Constitutional law. International law. Human rights

Accessing a non-manipulative social media: a human rights law approach

Rasam Zamani Farahani

Digital Democracy Centre, University of Southern Denmark




Starting date: 1 December 2022

Expected completion date:  30 November 2025

Project description:

Social media platforms are playing a vital role in our daily lives. However, while we are catching up on the news or sharing our personal accomplishments on a social media platform, the social media company is harvesting our personal data to maximize our engagement with its platform through personalized content. They also exploit our personal data to steer us into the interest of their customers by political or commercial microtargeting advertisements. Moreover, the underlying algorithm of social media platforms enables malicious actors to target their vulnerable audience with personalized disinformation. This project tries to explore how would personalized content (disinformation) and microtargeting advertisements on social media amount to manipulation and how would international and European human rights law respond to that. The project continues to answer whether social media users’ consent would justify them being exposed to manipulative contents, and whether there is (or should be) a right to access non-manipulative social media.

Legal Parenthood in International Surrogacy - A Comparative Study of Modern Family Law

Maria Hjeds

Department of Law, Aalborg University


Tel.: +45 20463270


Starting date: 15.12.2018

Completion date: 15.12.2021

Project description:

The aim and purpose of the thesis is to examine the regulation of legal parenthood of children who are born through surrogacy. The thesis will have its outset in Danish law, but will consist of a comparative analysis as well. The overall question is which considerations (and to whom) weigh heavily in the decision to grant or deny legal parenthood to the intending parents of a child born through international surrogacy. The safeguarding of human rights and in particular the right to family life and the best interests of the child will be discussed and interpreted as well. 

Taking Rights of Nature and Human Rights Seriously

Katarina Hovden

Centre for European and Comparative Legal Studies (CECS), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen


Tel.:  + 45 42 72 62 91 


Starting date: 1 September 2017

Completion date:  31 August 2021

Project description:
Rights of nature are gaining traction. Several countries have adopted rights of nature laws (at constitutional, national, and local level) or recognised the rights of nature in court judgments. These laws and legal sources inter alia recognise that nature is a subject of the law, and, in certain cases, grant specific legal rights to nature. Born out of an Earth-centred or ecological paradigm, rights of nature (laws) present a fundamental challenge to the otherwise anthropocentric or human-centric system of law and governance.
Set against these developments, the PhD project studies the relationship(s) between the rights of nature and human rights in jurisdictions that recognise both categories of right-holders. Mindful that most legal and governance systems remain anthropocentric, individualistic and mechanistic in their very structure, the project will investigate what happens at the interface between the old paradigm (most existing individual human rights) and the new, ecological paradigm (the rights of nature). Questions to be explored include> When rights conflict (as they often do), whose rights prevail and under what circumstances? Is there a risk that the prevailing (anthropocentric) legal order will subsume and swallow the ecological one, rendering the rights of nature “mere rhetoric”? If so, what would it take for the ecological paradigm to penetrate the anthropocentric machinery of law?