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About us How to find us A. (Mando) Rachovitsa, PhD

A. Rachovitsa, PhD

A. Rachovitsa, PhD
E-mail:
a.rachovitsa rug.nl

 

Overview of Research

My research interests lie in the area of public international law and international human rights law. I have a broad research lens and 2 main strands of research. In the first strand of my research I explore interpretational and jurisdictional issues across international courts. I am particularly interested in pursuing a comparative approach to the practice of different international courts. More recently, I also engage with the role and expertise of judges sitting at international courts and other quasi-judicial bodies. The second strand of my research addresses the relevance of international law to the Internet’s infrastructure and to articulating concepts in cyberspace (e.g. cybersecurity, public core of the Internet, human rights) and accordingly regulate interests online.  

 

RESEARCH STRAND 1: Interpretational and Jurisdictional Issues Across International Courts

In the first strand of my research I explore interpretational and jurisdictional issues across international courts. I am particularly interested in pursuing a comparative approach to the practice of different international courts. More recently, I also engage with the role and expertise of judges sitting at international courts and other quasi-judicial bodies.

 

Publications

 

 

RESEARCH STRAND 2: International law’s Relevance to the Internet’s Architecture

 

Research project on “Making the hidden visible: Co-designing for public values in standards-making and governance”

Dutch Research Council (NWO) (€750,000) (March 2020 - March 2024)

Dr Mando Rachovitsa (RuG, co-applicant) together with Prof Paul Groth (UvA, co-applicant), Dr Stefania Milan (UvA, main applicant) and the Dutch standardisation body (NEN) have been awarded a grant by the NWO for the project “Making the hidden visible: Co-designing for public values in standards-making and governance”. The 4-year project brings together the humanities, computer science and international law in order to better understand and investigate the relationship between societal values and ICT standards on products, services and processes.

The research will explore how standards can be value- and rights-respecting by design and it aims at designing a corresponding methodology and intelligent interventions to involve public and private actors. Three case studies are under investigation: (a) Applications of 5G Cellular Mobile Communication for Social Inclusion; (b) Global Identity Management Standards and Local Applicability; and (c) Development of Cybersecurity Standards for IoT. There will be close collaboration with national stakeholders, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice & Security and the Municipality of The Hague, producing policy-relevant outcomes and finding ways for citizen participation in national and international ICT standard-setting processes.

The international law contribution to this project consists of exploring the role of international law in designing a value-responsive ICT governance. More specifically, I am investigating the role of public values in the complex network of cybersecurity policy norms, best practices and standards for IoT. Cybersecurity standards for IoT are formed within a complex network of competing norms and standards. States’ engagement in multilateral and multistakeholder fora (e.g. UN Group of Governmental Experts, Global Forum on Cyber Expertise) shows that States employ seemingly value-free practices, such as confidence-building measures, codes of conduct, global good practices, in order to operationalize cybersecurity policy norms into technical standards. States and other actors that are not like-minded favour the construction of different norms and hence different technological designs. Against this background, we need to understand how policy norms, practices and standards embed values and how policy and strategic “tradeoffs” are mediated in global good practices and subsequently “translated” into standardisation.

The research addresses 2 questions:

  • What are the public values that need to be embedded into ICT standard-development?
  • How standardization bodies (and public authorities) are to assess and account for the societal impact of a standard as an integral part of its development, adoption and implementation?

 

 Work on the Internet's Technical Infrastructure and Human Rights

In this context, I enquire whether and, if yes, how human rights law frameworks can be accommodated/integrated when designing and implementing technology. I have specifically written on the Internet Engineering Task Force (an informal body of computer engineers that manages the Internet’s infrastructure) uses international human rights law to inform Internet standards and Internet protocols.

 

Publications

 Research Funding

Research Start –up Grant, Qatar University (2015) (£6,800).

The grant was awarded to research the protection of privacy online from a legal and technical point of view. The aim was to highlight a series of reasons for which policy-makers should value privacy online.

 Knowledge Transfer

Participant to the Research Group on Human Rights Protocols Considerations, Internet Research Task Force (May 15 - present). The Group is set up to draft guidelines to be considered by the engineering community when creating and updating Internet standards.

 Fellowship

2015-2016 Research Fellow at UC Berkeley - Centre for Technology, Society & Policy

Project on ‘Coding Values in the Internet’s Standards? The Example of Encryption’.

 

Work on ICANN & International Law

I also publish on how international law-like standards are created and used to assess the legality and legitimacy of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) work in the domain names’ space.

Publications

Laatst gewijzigd:06 december 2019 15:40

Contact information

Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26
9712 EK Groningen
The Netherlands

Building 1215, 1st Floor, Office 0120

Job title:
Assistant Professor of Public International Law
Room:
Building 1215, 1st Floor, Office 0120