Italian Human Rights Law Expert Begins Post-Doc at HSE Center of Public Comparative Law
After completing a Master’s in International Public Law in 2007, Maria Sole Continiello, a native of Rome, Italy, spent several years working as an international lawyer before returning to academia. While pursusing a Ph.D. in Politics, Human Rights and Sustainability at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, her research focused on the inter-applicability of human rights law and international humanitarian law during military occupation. This work afforded her the opportunity to move around Europe, including to the Irish Center For Human Rights in Galway, Ireland, and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Public Law in Heidelberg, Germany.
Eventually moving back in Italy, Maria Sole began collaborating with the legal department of the Italian Red Cross, an experience that enabled her to participate in the Al-Haq summer school in Palestine, where she had the opportunity to visit refugee camps in the West Bank and acquire in-depth knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
‘After the experience in Palestine, I contacted the Center of Public Comparative Law at the HSE Faculty of Law in order to come for a research visit’, Maria Sole says. ‘I knew HSE because I was really interested in the work done by Professor Vera Rusinova regarding the right to life during military occupation; I was very interested in collaborating with her and doing research to publish my Ph.D. dissertation’.
Since November 2017, Maria Sole has been a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Center of Public Comparative Law, where, alongside teaching activities, she is pursuing two research projects. The first one directly follows from her Ph.D. dissertation and is related to the inter-applicability of international investment law and the law of military occupation. The second one is related to the Russian law on refugees through the lens of the European Court of Human Rights.
‘I am really glad to be at the HSE Faculty of Law, and especially to work as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre of Comparative Law’, Maria Sole says. ‘All the staff at the centre are kind and supportive, especially Professor Starzhenetsky and Professor Rusinova. They have welcomed me as part of the team and encouraged me to grow professionally. Moreover, the department is amazing: very well organized and productive’.
In addition to her collaboration with Professors Starzhenetsky and Rusinova, Maria Sole has also collaborated with Professor Anita Soboleva on a course on Human Rights Law, and with Professor Daria Boklan in organizing a simulation of the Jessup Moot Court. Over the medium to longer term, she hopes to continue both her academic activities and consulting work for NGOs and international organizations, spending time in the field where she can put her studies and research into practice.
In her spare time, Maria Sole enjoys exploring Moscow. She claims that there is always something new to experience despite the fact that this is her third stay.
‘Every time I fall more and more in love with this city!’, she exclaims. ‘It’s a cosmopolitan environment, full of artistic, cultural and intellectual incentives that have always fascinated me and conquered my soul. The things to do and places that I love most in Moscow are going for a relaxing walk in Chistie Prudy, going ice skating in Gorky Park, spending an afternoon in the new Tretyakov Gallery, going to hear a classical music concert at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and having dinner at Elarji (an amazing Georgian restaurant).
When asked what advice she would give to international newcomers at HSE, Maria Sole notes that she would highly recommend that they look to be active in university life, taking part in events that are organized for students and researchers.
‘I would also recommend that newcomers go out for walks often’, she says. ‘Moscow is an incredible and amazing city full of life and places that have to be discovered’.
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service