Aleksandra Kos

Ula Aleksandra Kos is a PhD Candidate at the University of Copenhagen. Her thesis is supervised by Dr Veronika Fikfak. Ula's research focuses on the issue of backlash against the European Court of Human Rights and analyses practice of non-compliance in Eastern Europe. 

 

Ula obtained her bachelor’s and masters degrees at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Law in Slovenia, where she has gathered her experience in public international and human rights law mainly by participating in two moot court competitions, namely the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court.

Ula has dedicated her last two years to in-depth research of legal aspects of the Chagos Archipelago situation, with respect to violations of international law throughout the process of decolonization. The project was concluded by authoring a Chapter, published by the Cambridge University Press in 2020.

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Katharina Luckner

Katharina is a Research Associate in the Human Rights Nudge Project where she primarily focuses on developing agent-based models of compliance with human rights judgements.

She is pursuing her PhD at the Institute of Law and Economics, University of Hamburg, where she is part of an interdisciplinary research group on international law and behavioral economics. In her dissertation, supervised by Profs. Antje Wiener and Anne van Aaken, she looks at the influence of civil society and social movements on international law, especially environmental law. Her general research is focused on studying the interdependencies between law, social norms and people through social simulations and experiments.

Katharina holds undergraduate degrees in Physics and Philosophy from University College Utrecht, and a master’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Witten/Herdecke University. Her previous research stays include the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn.

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Dora Robinson

 

Dora Robinson is undertaking a PhD in Law, supervised by Dr Veronika Fikfak and Professor Eyal Benvenisti, at the University of Cambridge, where she is a recipient of both a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentship and an honorary Cambridge Trust Vice Chancellor’s Award. She is researching UK compliance with European Court of Human Rights judgments, looking at both ‘when’ and ‘why’ the UK complies, through quantitative and qualitative analysis of court documents, its judgments, domestic institutions, media, wider civil society and public attitudes. 

 

Prior to this, Dora has worked as a Judicial Assistant at the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, as a Research Assistant to Professor Freya Baetens of PluriCourts, University of Oslo, on her project on identity and diversity on the international bench and as an Analysis Rapporteur at international risk consultancy Oxford Analytica. 

 

Dora has an LLM in International Law from Cambridge, she also holds a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), and a BA in War Studies, completed at King’s College London (KCL) and Georgetown University.  At KCL she was awarded the Sir Michael Howard Award for Best Graduating Student in War Studies and the Saki Dockrill Award for Best Undergraduate Dissertation, for a thesis on the United Nations War Crimes Commission approach to the international criminal law defence of superior orders. 

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Lora Izvorova

Lora Izvorova is a PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge and a recipient of a Vice-Chancellor’s Award from the Cambridge Trust. Her research is supervised by Dr Veronika Fikfak and Professor Eyal Benvenisti. Lora’s research explores the disagreements between the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and Russia on the interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In particular, it examines whether the different conceptions of human dignity said to underpin the ECHR and the 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation can explain these interpretive disagreements and Russia’s current backlash against the ECtHR. The PhD project also seeks to evaluate the role of political factors and historical continuities between the Soviet and Russian approaches to law and rights as potential complementary explanations.
 
Prior to starting her PhD, Lora obtained an LLM in International Law from the University of Cambridge (2018-2019). In 2018, she graduated with first class honours from the LLB programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where she was awarded the Charltons Prize for the best overall performance (2016). Lora is also a former General Editor of the Cambridge International Law Journal (2018-2019) and Managing Editor of the LSE Law Review (2017-2018). 

AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS

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Daniel Peat 

Daniel is an Assistant Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at Leiden Law School, and Academic Coordinator of the Advanced LL.M. on International Dispute Settlement and Arbitration. He holds a Ph.D in Law from the University of Cambridge. Before joining Leiden University, Daniel worked at the International Court of Justice. 

Daniel’s first monograph, Comparative Reasoning in International Courts and Tribunals won the European Society of International Law Book Prize in 2020. He has published articles in the British Yearbook of International Law, the N.Y.U. Journal of International Law & Politics, the Journal of International Dispute Settlement, and the Journal of World Trade & Investment. He also co-edited Interpretation in International Law with Andrea Bianchi and Matthew Windsor. 

Daniel’s current research focusses on compliance with international legal obligations, exploring how insights from the behavioural social sciences might be used to understand the behaviour of actors in international law. His current research project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and the Leids Universiteits Fonds. 

Daniel is a member of the editorial board of the Leiden Journal of International Law,  co-founder and member of the coordinating committee of the ESIL Interest Group on Social Sciences and International Law, and a member of the ISDS Academic Forum. He also acted as co-rapporteur of the International Law Association Study Group on the Content and Evolution of the Rules of Interpretation. 

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Benedikt Pirker

Benedikt is a Senior Lecturer at the Chair for European Law, International Law and Public Law of the University of Fribourg. He read law at the University of Innsbruck, Sciences Po Paris, the College of Europe and the Graduate Institute Geneva. In recent years, he taught among others at the Universities of St. Gallen and Bern and conducted research at the European University Institute, Hebrew University Jerusalem, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and the University of Michigan. He is a member of the editorial board of the “Forum” of European Papers.

The collaboration with the Human Rights Nudge Project forms part of his recently completed SNSF Spark-funded research project “International Law, Linguistics and Experimentation” (IntLLEx). In the framework of this project, together with research fellow Dr. Izabela Skoczeń he developed a new experimental linguistics approach to international law, testing the applicability of linguistic categorizations to treaty interpretation and the influence of non-legal considerations like moral factors.

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Izabela Skoczeń 

Izabela is a senior lecturer at the Chair of Legal Theory, Faculty of Law and Administration, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. She holds a masters and a PhD from the same university. 

She collaborates with Dr. Benedikt Pirker on an SNSF funded experimental project on treaty interpretation (IntLLex). As part of Human Rights Nudge, she undertook experiments on how people perceive the friendly settlement system adopted by the European Court of Human Rights. She is a member of the Guilty Minds Lab at the University of Zurich and the Jagiellonian Centre for Law, Language and Philosophy in Krakow.

She specializes in experimental studies of language, morality and law. She applies the methodology of cognitive science to shed new light in jurisprudential debates. She published a number of articles in international journals as well as a book “Implicatures within Legal Language” (2019). Her research focuses on inferences in uncertainty contexts.

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Hubert Bekisz 

Hubert Bekisz is a PhD Researcher at the European University Institute. His research focuses on national courts’ approaches to harmonisation of procedures and remedies at the EU level. His academic interests touch upon empirical legal research, decentralised enforcement of international and EU law and the states’ compliance with case law of international courts. 

Hubert holds a master’s degree in Law from the University of Warsaw, an MA in European Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Europe and an LLM from the European University Institute. Recently, his first peer-reviewed paper was published in the Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (2021). As a student, Hubert was a trainee in the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, the Polish Data Protection Office and participated in moot court competitions, including Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and Central and Eastern European Moot Competition.

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Zita Barcza-Szabó

Zita holds an LLM in Human Rights from the Central European University and a Master’s degree from the Eötvös Loránd University. Her LLM thesis challenged the ECtHR's interpretation on the non-applicability of Art. 6 in asylum procedures where the underlying information of the decision is classified. She prepared a Legal Toolbox for European legal practitioners advising them how the ECtHR should overrule its case-law.

 

Zita is an external consultant of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and a research assistant at the School of Public Policy of the Central European University. She is the co-author of the annual country report on Hungarian asylum law and practice that is published by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles in the Asylum Information Database. 

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Peter Podržaj

Peter Podržaj is studying for a bachelor's degree at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he specialises in constitutional, human rights and international law. He has taken part in the Leonid Pitamic Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition and International Regional Moot Court Competition in Human Rights, where his team ranked first and received awards for best written memos. He has also participated as a member of the Committee on Human Rights (DROI) at the Vilnius 2018 – 87th International Session of the European Youth Parliament (EYP). 


His stay in Copenhagen and work with the HRNUDGE team is funded by the Slovenian Research Council Ad Futura. 

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Nina Žnidar

Nina holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Ljubljana, Law Faculty in Slovenia. She spent a semester at Leiden University, where she studied human rights law and children’s rights.

 

She is currently pursuing a master's in International Law at the University of Ljubljana. Her stay in Copenhagen and work with the HRNUDGE team is funded by the Slovenian Research Council Ad Futura. 

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Tina Pirnovar

Tina is studying for a bachelor's degree program at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She has participated in two moot court competitions – European Human Rights Moot Court Competition and All European International Humanitarian and Refugee Law Moot Court Competition. 


Her stay in Copenhagen and work with the HRNUDGE team is funded by the Slovenian Research Council Ad Futura. 

PAST MEMBERS

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Erlend Brekke

Erlend completed a dissertation on HRNUDGE as part of his masters degree. The thesis studies how EU's GDPR impact internet giants in the U.S. and China via the Brussels Effect - an effect which results in the globalization of standards via the imposition of EU law on non-EU bodies. More specifically, it explores how GDPR rights are granted beyond EU borders to non-EU citizens via the assessment of consumer markets, different business models, and operations in the EU.

 

Since graduating from University of Copenhagen, Erlend acts as a Legal Counsel at Contractbook, a legal tech Software as a Service company, focusing mainly on compliance and data protection.

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Kamille Pedersen

Kamille completed her dissertation on HRNUDGE as part of her masters degree. The thesis examined to what extent the right to privacy under the current international and European human rights framework can protect internet users from internet giants’ (mis)use of personal information. More specifically it examined Facebook and Amazon's collection, processing and use of personal information and explored how these companies can be held accountable for human rights violations. The thesis relied on an original survey of Facebook users in Denmark, which revealed different perceptions of privacy and concerns across different age groups. 

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Sabrina Boudra

Sabrina previously worked on Veronika Fikfak’s ESRC-funded project entitled ‘What Price for Human Rights?’ which focused on just satisfaction at the European Court of Human Rights. She specialised in detention cases and length of proceedings cases. 

Sabrina completed her LLM at the University of Essex in 2014, following her graduation with a double LLB/Licence in English and French Law at the same university. She has volunteered for various NGOs, including Reprieve, Redress, and the Prisoners’ Advice Service and is currently working as a Researcher and Assistant to Geoffrey Robertson QC, the head of Doughty Street Chambers. 

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Donata Szabo

Donata previously worked Veronika Fikfak’s ESRC-funded project ‘What Price for Human Rights?’ in 2016. In that context, she focused on the right-to-life and right-to-privacy cases.

She holds an LLB from Oxford Brookes and an LLM from the University of Cambridge. She was called to the Bar in July 2016. Donata previously worked at the European Parliament, the University of Cambridge and Israeli NGO Movement for Quality Government. She currently works for the legal information provider GamblingCompliance, where she manages a team of legal analysts. She specialises in legal and regulatory developments across Europe and Israel. 

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