PhD supervisors

DISSECT and affiliated PhD researchers are working under the guidance of Prof Marie-Bénédicte Dembour. She is assisted in this task by brilliant scholars who have accepted not only to formally join a ‘doctoral guidance committee’ (DGC) but also to be closely involved in the development of our individual doctoral projects. The DISSECT team is extremely grateful to the following:

Kirsten Anker

Associate Professor at the McGill University Faculty of Law, Canada 
Member of Nina Kolowratnik’s DGC
Professor Anker teaches property, legal theory and Aboriginal law/Indigenous legal traditions at McGill University Faculty of Law. She is the author of Declarations of Interdependence: A Legal Pluralist Approach to Indigenous Rights (2014and co-editor of From Environmental to Ecological Law (2021). She has written widely on the challenge to orthodox understandings of law and sovereignty posed by the recognition in Australia and Canada that Indigenous law “intersects” or co-exists with state law. She is a member of McGill’s Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) project, and Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives (CICADA).

Alice Donald

Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at Middlesex University, London
Member of Anne-Katrin Speck’s DGC
Dr Donald’s research interests include the relationship between human rights and democratic governance and matters related to human rights implementation.  She is co-author with Philip Leach of Parliaments and the European Court of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2016) and has regularly assisted the Council of Europe with the training of parliamentarians and parliamentary staff in the fulfilment of their human rights responsibilities. She previously worked as a broadcast journalist and editor at the BBC World Service. 

Yves Haeck

Professor of International Human Rights Law in the Faculty of Law and Criminology at Ghent University
Member of Genaro Manrique’s DGC
Professor Haeck’s research focuses on substantial and procedural issues before regional and universal human rights adjudicators. He is the Director of the Programme for Studies on Human Rights in Context. He is also a guest professor at the University of Geneva and the University of Pretoria. Prior to this, he was a lecturer at Utrecht University and a guest professor at the University of Malta. He holds a PhD in Law (Ghent University, 2007) and a Master of Laws (Ghent University, 1992). He is co-founder of the Human Rights Centre of Ghent University.  

Thomas Keenan

Professor of Comparative Literature at Bard College, USA
Member of Nina Kolowratnik’s DGC

Professor Keenan teaches human rights, media studies, and literature at Bard College, where he also directs the Human Rights Project as well as the BA program in Human Rights. He is the author of Fables of Responsibility (1997); and, with Eyal Weizman, Mengele’s Skull (2012). He co-edited, with Wendy Chun, New Media, Old Media (2006, 2015). Within the framework of the Open Society University Network, he serves as project co-leader for the Threatened Scholars Initiative as well as the Program in Human Rights and the Arts.  He serves on the boards of a number of distinguished human rights organisations and journals.

Elisabeth Lambert

CNRS Research Professor at the University of Strasbourg, France (SAGE laboratory)
Member of Anne-Katrin Speck and Nele Schuldt’s DGCs

Professor Lambert specialises in issues related to the enforcement of the European Court of Human Rights’ judgments, access to justice, remedies to victims as well as, more recently, the interactions between human rights, food studies and environmental law. These various interests have led her to be repeatedly called upon to give advice to the Council of Europe. Professor Lambert is currently a USIAS fellow on the topic Taking the right to healthy food seriously. She is also in charge of designing research within the newly created Strasbourg Research Group for environment and sustainability (, of which she is a member of the steering Committee.

Yvonne McDermott Rees

Professor of law at the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law Swansea University
Member of Ruwadzano Makumbe’s DGC
Professor Yvonne McDermott Rees’s research interests include international criminal law, human rights law and the law of evidence. She is currently Principal Investigator on the OSR4Rights project, a multi-disciplinary project that examines how open source research has transformed the landscape of human rights fact-finding. Her published works include Fairness in International Criminal Trials (Oxford University Press, 2016); Proving International Crimes (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), and over 60 academic journal articles and book chapters. Yvonne is a Legal Advisor to the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) and an Associate Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

Linsey McGoey

Professor of Sociology and Social Theory in the Sociology Department of the University of Essex
Member of Ruwadzano Makumbe’s DGC
Linsey McGoey is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for Economic Sociology and Innovation (CRESI) at the University of Essex. She is author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy (Verso, 2016) and The Unknowers: How Strategic Ignorance Rules the World (Zed, 2019).

Rachel Murray

Professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Bristol
Member of Edward Kahuthia Murimi’s DGC

Professor Murray directs the Human Rights Implementation Centre at the University of Bristol. Widely known for her academic work on the African human rights system, implementation of human rights law, OPCAT and torture prevention, she also advises national and international organisations, governments and individuals. She held a major research grant from the ESRC to examine how regional and UN treaty bodies’ decisions are implemented ( She is a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex and a member of Doughty Street Chambers. She is a magistrate sitting in Bristol.

Marie Rota

Lecturer in Law at Lorraine University (France)
Member of Genaro Manrique’s DGC
Dr Marie Rota specialises in international and comparative human rights law. Her doctoral studies brought her to undertake several research visits in Latin America. Her PhD thesis was published under the title L’interprétation des conventions américaine et européenne des droits de l’homme (LGDJ, 2018, 558 pp). Extending her study of international and comparative law beyond the European and Inter-American systems, Dr Rota is continuing to work on human rights’ judicial interpretation. She has (co-)edited 3 collections and written 40 academic articles.

Frans Viljoen

Professor of International Human Rights Law at University of Pretoria
Member of Edward Kahuthia Murimi’s DGC
Frans Viljoen is a Professor and Director of the Centre for Human Rights in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria. His research area is international human rights law, with a focus on the African regional human rights system. He has been involved in advocacy and training on the African regional human rights system, and published widely on international human rights law, including International human rights law in Africa (Oxford University Press, second edition, 2012). He is editor-in-chief of the African Human Rights Law Journal and co-editor of the English and French versions of the African Human Rights Law Reports. 

Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh

Assistant Professor of Public International Law at Leiden University
Member of Nele Schuldt’s DGC
Dr Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh is an Assistant Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies (Leiden University), an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (University of the South Pacific) and an Attorney at Blue Ocean Law, a boutique international law firm specialising in human rights, self-determination and environmental justice. In 2018 she received a NWO Veni-grant for her project Climate Justice through the Courts (2019-2023), which uses socio-legal research to investigate the effectiveness and potential drawbacks of rights-based climate litigation.