THE TEAM

TEAM LEADER

Associate Professor Veronika Fikfak

Email: veronika.fikfak@jur.ku.dk

Dr Veronika Fikfak is an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen. Until 2019, she was a Fellow and Lecturer at Homerton College, University of Cambridge. She holds a Magister Juris, an M.Phil and a D.Phil from the University of Oxford. She previously worked at the International Court of Justice, the Law Commission of England and Wales, and at the European Court of Human Rights. 

Her research interests are in the fields of public law, human rights and international law. Veronika is currently in charge of the ERC Project Human Rights Nudge. The project builds on previous research, funded by the ESRC, which looked at how the European Court of Human Rights awards damages for human rights violations. Using quantitative and qualitative research methods, the team found that even in the award of damages to the victim, the individual or the harm suffered does not appear to be at the centre of the Court’s assessment. Instead, damages correlate more with the specific state, its GDP, and the state’s previous infringement record. The new ERC project Human Rights Nudge seeks to address the problems uncovered.

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 the University of Liverpool School of Law, a Visiting Lecturer in International Investment 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.

William Byrne

Email: william.hamilton.byrne@jur.ku.dk

William Hamilton Byrne is a Postdoctoral Researcher based at iCourts, The Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for International Courts, at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen. 

For his research in the Human Rights Nudge project, William will apply a law and sociology approach to study the relative compliance of Council of Europe states with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. The research primarily employs qualitative methods, and takes as its case studies Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland, and Hungary. The research will produce empirical foundations in order to support a (re-)theorization of the notion of compliance to the European Court of Human Rights, and compliance with public international law more generally. 

Prior to joining the Human Rights Nudge project, William completed his doctoral thesis on the topic of 'The Influence of Legal Scholarship on the Development of International Law' at iCourts at the University of Copenhagen. He holds LLM degrees in Public International Law (University of Amsterdam) and International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Europa Universität Viadrina). He has taught international human rights and refugee law in Australia and Denmark, and worked as a research assistant at a number of universities. William has published in areas of international human rights law and international legal theory.  He is also affiliated with the research project 'Data Science for Asylum Legal Landscaping (DATA4ALL)' at the University of Copenhagen.

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 has 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 at iCourts, University of Copenhagen 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.

 

In 2015, Aysel was awarded the UK Languages Undergraduate of the Year Award by EU Careers and the Client Interviewing Competition Award by the Law Society of Queen Mary University. Aysel is committed to improving access to justice through pro bono work and has previously held voluntary, long-term legal advice positions in the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre and Refugees Welcome, Denmark. 

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, for which her thesis used quantitative analysis to examine the relationship between public trust in institutions in Council of Europe member states and and compliance with European Court of Human Rights judgments.

 

She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) for which she researched the question of the international legal personality of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), 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. 

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 served as Co-Convenor of the Ninth Annual Cambridge International Law Conference, ‘International Law and Global Risks: Current Challenges in Theory and Practice’, hosted as webinar series during 30 April – 2 May 2020. 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).
 
In addition to human rights and public international law, Lora has a long-standing interest in constitutional and administrative law. She has previously interned at the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria in Sofia and the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in London.

AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS

Ula Aleksandra Kos

Ula Aleksandra Kos obtained her bachelor’s degree 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.

 

She is currently enrolled in a master’s programme at the same university, pursuing a Master’s degree in International Law and working on her thesis, which examines the potential crystallization of new international customary norms regarding the protection of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources.

 

As part of a group student project and later as a student coordinator, 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 (in press).

PAST MEMBERS

Sabrina Boudra

Sabrina Boudra 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. Her postgraduate studies were largely concerned with international human rights law, with particular focus on detention, international criminal law and counter-terrorism legislation. Following her graduation, she volunteered for various NGOs, including Reprieve, Redress, and the Prisoners’ Advice Service.

 

In 2016, Sabrina joined Dr 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. 

 

She left the project 2018, and is currently working as a Researcher and Assistant to Geoffrey Robertson QC, the head of Doughty Street Chambers. 

Donata Szabo

Donata Szabo graduated first in her year from the LLB at Oxford Brookes and holds an LLM from the University of Cambridge. She also completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and was called to the Bar in July 2016. Donata has previous experience in human rights and international law. She previously worked at the European Parliament, the University of Cambridge and Israeli NGO Movement for Quality Government.

 

Donata joined Veronika Fikfak’s ESRC-funded project ‘What Price for Human Rights?’ in 2016. She focused on the right-to-life and right-to-privacy cases.
 

She currently works for the legal information provider GamblingCompliance. She manages GamblingCompliance's team of legal analysts. She specialises in legal and regulatory developments across Europe and Israel. 

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