Below please find a listing of the past Visiting Doctoral Researchers from the years 2004 through 2016. Additionally, you may view the biographical information of our current Global Research Fellows and Global Fellows from Practice & Government.


2016-2017 Visiting Doctoral Researchers

Hannah Birkenkötter
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Hannah Birkenkötter, LL.M., is a research assistant at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin at the Chair for Public Law and Jurisprudence (Prof. Dr. Christoph Möllers, LL.M.), where she also pursues her dissertation in which she focuses on rule of law discourses within the United Nations System and how they connect to ongoing debates on a global rule of law. Hannah holds a double masters in law from the Universities of Cologne (Germany) and Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne (France) as well as a law degree from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She has completed her legal training (Referendariat) in Berlin, including training with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Hannah has also worked on a research project at Verfassungsblog, a widely read German constitutional law blog, exploring the role of legal blogs as a format of legal research.

Hannah's research interests include public international law with a focus on the United Nations System, questions of international legal theory and interfaces between general international law and comparative constitutional law. In her research, she connects theoretical approaches with practical knowledge, gained inter alia through her positions as a board member of the United Nations Association of Germany and a member of the Board of Trustees at Women in Europe for a Common Future. At NYU Law School, she hopes to complete several parts of her dissertation

Nadiv Mordechay
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Nadiv Mordechay (LL.B, LL.M) is a Ph.D candidate and a Research Fellow at the Hebrew University Faculty of Law and the Federmann center for the Study of Rationality. Prior to joining the faculty, Nadiv clerked for Justice Ayala Procaccia in the Supreme Court of Israel (2008-2009) and for Menachem Mazuz, Israel’s Attorney-General (2007-2008). He worked as a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute (2011-2015), where he had the privilege of leading a research group on legislation that assisted a committee headed by Chief-Justice (retired) Meir Shamgar. He is currently the Secretary-General of ICON-S-IL, the Israeli branch of ICON-S.

Nadiv's research interests include Constitutional Law and judicial Review, Administrative Law and the Executive, Institutional Theory and Legislation. He published several articles on normative theory of judicial review in Israel and his co-authored 2014 article, Towards a Cumulative Effect Doctrine: Aggregation in Constitutional Judicial Review was cited in several leading Supreme Court cases. Nadiv's Ph.D thesis explores constitutional change from a more descriptive perspective, trying to understand the dynamics of constitutional change in an era of anti-constitutionalism, focusing on the relationship between law and politics and the Court and the Israeli Executive as a case study. His 2015 master Dissertation, Constitutional Showdowns: the Case of Judicial Review on Social-Economic Rights in Israel’s Supreme Court 2002-2012, analyzed the relationship between the Supreme Court and the Executive in situations of domestic legitimacy crises such as economic crises and social protests. His current research expands this viewpoint and ties domestic constitutional change not only to domestic legitimacy crises but also to the political legitimacy solicitation in the international legal and political sphere.

At NYU, Nadiv plans to further explore the relationship between domestic constitutional change and international legitimacy crises of the executive and to place the Israeli case-study in a wider comparative context, in order to introduce the more general connection between 'Borrowed Legitimacy' and robust Judicial Review of constitutional courts in developed democracies. This will also support a new theoretical perspective on Israeli constitutionalism, using insights from the constitutional law of the 'Global South'.

Giacomo Tagiuri
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Giacomo Tagiuri is a Ph.D. Candidate in Legal Studies at Bocconi University in Milan, under the supervision of prof. Yane Svetiev. His dissertation investigates the impact of EU Law in specific areas of market regulation that have a cultural (or way of life) dimension. By doing so he seeks to challenge persistent narratives that picture EU integration as purely homogenizing and eroding the diversity of national cultures and identities. Giacomo is broadly interested in EU law, regulation, legal and political theory, and the relationship between law and society. He previously has researched and published in the areas of administrative law (with a particular focus on cultural heritage preservation), comparative public law, as well as international relations and public policy.

Giacomo holds a Law degree from the University of Bologna and a Master of Arts in European Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC, where he has worked as a research assistant for prof. David Calleo. Giacomo is a research fellow at the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (CCSDD) in Bologna, collaborates with the ASK (Arts, Science and Knowledge) Research Center at Bocconi and assists the editorial team of Aedon, Online Journal for Law and the Arts. At Bocconi, he worked as a teaching assistant for courses in International Law, EU Law and Comparative Public Law.


2015-2016 Visiting Doctoral Researchers

Peter Dunne
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Peter Dunne is a second year PhD student at the school of law, Trinity College Dublin, and a Trinity Ussher Fellow (2014-2017). Peter holds an LL.M degree from Harvard Law School, where he was an Irving R Kaufman Fellow, and an LL.M from the University of Cambridge. He completed his primary legal training at University College Dublin, receiving the inaugural Undergraduate of Ireland Award, and the University of Paris 2 (Pantheon-Assas).

Peter’s scholarship focuses of human rights, family law and public law. He has a particular interest in the relationship between law, sexual orientation and gender identity. Peter has previously written on topics such as civil partnership, LGBT asylum claims and the legal recognition of transgender parenting. His scholarship has been published in journals, such as the European Law Review, Public Law, Medical Law Review and the European Human Rights Law Review. Peter’s doctoral research considers human rights approaches to the legal recognition of preferred gender.

Before commencing his doctoral studies, Peter worked as a Harvard Law Fellow at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) in New York City. In this role, Peter engaged in human rights documentation and sexuality-based advocacy before the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies. In 2013, Peter was selected as an Arthur C Helton Fellow of the American Society of International Law, and worked as a national and international law advisor to Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI). Peter has previously been awarded the Pride Law Fund and Equal Justice America Fellowships to work at the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) in Boston.

Peter has volunteered as a human rights law advisor to Transgender and Intersex Luxembourg, and as a student advocate with the Massachusetts Transgender Legal Advocates (MTLA). In 2015, as a Trinity Equality Fund grantee, he co-organised Ireland’s first ever Trans Youth Forum. From 2012 to 2013, Peter trained at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. He has also worked at the Financial Services Ombudsman Bureau of Ireland. Peter currently serves as a member of the TENI Board of Directors.



Ahmed Elsayed
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Ahmed Elsayed is a PhD fellow in Law at the University of Copenhagen, working under the supervision of Professor Antoni Ninet. He read his LL.M. in human rights at SOAS, University of London and holds an LL.B. degree from Cairo University. The title of his Ph.D. research is “Understanding Egyptian Constitutionalism: swinging between absolutism and institutional authoritarianism,” in which he is seeking to historically and ideologically contextualize Egyptian constitutionalism since its emergence and until the 2014 Constitution.

Ahmed’s interests include politics in the Middle East, constitutionalism, judicial politics, Islamic Law and Public International Law. Prior to joining the VDR program, Ahmed taught PIL at University of Copenhagen, received the Chevening award for the academic year 2008-09 and the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship (2012-13). In addition, Ahmed worked as a district attorney at both Egyptian criminal and family prosecutions and currently he is a judge on a leave of absence.



Senthorun Raj
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Senthorun Raj is an academic and advocate with a passion for popular culture, social justice, and law. Sen is completing his PhD and teaches at the Sydney Law School. His doctoral thesis titled “Feeling Law: Intimacy, Violence, and Queer Subjects” examines the way emotion has shaped legal responses that address the discrimination perpetrated against sexual and gender minorities.  He is currently working on completing the final parts of his dissertation as a Visiting Doctoral Researcher at NYU Law School.

Sen is a contributing writer for The Guardian. He has published numerous articles and academic papers on topics ranging from refugee law to social networking.  Sen is also an advisory board member of the sexuality, gender and diversity studies journal Writing from Below and has been a guest editor at the lifestyle website SameSame.

Sen is a former Churchill Fellow who completed a comparative research project on the advocacy and adjudication of sexual orientation and gender identity based asylum claims in USA, UK, and Australia. He previously worked as the Senior Policy Advisor for the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. In a governance capacity, Sen has also served on the boards of Amnesty International Australia and ACON Health.


2014-2015 Visiting Doctoral Researchers


Roxana Banu
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Roxana Banu is an SJD candidate at the University of Toronto. Prior to commencing her SJD, she completed an LL.M. in International Bussiness and Trade Law at Fordham Law School in NY, with magna cum laudae, being awarded the Edward J. and Elizabeth V. Hawk Prize for the highest cumulative grade. Her first law degree was obtained in Germany at the Freie Universitaet Berlin, where she was awarded the DAAD Prize for outstanding results of a foreign student.

Roxana taught a seminar in Private International Law as one of the inaugural teaching fellows at Fordham Law School in 2010 and the Conflict of Laws course at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University (Toronto) as an Adjunct Faculty in 2012.

Her doctoral thesis sets up an analytical framework, which considers the interplay of four policy directions in the various Private International Law theories and methodologies: individualism, state-centrism, universalism and particularism. The aim of the framework is to better understand how different Private International Law theories manage or fail to conceptualize the various facets of inter-human legal relations in a globalized world, by underscoring one or several of the four policy directions. Through an analysis of Private International Law scholarship between the mid 19th to the mid 20th century, the thesis uncovers individualistic universalist perspectives which might prove useful when analyzing and attempting to offer solutions for various global governance concerns, including the extraterritorial tortious activities of multinational corporations, or the private and public law components of family relations in an international setting.