Dr. Maria Kanevskaya

Visiting researcher

  • Department:
    Former Visiting Research Fellows
  • Section: Public International Law/International Humanitarian Law/International Criminal Law


Ms. Kanevskaya is a leading human rights lawyer and civil society activist who served most recently as director of the Human Rights Resource Center, an organization that provided legal support to other NGOs until it was forced to shut down owing to Russia’s restrictive “foreign agent” law and reestablished in Lithuania. She is also director of the NGO Lawyers’ Club and founding member of the Georgian-Russian NGO Forum (GPForum), which brings together civil society activists from both countries. In 2013, she was recognized by Freedom House as a leading human rights defender in Eurasia. Maria holds a PhD in Constitutional Law having defended her thesis Electoral System of the Fifth French Republic in 2006 (the major part of the research was conducted in France upon the invitation of the French Senate).  Maria’s engagement with human rights issues stretches beyond her native St-Petersburg as she covers all Russia in her day-to-day work.  For 2016 she was awarded by prestigious American fellowship to continue her research on civic activism.  Maria joined the Asser Institute in The Hague for her 3 months’ research in October 2017. She has been awarded for this fellowship by Justice and Peace Initiative.