Past Visiting Doctoral Researchers

Below please find a listing of the past Visiting Doctoral Researchers from the years 2004 through 2020. Additionally, you may view the biographical information of our current Global Research Fellows and Global Fellows from Practice & Government.

2019-2020 Visiting Doctoral Researchers

Jinjin Zhang VDR

Jinjin Zhang 
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Jinjin Zhang is a Ph.D. Candidate at Xiamen University in China, under the supervision of Professor Xiuli Han. She is also Professor An Chen’s research assistant, who is a highly renowned international academic lawyer representing East Asia. Jinjin specializes in international investment law, and has published several journal articles in this field, such as “The Anatomy of Systemic Interpretation Approaches to Protect Human Rights of Host State in International Investment Arbitration” in Journal of International Economic Law 3 (2019) and “On the Restrictive Development Trend of MFN Treatment Clauses’ Application to Investment Substantive Treatment” in International Economics and Trade Research 5 (2019). She is a member of research projects funded by The National Social Science Fund of China (NSSFC). Her doctoral thesis focuses on the disciplines on state-owned enterprises under international investment law. At NYU Law School, she hopes to complete her research under the supervision of Professor Benedict Kingsbury.

Jinjin has a LL.B. from Beijing Normal University, a LL.M. from Liaoning University, and a certificate from The Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for the 2014-2015 academic year. Jinjin has participated in numerous activities related to international law, such as the 12th China Round for The Jessup International Law Moot Court (2014), the 12th CIETAC Cup International Commercial Arbitration Moot (2014), the Hague Academy of International Law Summer Program in (2017), and the European Centre for Career Education Summer Law Program with full scholarship (2018). She is an editor for the Journal of International Economic Law since 2016.



Marion Dubray VDR

Marion Vironda Dubray
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Marion is a French jurist and doctoral researcher from the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva (Switzerland). She is a member of the interdisciplinary research project Right to Truth, Truth(s) through Rights: Mass Crimes Impunity and Transitional Justice, conducted under the supervision of Sévane Garibian and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF Project PP00P1_157406/1). In this context, Marion’s research analyses the concept of mass crimes impunity from an international law perspective. In the first part of her research, she has mapped the dominant vision of the notion of impunity, which understands the latter as a denial of criminal justice. During her fellowship at New York University, she intends to conduct a critical analysis of this comprehension, in light of criminal justice’s lacunae and the recent evolution of the fight against impunity for mass crimes.

Marion holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Aix-en-Provence (France), and a Master (LLM) in “Globalization and Law”, with a specialization in Human Rights, from Maastricht University (The Netherlands). She later explored her interest in International Law, and International Criminal Law in particular, through the Master of advanced studies in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. As part of her Master, she interned with the Legal Adviser of Pablo de Greiff, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence, in Geneva (2013). Upon her graduation, she worked as a legal adviser for the French Ministry of Defense in Paris (2013-2016), focusing on human rights, intellectual property and contract law issues. In 2016, Marion Vironda Dubray joined the Right to Truth, Truth(s) through Rights research project, as a doctoral researcher. During the 2018-2019 academic year, she worked as a teaching assistant in the Criminal Law Department of the University of Geneva and assisted Sévane Garibian in her course titled "International Criminal Law, International Crimes and Transitional Justice".

Among other publications, Marion has contributed to the collective volumes Drone et killers robots, faut-il les interdire? (ed. Ronan Doaré, Presse Universitaires de Rennes, 2015) and Statut de Rome de la Cour pénale internationale: Commentaire article par article (eds. Julian Fernandez and Xavier Pacreau, forthcoming 2019). Her professional page may be accessed at


2018-2019 Visiting Doctoral Researchers

Gerard Kennedy
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Gerard Kennedy is a Canadian lawyer, law teacher, and legal scholar, whose research concentrates on civil procedure, administrative, and the role of courts in facilitating access to justice. Gerard earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto before obtaining a Juris Doctor from Queen's University at Kingston, where he was awarded the Dean's Key as the graduating student who best combined academic achievement and community involvement. He has spent considerable time studying and working in international law outside Canada, receiving a certificate in public international law from the Bader International Study Centre, and interning at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Finally, he earned a Masters of Law at Harvard Law School, as a Frank Knox Memorial Fellow, studying under many of the world's leading scholars and practitioners in the fields of international and procedural law.

Gerard also has considerable practical experiences in Canada, which led to his current academic endeavours. Building on his clerkship experience at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, in 2012, Gerard began a private practice in litigation at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto, where he practised over several years in many different subject matters. His practice included a significant pro bono component, ranging from intervening at the Supreme Court of Canada in constitutional cases to helping challenge the criminalization of sodomy laws in Jamaica and regularly volunteering as duty counsel at the Ontario Superior Court, Civil Practice Court, and Small Claims Court -- which he still does to this day. In recognition of his work in this regard, Gerard won the 2016 Young Advocates' Society Commitment to Pro Bono Award.

An educator at heart, Gerard has taught law at Osgoode Hall Law School, Queen's University's Faculty of Law, and the University of Toronto's Department of Political Science. He has also published op-eds and professional resources in Canadian publications such as the National Post, Policy Options, and The Walrus.


Maria Antonia Panasci
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Maria Antonia is a PhD candidate at Durham Law School, where she has been the PGR Co-Convenor of the Durham European Law Institute (DELI) for the past two years. Funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), her doctoral project analyses the space of transnational solidarity in the European Union. In particular, her thesis explores the scope and justification for redistribution, with a focus on EU citizenship and distributive justice. During her residency at NYU, she looks at the Eurozone crisis and its implications on EU citizenship as a vehicle of cross-border solidarity.
Maria Antonia holds a master’s degree with distinction from University of Catania (Italy) and a specialised diploma (magna cum laude) from Scuola Superiore di Catania, an interdisciplinary centre for advanced studies. She also studied  at the University of Tübingen (Germany), where she was an Erasmus student, and at the Academy of European Law (EUI, Florence). Before starting her PhD, Maria Antonia clerked in the Court of Appeal and practised as a trainee lawyer in Italy. Her research interests lie in various fields of the law of the European Union, including free movement, economic and monetary union (EMU), welfare systems  and fundamental social rights.


Niki Siampakou
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Niki Siampakou is a PhD Candidate at the Center for International and European Studies and Research (CERIC) of Aix-Marseille University where she also obtained her Master's Degree in Public International Law. Her PhD research concerns the reparation framework for the victims of international crimes and is supervised by professor Ludovic Hennebel.  She is a member of the Aix Global Justice Legal Clinic of CERIC working specifically on human rights cases and on amici curiae. She has done a legal internship at the International Criminal Court at the Victim Participation and Reparations Section in The Hague. As a member of the Athens Bar Association, she worked as a trainee lawyer in Greece. During the academic year 2017-2018, she was a visiting PhD researcher in the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) of Amsterdam University where she focused her research on the existing victim reparation framework in international criminal law.

2017-2018 Visiting Doctoral Researchers

Isabel Lischewski

Isabel Lischewski
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Isabel Lischewski is currently working on her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Niels Petersen at the University of Münster, Germany. Having studied law in Münster and at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russian Federation, and completed several internships inter alia with Eurojust, she obtained her first State Exam in 2016 and is now a research assistant.
An avid MUNer throughout her studies, Isabel has coached the university’s NMUN delegation as well as its Jessup Moot Court team. She is also active in the Social Democratic Party of Germany and as an equal opportunities commissioner at Münster’s law school.
Isabel’s main research interests include the law of international organizations, law and gender, and international relations. During her stay at NYU, she hopes to progress on her thesis, an empirical study of Global Administrative Law through the lens of international relations theory.


Ranieri Lima Resende
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Ranieri Lima Resende is PhD. in Law Candidate at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ, Brazil), under the supervision of Prof. Dr. José Ribas Vieira, and Excellence Fellow of the Rio de Janeiro Research Foundation (FAPERJ, Brazil). His doctoral project is focused on the nature of precedent of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, control of conventionality and harmonization of case law.
During his MSc. in Law studies at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG, Brazil), Ranieri has dedicated to the International Law field and was admitted as Visiting Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (MPIL, Germany). His Master thesis was partially published in the Goettingen Journal of International Law under the title “Normative Heterogeneity and International Responsibility: Another View on the World Trade Organization and its System of Countermeasures” (GoJIL, v. 3, n. 2), and it was included in the Oxford Bibliographies.
Besides this paper, Ranieri has published in many scientific journals, conference proceedings and collective books in Brazil and abroad, especially in the areas of International Protection of Human Rights, International Responsibility, Constitutionalism, Fundamental Rights and Transitional Justice. Some of his works were quoted by the Brazilian Supreme Court in important precedents (e.g.: Asbestos case).
According to his wide academic interests, Ranieri has been participating in several research groups, such as the Study Group on International State Responsibility and Environment of the Latin American Society of International Law (LASIL/SLADI), the Brazilian Justice Observatory Research Group at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (OJB/UFRJ), the Critique & International Law Research Group at the University of Brasília (CDI/UnB), and the Study Group on Internationalization of Law and Transitional Justice (IDEJUST).


2016-2017 Visiting Doctoral Researchers

Hannah Birkenkötter

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

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

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

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


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.

Maria Adele Carrai

Visiting Doctoral Researcher
Hong Kong

Maria Adele Carrai is a Ph.D. Fellow in Law and Swire Scholar at the University of Hong Kong, working under the supervision of Professor Albert Chen Hung-yee.

She holds a MA in Political Science from the University of Bologna, a MA in Asian Languages, Economics and Legal Institutions from Ca’Foscari University of Venice, and a BA in Chinese Language and Culture from the University of Rome La Sapienza.

The topic of her Ph.D. research is “State and Empire: China’s World Views and Discourses of Sovereignty, From the Early Translation of Sovereignty to its Present Status as a Concept,” in which she is studying the genealogy of the concept of sovereignty in China, from its systematic translation in the mid-19th century to its present problematic use. Her general research interests include Western and Chinese legal and political philosophy, legal history, and international law and relations.