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Dr. Vera Shikhelman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Post Doctoral Fellow

Field of research: Why and when states implement decisions of international human rights institutions.

Vera Shikhelman is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Minerva Center for Human Rights. Vera completed her JSD degree at the University of Chicago Law School, under the supervision of Prof. Eric Posner and Prof. Tom Ginsburg. The title of her dissertation was "Decision-making and Access to Justice in the United Nations Human Rights Committee." During her JSD studies at the University of Chicago she was awarded the JSD fellowship and a research grant from the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights. She also served as an Emile Noël Research Fellow at NYU School of Law, The Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law and Justice during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Vera applies both quantitative and qualitative empirical research methods in her work. Her research interests include courts and dispute resolution, empirical legal studies, international law, civil procedure, law and society, judicial decision-making and human rights.

Vera has earned her LL.B. degree (magna cum laude) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and her LL.M. (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar) from Columbia University in the City of New York.

The research project on which Vera currently is about why and when states implement decisions of international human rights institutions. In order to understand under which conditions states are more likely to comply with international human rights law, I code data about state compliance with the quasi-judicial decisions of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. I am creating an original dataset of state compliance with decisions under the First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR. I hypothesize that there might be four important factors for the compliance of states: (1) Political characteristics of the state–democratic and developed states are more likely to implement decisions (2) The subject-matter of the decision–states are less likely to implement decisions on subject-matters that might infringe their sovereignty (such as immigration) (3) Type of remedy–states are more likely to implement monetary remedies than other remedies (4) Legitimacy and representation–states are more likely to implement decisions if they have a Committee Member on the HRC, or if they have many Committee Members from a similar geopolitical background on the HRC.

Geography, Politics and Culture in the United Nations Human Rights Committee (Forthcoming, 28European Journal of International Law __ 2017) (job talk paper)

Diversity and Decision-Making in International Judicial Institutions (Forthcoming, 36 Berkeley Journal of International Law __ 2017)

Access to Justice in the United Nations Human Rights Committee (Forthcoming, 39 Michigan Journal of International Law __ 2017)

Freie Universität Berlin
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The Minerva Center for Human Rights
Menschenrechtszentrum Uni Potsdam
DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Einstein Foundation Berlin
Dahlem Research School