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Durham European Law Institute

People at the Institute


Professor Eleanor Spaventa

Eleanor Spaventa is Professor of European Union Law; Eleanor's research interests lie in European Union Law and in particular in the fields of European constitutional law, free movement, Union citizenship, fundamental rights and co- operation in criminal matters in the EU. Eleanor has co-authored two reports for the European Commission on free movement of workers; and one for the European Parliament on fundamental rights. For details see

PGR Co-Convenor & Editor-in-Chief DELI Blog

Andreas Georgiou

Andreas is a graduate of Durham University (LLB) and holds a Masters in International Financial Law with Distinction from King’s College London. Currently a PhD student at Durham Law School, Andreas is working on the impact of the EU's financial stability policy agenda on the functioning of the common market for financial services under the supervision of Dr. Pierre Schammo and Professor Robert Schütze. His broader research interests include EU constitutional law, free movement, and securities and banking regulation.

PGR Co-Convenor

Maria Antonia Panascì

Maria Antonia holds a joint BA/MA (magna cum laude) from University of Catania (Italy) and a specialised diploma (magna cum laude ) from Scuola Superiore di Catania, an interdisciplinary centre for advanced studies.

Before being awarded a Northern Bridge Doctoral Studentship, she clerked in the Court of Appeal and practised as a trainee lawyer in Italy.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, her research investigates the extent and justification for transnational solidarity in the EU by juxtaposing the contraction in the significance of Union citizenship as a source of social solidarity towards vulnerable migrant citizens, with the substantial demand for redistribution in the Eurozone after the sovereign debt crisis. Her doctoral studies are supervised by Professor Eleanor Spaventa and Dr Deirdre McCann.

Student Representatives

LLB, 1st year representatives

Veneta Chavdarova

Veneta is a first year undergraduate law student at Durham Law School, acting as one of the student representatives. Prior to coming to Durham, she was the President of Interact Club Burgas-Pyrgos, where she was the Head Executive of many humanitarian projects. In addition to her work in DELI, she is also a member of the Syrian Legal Development Project and the Mooting Society and she has a particular interest in international law as well as in human rights issues.

Niharika Kaul

Niharika is a first year LLB student at Durham University and a student representative for Durham European Law Institute (DELI). She is a member of the Halo Project, which works on issues of forced marriage and gender violence with children. She is also a Features Editor for the Middle East Section of the Pro Bono Society Blog and has just published her first article on the story of Rokshana - the girl who was stoned to death in Ghor, Afghanistan.

In her free time she enjoys travelling and joined the Hill Walking Society, where she frequently goes on 17 km walks to nearby areas such as Northumberland.

Ania Kubinska

Ania is a first year undergraduate law student at Durham University. She is one of the first year student representatives of the Durham European Law Institute. Prior to the commencement of her studies, she attended the second best High School in Warsaw called Batory, where she was in the International Baccalaureate Program. Furthermore, Ania was an advocate in the International Court of Justice during Warsaw Model United Nations 2013 and chaired the Commission on Population and Development in the following year. She also participated in a volunteering summer camp in Germany, which helped her to further advance her German language skills.

Anna is currently a member of the DUCK challenges team and the Syrian Legal Development Project.

Thomas Roberts

LLB, 2nd year representatives

Christian Bentley

Christian Bentley is a second year LLB Law student at Durham University. Having received the Routledge Undergraduate Award in EU Constitutional Law in the first year, Christian joined DELI as a Student Representative this academic year. Having demonstrated flair and enthusiasm for European law, Christian is looking to further his commitment and exposure to academic debate, particularly with respect to the internal market and intellectual property.

Outside of his legal endeavours, Christian enjoys participation in a range of sports including basketball and rowing, and enjoys travelling to new places.

Julia Bowley

Julia is a second year undergraduate Law student at Durham University, acting as one of the student representatives and writing as a News Analyst for the DELI blog. In addition to her work with DELI and alongside her studies, Julia learns Russian and is a member of the Pro bono Syrian Legal Development Project. Most recently, she secured a work placement in the legal department of Ferring International Centre SA in Switzerland where she had the privilege of undertaking research in the realm of EU commercial and patent law.

Despoina Karvouni

Despoina is a second year undergraduate law student at Durham Law School, acting as one of the student representatives for the Durham European Law Institute.

In addition to DELI, Despoina is involved in competitive debating and has competed in tournaments internationally. She also participates in pro bono work and is currently a member of the Law School's Outreach Project.

Louisa Kerchner

Louisa is a second year undergraduate law student at Durham University. Prior to beginning her degree at Durham she attended Ressun lukio in Helsinki, Finland, where she took part in debating, journalism, MUN conferences and volunteer work. Additionally, she worked as secretary for the national union for IB students. At Durham she is also actively involved in the Pro Bono Society Blog, contributing to the sections on the Middle East and criminal law and working as Media Secretary. She is looking forward to getting involved in the DELI Blog and attending DELI events this year.

Louise Oftedal

Louise is a second year undergraduate law student at Durham University. Prior to starting her degree at Durham, Louise attended Viktor Rydbergs Gymnasium in Sweden where she represented the student body as Legal Advisor on the board of the Student Council. She has been involved in youth projects, Model European Parliament in Stockholm and Model United Nations in Nairobi. In 2014 she completed an internship with Sekunjalo Investments (noe AEEIL) in Cape Town where she had the privilege of attending the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council Meeting 2014 as a rapporteur. This summer she worked as a Summer Associate at the Prague office of global law firm Squire Patton Boggs. She finds a particular interest in Human Rights, International and EU law. ‚Äč

Nadine Tollefsen

Nadine is a second year undergraduate Law student at Durham University, acting as one of the second year student representatives for Durham European Law Institute. She looks forward to contributing to the blog and attending DELI events.

Nadine is also the course representative for second year law students and is a member of Lawyers Without Borders.

LLB, 3rd year representatives

Rachel Davies

Rachel is an LLB finalist and this is her third year being involved with DELI. She is currently writing her dissertation on the supposed 'Justice Deficit' within the EU; as well as studying Competition Law, Law and Medicine, Intellectual Property and Legal History.

She is looking forward to another year working with DELI, especially during this especially tumultuous time within the Union which she is sure will make our academic debates even more passionate and pertinent.

Naomi Lawson

Naomi Lawson is a third year undergraduate law student at Durham University, acting as one of the student representatives and Section Editors of the Durham European Law Institute and its Blog.

Prior to working with DELI Naomi interned with the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law. This reflects her interest in European corporate issues, which she has supplemented through other experience with businesses providing regulatory functions. In addition to her work for DELI she enjoys participating in pro bono work and currently volunteers with County Durham Citizens Advice.

Kata Szeidovitz

Kata is a third year undergraduate law student at Durham University. In addition to being a student representative of DELI, she is the head of the LawWorks Employment Law Clinic project within the Pro Bono Society and a research intern at the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law. She spent her summer completing three vacation schemes at law firms in London and Budapest. Kata has been studying EU law throughout her LLB, and is currently writing her dissertation in EU Competition Law on the Intel judgment’s effects on the interpretation of Article 102 TFEU.

Prior to commencing her studies in law, Kata graduated from the American International School of Budapest in 2013 as the recipient of the Valedictorian Award, Presidential Award, and European Council of International Schools’ Award. She grew up studying in six different countries over the past twenty years.

LLM representatives

Volker Bodnar

Volker is an LLM student at Durham University, specialising in European law, banking law, security law and capital markets. He graduated with a BSc in International Finance from Frankfurt University of Applied Science in Germany in 2014 and worked in the Luxembourg Fund Law department of an asset manager in Germany. He also interned at the Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and a trustee in Malta, as well as at a family office in Switzerland.

He is an affiliate of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and passed the CFA Level 1 exam of the CFA Institute. Besides studying for his LLM, Volker's research interests include finance, investment fund regulation and trust law, in all of which he has both professional and academic experience. Volker is a member of St. Chads' College, Durham.

Premika Phantawesak

Premika (Mai) is an LLM student in International Trade and Commercial Law at Durham University. Premika obtained her LLB from Thammasat University, Thailand, where she was a representative in the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in a National Round.

After graduation Premika worked as a Corporate Compliance Officer at PTT Global Chemical, where she focused on Competition law and International Business Law. Her tasks involved conducting research, analysing international and domestic law associated with the company’s business and organising seminars on current legal issues at the company.

Erasmus representatives

Jean-Sébastien Rombouts

Jean-Sébastien is an Erasmus student at Durham University coming from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. He is fascinated by a wide variety of EU law topics, but particularly pays attention to developments in capital markets law and competition law. His interest for these subjects was raised during his internships at Allen & Overy and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where he had a unique hands-on experience in practicing the law. During his Bachelor years, Jean-Sébastien participated to several Model United Nations conferences, acting as the Head Delegate of his University at the time. He sees being a DELI Student Representative as a unique opportunity to deepen his understanding of contemporary European law issues.

Alexander Verbist

Alexander is currently an Erasmus exchange student, originally from the University of Leuven, Belgium, where he recently finished his Bachelor of Laws. At his home university, he is enrolled in a Master of Laws, with a Major in International and European Law.

Alexander enjoys debating, mooting and public speaking. This shows itself not only through his membership of the Durham University Mooting Society, but also through him being selected to represent the University of Leuven in the world-renowned Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in 2017. This is all subsequent to his participation as a delegate in the 2015 Londen International Model United Nations-conference. He looks forward to his tasks of both News Analyst for the DELI Blog and Organizing Member behind the DELI Public Debate, and he hopes he will be able to help other students obtain a thorough understanding of the relevance of European Law.