Dr Anastasia Vakulenko

Birmingham Law School

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 6300
+44 (0)121 414 3585
Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Dr Anastasia Vakulenko’s research is in the areas of human rights, critical theory, secularism and religion. Her monograph, Islamic Veiling in Legal Discourse was published by Routledge in June 2012.


  • LLM (Nottingham)
  • Phd (Nottingham


Dr Anastasia Vakulenko joined Birmingham Law School in September 2009. She had previously been a full-time lecturer at the University of Dundee and had taught part time at Nottingham and Keele Universities. She completed her undergraduate studies at Donetsk National University in Ukraine and the Cambridge-run British Centre for English and European Legal Studies at Warsaw University. Having obtained her masters degree in International Human Rights Law with Distinction at the University of Nottingham, she was involved in practically-oriented human rights work, including representing cases before the European Court of Human Rights. She then completed her PhD thesis at Nottingham.


  • LLM International Law of Human Rights
  • LLB International Human Rights
  • LLB Law of Obligations A
  • LLB Law of Obligations B
  • GDL Tort Law

Postgraduate supervision

  • Domestic and international human rights
  • Religion and secularism
  • Critical and feminist theory

Current doctoral supervision

Dr Vakulenko is currently supervising one doctoral student undertaking research in the following area:

  • Lost in translation? An examination of international European and United Kingdom law concerning the right to asylum through the upholding of asylum seekers' access to the full asylum determination process


Anastasia Vakulenko is interested in human rights and critical theory. One particular direction of her research has been Islamic dress, gender and human rights. While at Dundee, she provided advice to the Scottish Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service on their guidance on the treatment of a witness, accused or defendant who wears a full facial covering in the course of criminal proceedings. Her monograph, entitled Islamic Veiling in Legal Discourse, examines the Islamic veiling issue for what it reveals about western perceptions of human rights, gender, agency and religion. Anastasia’s current research explores how freedom of religion in domestic and international human rights law is configured by a particular post-Christian understanding of secularism and religion, which does not always adequately represent the reality of religious experience.

Other activities

Director of the LLB for Graduates programme



Book chapters

  • ‘Gender and International Human Rights Law: The Intersectionality Agenda’, in S. Joseph & A. McBeth (eds), Research Handbook on International Human Rights Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2010) 196-214
  • ‘Minority Rights Six Decades After the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Limits on the Preservation of Identity?’ for M. Baderin & M. Ssenyonjo (eds), International Human Rights Law: Six Decades After the UDHR (Ashgate, 2010) 155-72 with Dr Tawhida Ahmed (Sheffield)
  • Four chapters (sources of EU law, supremacy, direct effect, human rights and free movement of workers) for R.A. Petrov (ed.), An Introduction to EU Law (Kiev: Istina, 2000/2009/2010) (in Ukrainian), textbook endorsed by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine


  • ‘A Human Rights Perspective on Citizen Participation in the EU’s Governance of New Technologies’ special issue on human rights and new technologies, (2010) 10 Human Rights Law Review 661, with Dr Mark Flear (QUB)
  • ‘Gender Equality as an Essential French Value: The Case of Mme M’ (2009) 9 Human Rights Law Review 143
  • ‘Liberalism, Civilisation and the (Non-)Oxymoronic Limits of Tolerance’ (review essay: W. Brown,Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2006)) (2008) 3 International Journal of Law in Context 323
  • ‘Islamic Dress in Human Rights Jurisprudence: A Critique of Current Trends’ (2007) 7(4) Human Rights Law Review 717
  • ‘“Islamic Headscarves” and the European Convention on Human Rights: An Intersectional Perspective’ (2007) 16 Social & Legal Studies 183
  • ‘Compliance of Ukrainian Law and Practice with Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights’ (2004) 4 Human Rights Law Review 77