Despoina's doctoral dissertation on the Impact of Naturalistic and Legal Positivist Doctrines on the Implementation of International Human Rights Treaty Law - The Case of Reservations to Human Rights Treaties focuses on the progressive development of public international law in the light of the effective realization of a modern human rights regime.
The concept of human rights has developed during the last 60 years mainly through multilateral treaties as a positivist branch of public international law. However, key positivist doctrines such as pacta sunt servanda or state sovereignty pose significant obstacles to the effective realization of a modern human rights regime. The universal, inherent and inalienable nature of fundamental human rights, deriving from their natural law origins, are often set aside by such doctrines and annulled. Through close examination of reservations to human rights treaties, this study sheds new light on the deep interplay of naturalistic and legal positivist doctrines on the progress and implementation of human rights law (CEDAW, HR Committee, ILC). It is argued that the positions of apex human rights bodies regarding reservations reveal that establishing a human rights concept within a legal positivist environment, without a systematic methodological foundation, endangers its basic sustainability.
Despoina's research focuses i.a. in the following topics:
- International and regional human rights protection (UN, European, EU, ASEAN, and MENA Systems)
- Critical legal theory of Public International Law (Ethics, cultural relativism, naturalistic and legal positivist doctrines)
- Women's rights - Gender - Diversity Management
- Counter-Terrorism and National Security
- International Affairs and Diplomacy
- Refugee/Asylum Law
- Humanitarian Law - Crisis and Emergences
- Strategic Communication and Public Relations (inc. counter-narratives and digital marketing)
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- International Criminal Justice