Amy McEwan-Strand is a research assistant at the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism. She holds an LLM in Human Rights, as well as LLB in Scots Law and BSc in Economics. Amy’s field of expertise include human rights, freedom of expression, the European Court of Human Rights and children’s rights.
Before joining the centre, Amy was a Litigation Fellow with the Open Society Justice Initiative, a human rights’ NGO based in London. Here she worked on using litigation as a tool for promoting human rights, and worked on a case before the CJEU. She has also worked for the University of Bergen’s finance department. During her studies, she volunteered for the Scottish Child Law Centre, and worked as an intern for Article 19.
- LLM in Human Rights (Central European University)
- LLB in Law (University of Edinburgh)
- BSc in Economics (University of Bergen)
Get to know Amy
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on the Discretion project for the centre. We have been collecting data for a little over a year now and are finally in the finishing phase of this. I also work on analysing data for the project which is incredibly interesting.
What is your background?
I first studied economics, before I went on to study law and specialize in human rights. My specialization is in fact in freedom of speech, but I have always taken a special interest in family law and children’s rights in particular. After finishing my studies I was a litigation fellow at the Open Society Justice Initiative in London, before I moved home to work at the University of Bergen
Is there a specific book within your field you’d recommend?
I’ve been enjoying the recently published Comparing Legal Cultures (edited by Koch, Skodvin and Øyrehagen Sunde). The book introduces the legal cultures of several countries, and includes topics such as conflict resolution, norm production, legal method and the elusive “idea of justice”. I think the book will be very useful to anyone doing comparative legal research between countries, and am eagerly awaiting the second edition.
If you had to choose a different field, what would it be?
When I was applying to university I struggled to decide between philosophy and literature. How I ended up studying neither I still don’t know! Legal studies is a little bit of both though, so I think it was a good choice in the end.
What’s on your nightstand?
Luckily, at the moment, a book. Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Very creepy and very good.
What show are you binging?
I’d love to binge True Detective season 3 – but since HBO only release on episode each week I unfortunately need to have patience.
Which podcast are you listening to right now and why?
Since US politics are extra wild at the moment, I’ve started listening to the Daily, which is a good way to stay on top of the latest developments and get some critical perspectives on current events.
Place you’ve been where you never want to go back to?
When we were students, my sister and I took a trip to San Diego and stayed at something called the 500 West Hotel. It was very cheap and also very awful. I definitely will not go back and would strongly suggest no one else does either!
And a place you’ve been where you’d like to go back?
My friends and I used to visit a tiny village in Wales called Laugharne for their annual “Laugharne Weekend Festival” – a literary festival with musical guests as well. After the festival got “big” we stopped going for fear it wouldn’t be the same. I do hope to go back sometime though.
Your friend sets you up on a blind date with someone famous – who do you hope turns up?
I know she’s taken, but I would love to have dinner with Oprah Winfrey.
Updated Winter 2018-2019