Democracy and the Rule of Law Speaker Biographies

Haim AbrahamMr. Haim Abraham is a Doctor of Juridical Science Candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, a Vanier Scholar, and a LGBTQ+ activist. Haim specializes in tort law and theory, international humanitarian law, and gender and sexuality law. In his doctoral dissertation, Haim argues that states that engage in combat have moral and legal obligations to compensate civilians who suffered losses during the conduct of war.
Haim earned a Bachelor degree in Law and in Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which he attended on the University’s Scholarship for Outstanding Students. During his time at the Hebrew University, Haim served as a teaching and research assistant in labour law, evidence law, and civil procedure. He was also a student editor of the Israel Law Review, and the founder of the LGBT Rights Association at the Hebrew University’s Law Faculty. Haim graduated magna cum laude, and received the Lord Woolf Award.
Upon completion of his studies, Haim served as a law clerk in the civil department of the Israel State Attorney Office. Haim was called to the Israeli Bar in 2014. In 2015, Haim received a Master of Laws degree from the University of Cambridge, where he was supported by the British Friends of the Hebrew University Scholarship, the Jewish Widows and Students Aid Trust, and The Sidney Perry Foundation.


Giovanna De MinicoProfessor Giovanna de Minico is professor of constitutional law, at University Federico II (Naples), visiting professor at LSE, UCL and Max Planck for Innovation and Competition, and Director of the European research Centre Ermes, She is a member of the Committee for the Declaration of Internet rights, appointed by President Boldrini and has spoken at numerous international conferences. She is the author of four monographs and several essays, as well as co-coordinator of the “New Rights and New Forms of Protection in the Age of the Internet” group approved by the International Association of Constitutional Law. For further details see:


Mariya IlyasMs. Mariya Ilyas is a master’s student at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Upon graduation, Mariya will join the U.S. Foreign Service as part of the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship. Prior to Fletcher, she worked in the public and private sectors: taught journalism in Pakistan (Davis Projects for Peace Fellow); taught English in Turkey (Fulbright Scholarship); served at The White House and the U.S. Department of State; and worked for a fortune-100 insurance company in Boston as an analyst. Mariya graduated from Bowdoin College in 2013 with degrees in Mathematics, Sociology and Government. She was born in Pakistan and grew up in Alexandria, VA outside the nation’s capital.


Despoina KotsiMs. Despoina Kotsi practices law in Athens, Greece. She holds both an LL.B. and LL.M in specialized public law from the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens (Faculty of Law) and an LL.M. in specialized public law from the University Montesquieu – Bordeaux IV in France. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in public law – specializing in the right to education in relation to system of Government, while completing another M.A. in International Law and Diplomatic Studies at Panteion University. She is a voluntary legal counsellor at KE.AS.M. (Urban Reform Centre) in Athens, where she also directs a survey over the “Internationalization of Greek cultural Identity”. She is also a member of ”Leontida’s” board, a Foundation with aim to restore the ancient agora of Athens. She has substantial international research and mooting experience and was awarded “Best Member of the European Parliament” by I.R.T.E.A. (Institute for Research and Training on European Affairs). Finally, she is an eight times nationwide distinguished poet.


Giulia Aravantinou LeonidiDr. Giulia Aravantinou Leonidi is a post-doctoral research fellow of comparative public law at the University of Rome Sapienza (Department of Political Science). She holds a PhD in State Theory and Political Comparative Institutions and an LL.M in Comparative Political Institutions and Constitutional History, both from the University La Sapienza of Rome. Dr. Leonidi was awarded a scholarship from the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation as a foreign scholar for her research on “Constitution and State Security in Greece: How to Protect Democracy in a Changing world” and has been a member of several national and international research projects. She has taught in both Italian and Greek universities, and has published over 60 articles in national and international law reviews. Her latest book “Inside Parliament. The Institutionalization of Parliamentary Bureaucracy in the United Kingdom: A Comparative Perspective” (Italian) is currently in press. Her main research interests concern comparative public law, American and Greek constitutional law, and UK public law.


Luigi LonardoMr. Luigi Lonardo is a PhD candidate at King’s College London, and a Teaching Assistant at King’s College London and Sciences Po Paris. His main research interests lie in the law of European Union Foreign Policy and the relationship between law and politics.




Attila Nagy.jpgMr. Attila Nagy is an Independent Researcher focusing on Law subjects and has worked for many years as a Lecturer at the International Business College Mitrovica in Kosovo. He was teaching Law, Public Administration and EU related subjects. Recently he has been engaged in field research on the key topics related to the EU: apart from the refugee crisis issue he is now focusing on BrExit and how theEU is going to treat it in the future. He is also working at the City Administration of Subotica in Serbia at the Department for the Local Economic Development. Attila has held many guest lectures for students and professionals and also published articles in various fields concerning mostly law enforcement and local economic development in the post conflict Kosovo.


Giacomo PailliDr. Giacomo Pailli is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Florence. Prior to this he was awarded a PhD in comparative law (2013) from the University of Florence and an LL.M. (2011) from the New York University School of Law. He has been admitted to practice law in Italy and in the State of New York. He is a member of the International Association of Procedural Law, European Law Institute, and Italian Society for the Research and Study of Comparative Law (SIRD).



Miroslaw SadowskiMr. Mirosław Michał Sadowski is a LL.M. student at the University of Wrocław. His main interests lie in the law of Hong Kong and Macau SARs, sociology of law, cultural heritage law, and collective memory, but he also explores international law, psychology, sociology, linguistics, and political science. So far he has published three articles, inter alia Psychological, Social, Cultural, Literary, and Legal Dimensions of Memory and Crossroads of the World, Crossroads of the Law: Hong Kong and Macau Legal Systems Approaching 20 Years Post-Transition. Two more are awaiting publication. He presented at several international conferences, notably CLC 2015, 2016 and 2017, SLSA 2016 and 2017, and McGill’s GLSA 2017. M. M. Sadowski is a member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association, University of Wrocław’s Student Associations’ Board, and the Richard Wagner Society of Wrocław.



G. PreethamMr. Gannarapu (G.) Preetham Sameer is currently in his final year of BA LLB (Hon’s) course at School of Law Christ University, Bengaluru, India. The son of a prominent Hyderabad judge, he developed an early interest in the field of Constitutional and Administrative law and wishes to pursue higher education in Public Administrative Law. Throughout law school he has had a keen interest towards academic research and has publishes papers in the pursuit of this.  G. Preetham has also presented numerous papers at conferences in different countries and exposing him to interesting cultures. A notable example was the International Conference on Interplay of Economics, Politics, and Society on Development of a Nation-ICIEPS-2017, during which he had the privilege of exploring the cultural nuances of the dragon country Bhutan. When not involved in college activities he enjoys reading poetry and historical fiction, and nurses a dream to have his writings published.


Pavla Samoylova.jpegMs. Pavla Samoylova is a Ph.D student of Giessen University (Germany), singer and songwriter. In 2011 she graduated with a diploma of law from Kazan Federal University, (Russia) and in 2015 obtained a degree of master of transition management in Giessen University. In 2016, she started her Ph.D project dedicated to the interaction between law and heavy metal music as a social phenomenon and cultural resistance. She presents herself and her works with a creative approach and considers art as a crucial indicator of social challenges.



Ian TurnerDr. Ian Turner is Reader in Human Rights and Security at the Lancashire Law School, the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, where he is responsible for PhD students. Ian has taught undergraduate and graduate modules in human rights, security and counter-terrorism for a number of years; and has been published widely in these areas, particularly on matters relating to the killing and torture of terror suspects. He is an Editor of the International Journal of Human Rights, and a member of the Editorial Boards of Democracy and Security and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. In his conference paper he will be reassessing the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes as a way of theorising contemporary approaches to national and transnational security.


Tugba YurukMs. Tuğba Yürük was born in Turkey in 1989. She graduated from Bilkent University with B.A. degree in International Relations department in 2012. After graduation she worked as a teaching assistant in Istanbul Şehir University while continuing her M.A. education on Middle Eastern Studies. She took her M.A. degree in International Relations with her thesis on “Transformation of Political Islam: The Case of Ennahda in Tunisia” from Ankara University. She is a co-author of a book about research methods in social sciences She is both a PhD candidate and research assistant in Ankara University now. She focuses on the issues of dynamics of political movements and comparative politics.