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THE TEAM

Veronika Fikfak

Email: v.fikfak@ucl.ac.uk

Veronika Fikfak leads the Human Rights Nudge project. She is an Associate Professor at University College London, School of Public Policy and at the Centre of Excellence, iCourts at the University of Copenhagen. She is also a Senior Humboldt Fellow at the Institute of Law and Economics in Hamburg.

Veronika’s research interests are in the fields of international law, human rights, and public law. Her current research focuses on compliance with international norms, access to human rights justice and automation, interaction of domestic and international law, and system design. She employs quantitative and qualitative approaches in her work, informed by psychology and behavioural economics. Her work has been funded by the European Research Council, UK’s ESRC Future Research Leaders Grant, the British Academy, Norway's Research Council, Carlsberg Foundation, and the Humboldt Foundation. She has published articles in European Journal of International LawAmerican Journal of International LawInternational Journal of Constitutional Law, amongst others. 

She is a managing editor of the American Journal of International Law Unbound and joint General Editor of the OUP Book Series of the European Society of International Law. She sits on the editorial boards of Elgar International Law Book Series and the Cambridge Journal of International Law. She is a member of the European Society of International Law Board, where she co-founded the ESIL Interest Group on Social Sciences and International Law. She also serves as a judge ad hoc at the European Court of Human Rights. 

Veronika previously lectured at the University of Cambridge and Sciences Po in Paris. She also worked at the European Court of Human Rights, the International Court of Justice, and at the Law Commission for England and Wales. She holds a masters and doctorate from the University of Oxford and a first law degree from the University of Ljubljana. 

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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 on the Human Rights Nudge project 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 on 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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Lora Izvorova

Lora is a PhD candidate on the Human Rights Nudge project at the University of Cambridge. Lora’s doctoral research examines the meaning of human dignity in Russia from a historical and critical perspective. Among other things, Lora’s thesis seeks to demonstrate how the disagreement between Russia and the European Court of Human Rights on the meaning of dignity has led them to adopt conflicting interpretations of ECHR Articles in concrete cases, and how it precipitated Russia’s backlash against the Court in the decade prior to Russia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe. 

Lora is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship from the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust. Prior to starting her PhD, she obtained an LLM in International Law from the University of Cambridge (2019). She also holds an LLB with first class honours from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2018), where she was awarded the Charltons Prize for best overall performance (2016). She has also served as a Co-convenor of the Cambridge International Law Conference, a General Editor of the Cambridge International Law Journal, and a Managing Editor of the LSE Law Review.

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Thorbjørn Lundsgaard

Thorbjørn Lundsgaard is a PhD Candidate on the Human Rights Nudge project at the University of Copenhagen. His thesis is supervised by Dr Veronika Fikfak. Thorbjørn's doctoral project considers Scandinavian countries` compliance with judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. Thorbjørn has previously worked as a state legal officer in the Danish Social Appeals Board, the Danish Immigration Service, the Danish Refugee Appeals Board and also in the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague (Office of the Prosecutor Appeals Counsel in cases including The Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžic). His expertise and experience as a practitioner hence spans in international criminal law, refugee law, child protection law, socio-economic rights, international investment arbitration and human rights law.  Thorbjørn holds three Master degrees: an LLM in International Law; an MSc in Development Management and an MPhil in Peace and Conflict Transformation.

AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS

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Dilek Kurban

Dilek Kurban is a Max Weber post-doctoral fellow at the European University Institute and an Adjunct Faculty at the Hertie School. She obtained her PhD from Maastricht University Faculty of Law in 2018. She also holds a Juris Doctor (JD) from Columbia Law School and a Master in International Affairs (MIA) from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Her dissertation received the Erasmus Dissertation Prize 2019 in the Netherlands and was published as a monograph under the title Limits of Supranational Justice: The European Court of Human Rights and Turkey’s Kurdish Conflict (CUP, 2020). The book has been awarded a Special Mention by the 2021 International Society of Public Law (ICON.S) Book Prize Committee. 

Kurban’s research interests are regional human rights courts, state violence, legal mobilization and judicial politics, with a particular focus on authoritarian regimes and a regional focus on Turkey. Her current research is a comparative study of the effectiveness of European and inter-American human rights regimes in authoritarian contexts. For HRNUDGE, she is looking into Turkey's  compliance practices with ECtHR judgments. 

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Hubert Bekisz 

Hubert 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.

For HRNUDGE, he is looking into Poland's compliance with ECtHR judgments.

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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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Klara Dahler-Larsen

Klara Dahler is doing an internship with the Danish Representation at the Council of Europe as part of HRNUDGE. She is studying for a master’s degree at the University of Copenhagen where she specialises in human rights and immigration law. 

Klara holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Copenhagen and has also spent a semester at the University of Glasgow. 

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Erick da Luz Scherf 

Erick is a Social Work graduate student at the University of Stavanger (UiS) in Norway, involved with research in the field of human rights and social policy. He was a member of the Human Rights & Citizenship research group of the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, coordinated by the University of Vale do Itajaí (Univali).

 

He holds a Graduate Law Diploma (International Law concentration) and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Politics, both from his home country (Brazil). 

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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. 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. 

For HRNUDGE, she is looking into Hungary's compliance with ECHR. 

PAST MEMBERS

Sabrina Boudra, research assistant on 'What Price for Human Rights' Project, now at Prisoners' Advice Service, UK

Erlend Brekke, masters student on GDPR and the Brussels Effect, now legal counsel at Contractbook, Denmark

Kamille Pedersen, masters student on right to privacy in digital sphere, now at Danish Tax Authority, Denmark

Tina Pirnovar, masters student on Human Rights Nudge Project, now judicial clerk in Slovenia

Peter Podržaj, research assistant on Human Rights Nudge Project

Dora Robinson, PhD Student on Human Rights Nudge Project, at Cambridge University, UK

Donata Szabo, research assistant on 'What Price for Human Rights' Project, now at GamblingCompliance UK

Nina Žnidar, research assistant on Human Rights Nudge Project, now at law firm in Slovenia

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