Our news


  • Edward Murimi’s article ‘Fluctuating standards of proof at the African Court: a case for principled flexibility’ was published in the African Human Rights Yearbook (Vol. 7, 2023).
  • Between February and March 2024, Anne-K. Speck will join the Centre for Fundamental Rights at Hertie School, Berlin for a five-week Visiting Fellowship.
  • 10 January 2024 saw the online launch of the special issue of the European Convention on Human Rights Law Review, entitled ‘The Evidentiary System of the European Court of Human Rights in Critical Perspective’, edited by DISSECT’s Principled Investigator, Professor Marie-Bénédicte Dembour. DISSECT PhD researcher Anne-K. Speck gave the concluding remarks at the event, which was chaired by DISSECT-affiliated doctoral researcher Nele Schuldt.


  • On December 2023, the last issue of 2023 of the European Convention on Human Rights Law Review was published (Vol. 4, issue 4). This special issue, focuses on the evidentiary regime of the European Court of Human Rights. The table of contents is as follows:
    – Prof Dr Marie-Bénédicte Dembour, ‘The Evidentiary System of the European Court of Human Rights in Critical Perspective’.
    – Prof Dr Marie-Bénédicte Dembour, ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt at its Worst – But Also at its Potential Best: Dissecting Ireland v the United Kingdom’s No-Torture Finding’.
    – Kristin Henrard, ‘The European Court of Human Rights and the ‘Special’ Distribution of the Burden of Proof in Racial Discrimination Cases: The Search for Fairness Continues’.
    – Joseph Finnerty, ‘When is a State’s ‘Hidden Agenda’ Proven? The Role of the Merabishvili’s Three-Legged Evidentiary Test in the Article 18 Strasbourg Case Law’.
    – Grażyna Baranowska, ‘Exposing Covert Border Enforcement: Why Failing to Shift the Burden of Proof in Pushback Cases is Wrong’.
  • On 16 December 2023, Nina Kolowratnik opened her exhibition “Intangible Proof: Indigenous Truths before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights” at Magazin-Space for Contemporary Architecture in Vienna, Austria. It will be on show until 24 Feb 2024.
  • On 7 December 2023, Anne-K. Speck presented a paper entitled ‘”The idea (…) is not to get to the objective truth”: Views on Evidence, Truth and Justice from inside the European Court of Human Rights’ at the International Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Conference ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 75: Rethinking and Constructing its Future Together’, organised by Ghent University’s Human Rights Research Network in Ghent, Belgium.
  • Nina Kolowratnik participated with an animated mapping on the case dynamics of Tagaeri Taromenane vs Ecuador and a paper on imageless evidence in the exhibition and conference “Agents of Concern: Images and Empathy” at the Hasselt University, School of Arts in Belgium. See video of her talk here.
  • On 11-12 October 2023, Nina Kolowratnik was invited to participate in the visit of judges of the Corte Provincial de Justicia de Pastaza and members of the Consejo Nacional de la Judicatura de Ecuador at the Kichwa de Sarayaku Community in the Amazon rainforest, whose purpose was the discussion of tribal law’s fields of jurisdiction and the new requirement of “inter-cultural communication” in national court cases involving indigenous parties. Kolowratnik presented an intervention on the challenges and potentials of including indigenous cosmovisions into western-oriented courts.
  • From 25-27 September, the DISSECT team went on a fruitful team retreat to Kortenberg, Belgium.
  • On 13 June 2023, Nina Kolowratnik presented on ‘The map as evidentiary document in Indigenous cases’ at the roundtable ‘El valor del peritaje interdisciplinario con enfoque de derechos humanos’, organised by Dr. Adriana Rodríguez, Programa Andino de Derechos Humanos, Aréa de Derecho, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito, Ecuador. 
  • On 30 May 2023, Nina Kolowratnik presented on ‘Oral witness testimonies in the IACtHR case Pueblos Indígenas Tagaeri y Taromenane vs Ecuador’ to students of the class ‘Reparación Psicosocial’ taught by Dr. Marìa Fernanda Solíz, Director of the Aréa de Salud at Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito Ecuador. 
  • On 27-28 April 2023, we held our third Advisory Board meeting.
  • On 19 April 2023, Nina Kolowratnik presented her paper ‘The Dilemmas of Silence: Evidence Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Secrecy in Four Cases Involving Indigenous Peoples in Cultural and Territorial Isolation’ at a roundtable on Indigenous Rights and Rights of Nature and launch of the 2nd volume of Andares: Revista de Derechos Humanos y de la Naturaleza at Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito, Ecuador.
  • On 2 March 2023, Nele Schuldt and Prof. Elisabeth Lambert co-organised a Symposium on ‘Translating Climate Science for the Human Rights Court Room’. With over 400 online and in-person registrations, as well as an online recording of the presentations, a wide audience was reached. The recordings can be found here.
  • On 28 February and 1 March 2023, Anne-K. Speck attended the first ever Council of Europe (CoE) Civil Society Summit, convened jointly by CURE (Campaign to Uphold Rights in Europe) and the Conference of INGOs of the CoE in The Hague and online. The Summit adopted a Declaration addressed to the 4th CoE Summit of Heads of State and Government (to be held on 16-17 May 2023 in Reykjavík), featuring recommendations for strengthening the CoE and making it more effective.
  • On 2 February 2023, Anne-K. Speck taught an online class on ‘Interviews in Legal Research: Research Methods and Research Ethics’ to students participating in the Public Interest Clinic of New York University (NYU in Paris).
  • Nina Kolowratnik has been accepted as Associated Reseacher at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito, Ecuador, Aréa de Derecho, from January 2023-January 2024.
  • From January to November 2023, Nina Kolowratnik conducted fieldwork in Ecuador focusing evidence production in the cases Pueblos Indígenas Tagaeri Taromenane vs Ecuador (ongoing) and Pueblo Indígena Kichwa de Sarayaku (2012), both litigated within the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.


  • In October and November of 2022, Nele Schuldt undertook a 6-week research visit at the University of Oxford, working alongside the team of the Sustainable Law Programme of Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.
  • From November 21-23, 2022, Nina Kolowratnik participated online in the ‘Indigenous Mapping Workshop’ at Edmonton, Canada, organised by the Indigenous Mapping Collective.
  • On 20 September 2022, Emma Várnagy and Jill Alpes spoke at the 2nd CESSMIR Conference with the theme ‘Contemporary forms of racism and discrimination’. The talk was entitled ‘Making ethnic discrimination visible to judges: The case of an experiment at the North Macedonian borders’.
  • In the first semester of the academic year 2022-2023, Marie-Benedicte Dembour, assisted by the DISSECT research team, taught a Master’s course entitled ‘Selected Topics of International Human Rights Law’ and focusing on ‘Evidence, Truth and Power’. This is to a group of 58 UGent Master’s students. Syllabus available here.
  • On 23 August 2022, Nina Kolowratnik attended the public hearing of the Inter-American Court case Pueblos Indígenas Taegeri Taromenane vs Ecuador in Brasilia, Brazil.
  • On 13-16 July 2022, the DISSECT team attended the Global Meeting on Law & Society in Lisbon. Every dissecter gave a paper on their research.
  • On 13-14 June 2022, we held our second Advisory Board meeting.
  • On 7 June 2022, Anne-K. Speck participated in an online Werkstattgespräch organised by the Law & Society Institute at HU Berlin, where they gave a talk entitled ‘Recht nah am Forschungsgegenstand – Erkenntnisse aus ethnographischer Feldforschung am Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte‘.
  • From June to September 2022, Nina Kolowratnik conducted fieldwork in Ecuador focusing on the case Pueblos Indígenas Tagaeri Taromenane vs Ecuador currently litigated at the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. It represents the first case on peoples in voluntary isolation the Court will prepare a sentence on.
  • On 18 May 2022, Emma Várnagy presented her paper entitled “‘Purely Gypsy Behavior’ The ECtHR and Negative Stereotypes In Racist Police Violence Cases” at the Critical Approaches to Romani Studies Conference organized by Södertörn University and Central European University, in cooperation with the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University.
  • From March to June 2022, Ruwadzano Makumbe was in-residence at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford (March-June 2022). In addition to her PhD research, she conducted independent research under the Civil Liability for Human Rights Violations Project. The primary purpose of the project is to determine whether and when the law of civil remedies provides a real opportunity to hold state and non-state actors accountable for their involvement in three specified categories of human rights violations: (i) assault or unlawful arrest and detention of persons; (ii) environmental harm; and (iii) harmful or unfair labour conditions.
    More info: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/content/civil-liability-gross-human-rights-abuses
  • On 19 February 2022, Nele Schuldt gave a paper entitled ‘Mapping Translational Challenges in the European Court of Human Right’s approach towards scientific evidence in environmental case law’ at the Conference on Climate Change Litigation in Europe held at the University of Hasselt organised jointly with BIICL.
  • On 15 February 2022, Ruwadzano Mukambe had a blog post, entitled ‘The Use of Digital Open-Source Information as Evidence in International Human Rights Adjudication: A Reality-Check’, published on Jus Cogens: The International Law Blog, available here.
  • On 31 January 2022, Dr Octavian Ichim joined the DISSECT team online and talked to us about his work in the UN Treaty Bodies unit in Geneva.