Maynooth scholar wins European award for thesis on transgender asylum claims

Maynooth scholar wins European award for thesis on transgender asylum claims

Dr Mariza Avgeri

Dr Mariza Avgeri, a graduate of Maynooth University School of Law and Criminology’s PhD programme, has been named joint winner of the prestigious European Law Faculties Association (ELFA) award for the best doctoral thesis on European law for 2023.

The ELFA thesis award “seeks to stimulate and recognize outstanding legal research” in the field of European law. First awarded in 2012, it has previously been won by researchers from the Universities of Leiden, Bayreuth, Oxford, Cambridge and Maastricht, and EUI Florence.

Dr Avgeri was conferred with the first prize ex aequo at this year’s ELFA annual conference, which took place at Edinburgh Law School on Thursday 18 April.

Her thesis was titled A transgender studies approach to gender identity and expression-based asylum claims based on a critical doctrinal and discourse analysis of CJEU and ECtHR Jurisprudence.

The winners were announced on stage by ELFA president Professor Dr Lawrence Gormley, who congratulated them for shaping the future of legal research in Europe.

Congratulating Dr Avgeri, Professor Delia Ferri, director of postgraduate research programmes at Maynooth School of Law and Criminology, said: “This award is an important achievement for Dr Avgeri. It is a testament to her hard work and dedication, as well as to her innovative scholarly work.

“Further, this award is a significant recognition of the quality of the School’s doctoral programme, which provides expert supervision, pursues creativity and rigour, and encourages academic excellence.”

Dr Fergus Ryan, head of Maynooth School of Law and Criminology and Dr Avgeri’s PhD supervisor, added: “The ELFA award is a very prestigious and competitive European award. Mariza’s wonderful achievement is a well-deserved recognition of this exceptional thesis on a vitally important issue concerning a particularly marginalised group.

“We are delighted for Mariza, and congratulate her warmly on this award.”

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