Cristina Cocito

Doctoral researcher

Cristina Cocito is a Doctoral Researcher at the Fundamental Rights Research Centre (FRC) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels). She works within the framework of the iBOF Research Project “Future-proofing Human Rights: Developing Thicker Forms of Accountability” since October 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Paul De Hert.

Cristina’s research focuses on the interplay between human rights and Artificial Intelligence systems. In particular, she focuses on AI systems used by public administration and the new challenges or practices they create for human rights in Europe, including and beyond privacy and data protection rights. In this light, her work also focuses around the question of how accountability can be ameliorated for new types of human rights wrongs. Besides this, Cristina has also researched and published on the topic of new digital rights and European initiatives in the digital context.

Before her PhD, she pursued a Master of Laws in Globalization and Law with a specialization on human rights law. Her final research focuses on the intepretation of humanitarian laws in the context of cyberwarfare. Cristina also holds a bachelor’s degree in International and Diplomatic Sciences from Università degli Studi di Genova and a Master of Laws degree in International Law and International Relations from Lancaster University.

Cristina worked as an intern at the European Judicial Network Secretariat, Eurojust seat, in The Hague (NL) from October 2017 to April 2018. From September 2018 to February 2019, she pursued a Schuman traineeship at the European Parliament, working for the legislation team of the Cabinet of the President.


BA in International and Diplomatic Sciences (Political Science and International Relations) (Universita’ degli studi di Genova) – Erasmus Student at University College of Cork

LLM in International Law and International Relations (Lancaster University)

LLM in Globalization and Law: specialization in Human Rights (Maastricht University)

Professional Activites

Doctoral Researcher. Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Oct 2021 – Present)

Schuman Trainee at Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament (Antonio Tajani), President’s Office, Legislation Team. Brussels, Belgium (Aug 2018 – Feb 2019)

Legal Intern at European Judicial Network Secretariat (Seat at Eurojust). The Hague, The Netherlands (Oct 2017 – April 2018)


  • Cocito C. Glukhin V. Russia: Facial Recognition Considered Highly Intrusive but not Inconsistent with Fundamental Rights. Strasbourg Observers. 2024 Jan 9.
  • Cocito C, De Hert P. The use of declarations by the European Commission: ‘Careful with that axe, Eugene’. DigiCon Blog (The Digital Constitutionalist). 2023 Mar 14.
  • Cocito C, De Hert P. The transformative nature of the EU Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles: replacing the old paradigm (normative equivalency of rights). Computer Law & Security Review. 2023;50. 105846.
  • Cocito C, Gimpel L, Klein T, Mieli M, Msipa S, Papadopoulou E et al. AI is being used to assess which victims of domestic violence are most at risk – what’s the risk? The Law, Ethics & Policy of AI Blog. 2022 Oct.
  • Cocito C, De Hert P. United Nations: AI can pose risks to human rights and privacy. Privacy Laws & Business: International Reports. 2021;(174):13-15.

Teaching and presentations

  • Human rights as a framework to identify problems of Artificial Intelligence and other technologies: what are the limits? Cristina Cocito (Presenter) 8 Dec 2023
  • Accountability and Legitimacy in Regulatory Regimes Cristina Cocito (Lecturer) 31 Mar 2022
crisitna cocito