Katre Luhamaa is researcher at the Center for Research on Discretion and Paternalism, and holds a Ph.D. in Law. Her field of expertise include Law and Legal Studies, Human Rights and Democracy, EU and European Studies, and Legal Theory. Her research focuses on international law, EU law and human rights, and in particular children’s rights.
Katre Luhamaa has previously worked as a Lecturer at The University of Tartu, and as a Counsellor to the Constitutional Review Chamber at the Supreme Court of Estonia. Luhamaa has also served as a national legal expert for a number of FRANET (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights) Estonian reports.
Ph.D in Law (University of Tartu)
Magister iuris (University of Tartu)
Magister atrium (University of Tartu)
Get to know Katre
What are you working on right now?
As I have three months left here in Bergen, my focus is on completing and submitting the papers in progress. There are two primary individual papers I am finishing. The first paper looks at the impact and efficiency of the CRC Committee recommendations to the Estonian legal system. The second paper focuses on the practice of the European Court of Human Rights in newborn removal judgments.
Can you describe your office space?
I am updating this description during the time of Covid-19 crisis. Thus, I am currently working from a home office and trying to balance work, homeschooling and family life. Fortunately, the University has been accommodating, and I have brought everything I need from the office to home (except a printer that I miss). The change of the working situation is, nevertheless, challenging and has forced me to rethink work scheduling and planning. On the positive side – I have plenty of good coffee at hand and have a first-hand experience of child rights in action.
What is your background?
I am a lawyer by education, and I have received all my degrees at the University of Tartu. I have studied brief periods also at the University of Helsinki. Throughout my studies, I have concentrated on international human rights and their national implementation.
I focused on the rights of children only during my PhD studies. My thesis concentrated on the universality of international human rights and asked whether and to what extent the rights of the child are understood and implemented similarly in three countries – Estonia, Finland and Russia.
After gaining my BA degree at the University of Tartu (pre-Bologna, four years + thesis), I entered the labour force and thanks to the times of turmoil in Estonia, i.e. the transition to democracy, I was able to start my career as a counsellor to the Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court of Estonia. They needed, at the time, a person who understands European human rights law and who would be able to work through the practice of the ECtHR.
After that, I have worked mostly in academia and my Alma Mater in Tartu. I have read courses on EU law and international human rights law. This year I have had the opportunity to give a course on Discretion and Paternalism here at the UiB Admorg.
If you had to choose a different field, what would it be?
I think that I would go to natural science and environmental protection. At the same time, I would not exclude entering the national or international politics in that area.
Updated March 2020