Universiteit Leiden

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Melanie Fink

Assistant professor

Dr. M. Fink
+31 71 527 2727

Melanie Fink is an APART-GSK Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at the Central European University (Austria) and an Assistant Professor at Leiden University (the Netherlands). She researches and publishes in the areas of EU and public international law, with a focus on the protection of human rights and access to justice, the EU’s role in border control, and accountability in the context of administrative cooperation, including through the use of artificial intelligence systems.

More information about Melanie Fink

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Research and Expertise

Melanie works at the intersection of EU Administrative Law and access to justice. Her research agenda develops along three research strands.

The first concerns the question of accountability in multi-level and multi-actor contexts. At its heart are the challenges raised by the interaction and cooperation between states and other public actors across borders for the allocation of responsibility among them and the possibilities for individuals to seek redress when their rights are violated. Melanie's key publication in this area is an Article in the Common Market Law Review that can be found here.

The second research strand revolves around the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees. Here, Melanie focuses on the European dimension, in particular the role and responsibilities of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). This was also the topic of her monograph, in which she studies the fundamental rights responsibility of Frontex and EU Member States involved in joint border control operations. Melanie's key publications in this area are an Article published in the German Law Journal (see here) and her monograph published with Oxford University Press (see here).

Melanie's third and most recent research strand concerns the use of artificial intelligence systems by the EU administration and the challenges this raises, especially for the possibilities of individuals to meaningfully challenge decisions that affect them. For an overview of some of the issues that will be addressed in forthcoming publications see here.

Professional Background

Melanie holds a PhD from the Universities of Leiden and Vienna (2017, ‘cotutelle de thèse’) and a Masters degree in law from the University of Vienna (Mag.iur. 2010). She was previously a Lecturer at the Department for European, International and Comparative Law of the University of Vienna and a Visiting Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge.

Melanie regularly presents her research both in academic contexts and for a wider public and has provided expert advice to the Council of Europe, the EU institutions, and Non-Governmental Organisation in her areas of specialisation. She is an active member of various international networks, in particular the European Society of International Law (ESIL) and the International Society of Public Law (ICON-S), and is part of the coordinating committee of the ESIL Interest Group on the EU as a Global Actor.

Assistant professor

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Publiekrecht
  • Europees Recht

Work address

Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number B1.25



  • Austrian Academy of Sciences and Central European University APART-GSK project 'No Right Without A Remedy: Making EU Fundamental Rights Enforceable'
  • Standing Committee of Experts on International Immigration, Refugee and Criminal Law Member
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