My practical legal work and academic research focus on international human rights law, cultural rights, humanitarian law and international criminal law, with a particular emphasis on the protection of cultural heritage in Iraq and the prosecution of atrocity crimes committed by Da’esh (also known as ISIS, ISIL or the Islamic State). I am co-author of numerous reports on the situation of human rights in Iraq and lead author of the internationally noted ‘Destroying the Soul of the Yazidis: Cultural Heritage Destruction during the Islamic State’s Genocide against the Yazidis’ report, which was later published as a peer-reviewed academic paper.
As a data scientist, I specialize in natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning in the legal domain, quantitative peace research, data engineering and data analysis with the R programming language. I am the first author and maintainer of more than a dozen open access research data sets, primarily corpora of legal and political texts, with quantitative and qualitative applications in the fields of law, political science and economics. My open source software is developed in public on GitHub, with stable and citeable versions released on Zenodo, the scientific repository of the high-energy physics research organization CERN.
Since 2017, I have served as the Chief Legal Officer of RASHID International, an international non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the cultural heritage of Iraq with special consultative status at the United Nations. I am pursuing a PhD in international law at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) under the supervision of Professor Dr. Christian Walter. My research at the intersection of human rights, anthropology and peace research is funded by a PhD scholarship of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Germany’s largest, oldest and most prestigious scholarship foundation.
I received my law degree with distinction (Prädikat) from Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) with a specialization in European and International Public Law, including an award for exceptionally outstanding achievements in international law. For my open data work I was awarded 3rd place in the 2022 Open Data Impact Award by the Stifterverband.
In 2022 I signed the San Franciso Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which aims to improve the ways in which the output of scientific research is evaluated by sharply limiting the use of publication metrics (e.g. the Journal Impact Factor), promoting ethical citation practice and placing primary importance on the scientific content of articles instead of their place of publication.