Dr Rumyana van Ark LL.M.

Senior researcher

  • Department:
  • Research strand: In the public interest: accountability of the state and the prosecution of crimes
  • Main fields of interest: Comparative Constitutional law Counter-Terrorism European Human Rights Law Human Rights International Human Rights Law Public International Law Rule of Law


Dr. Rumyana van Ark (née Grozdanova) is a Senior Researcher in International Law and (Counter-)Terrorism at the Asser Institute of the University of Amsterdam. She is a senior member and coordinator of the Implementing Partner Team on a range of GCTF Initiatives including the US and Norway led Initiative on racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism, the US and UK led Initiative on countering UAS and the US and UNOCT led initiative on border security management. Between January 2022 and June 2023, she was a member of the Advisory Board of the PREPARE Project (https://prepare-project.eu/). In 2021, she was part of the consortium team of experts within the European Commission funded Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) as well as part of the team evaluating the operation of EU Directive 2017/541 on Combatting Terrorism.

Her research focuses on the evolving relationship between the individual (terror suspect) and the state following acts of terrorism. Her academic and professional experience on this topic spans over 7 years. Her first peer-reviewed works were published in 2013. Since then, her work has been published in various academic and professional journals, as part of edited book collections and within governmental reports. She is currently co-authoring a book on ‘Children’s Rights, ‘Foreign Fighters’ and Counter-Terrorism: The Children of Nowhere’ to be published within the Elgar Studies in Human Rights collection in late 2024. 

Twitter: @DrRumyanavanArk


Between September 2014 and April 2018, Rumyana was a Lecturer (the UK equivalent of an Assistant Professor) in the University of Liverpool Law School where she taught and coordinated two research-led Year 3 undergraduate courses (Security, Conflict and the Law and Introduction to the Law of the ECHR) and a core LLM module on International Peace and Security. She also coordinated all the Year 3 undergraduate dissertation modules. During the 2015/2016 academic year, she was nominated for the LawCareers.Net Lecturer of the Year Award. During her PhD studies in Durham Law School, Rumyana was a Tutor in European Constitutional Law. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) and holds a Certificate in Professional Studies in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

Research Interests

Her general research interests include international and European human rights, terrorism, counter-terrorism and the rule of law, states of emergency, international law and legal theory. She is particularly interested in the impact of domestic and international counter-terrorism measures and national security policies on the individual, the rule of law and state accountability. More specifically, her research explores how the relationship between the individual (terror suspect) and the state is altered following acts of terrorism and the broader societal and legal implications. She is currently examining how children are affected, directly and indirectly, by immigration and counter-terrorism measures imposed on their parents. She is also researching how the increasing digitilisation/cyberfication of counter-terrorism policies and practices is changing the perceptions of personality. 

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications


Van Ark, R. et al, ‘Counter-Terrorism, ‘Foreign Fighters’ and Children’s Rights: The Children of Nowhere’ Edward Elgar (in production; forthcoming in late 2024)

Van Ark (Grozdanova), R.M., "Extraordinary Rendition: A Study of the ‘Gaps’ in the International Legal Framework : Obligations, Fault Lines and Hyper Legalism" (2017) Durham University Doctoral E-Theses

Book Chapters

Van Ark, R., ‘Family Courts as part of the States’ Counter-Terrorism Toolkit: A Welcome Development for FTFs Families?’ in Capone, F. et al (eds.) 'The Foreign Fighters Phenomenon' Springer/T.M.C. Asser Press 2023) (pp. 227 - 250) 

Van Ark, R., ‘The Legacies of the War on Terror’ in Sayapin, S. et al (eds.) 'International Peace and Security Law' Springer/T.M.C. Asser Press 2022 (pp. 1359 - 1388) 

Van Ark, R., ‘Individual Terrorist Suspects as the New Folk Devil: New Labour, Rights Tokenism and Security Compulsions?’ in Gordon, M. and Tucker, A. (eds.) 'The New Labour Constitution: 20 Years On' Hart Publishing 2022 (pp. 241 - 262) 

Van Ark, R., ‘The Long Hand of 9/11: The Normalisation of Secrecy in the UK and Dutch Courts’ in Scheinin, M. and Paulussen, C. (eds.) 'Human Dignity and Human Security in Times of Terrorism' Springer/T.M.C. Asser Press 2020 (pp. 333 - 365) 

Journal Articles

Grozdanova, R., ‘The United Kingdom and Diplomatic Assurances: A Minimalist Approach to the Anti-Torture Norm’, (2015) 15 (3) International Criminal Law Review 517 – 543

Grozdanova, R., ‘Terrorism’ – Too Elusive a Term for an International Legal Definition?’, (2014) 61 (3) Netherlands International Law Review 305 – 334

Select Peer-Reviewed Online Publications

Van Ark, R. et al,Forgotten Children’s Rights: Australian trends towards statelessness of children of foreign fighters’ Oxford University’s Border Criminology Blog Series on ‘Crimmigration and Australia’ (July 2020)

Van Ark, R., et al ‘Repatriating the forgotten children of ISIS fighters: A matter of urgency’ GlobalCit (EUI and Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies) (May 2020)

Van Ark, R., et al ‘Repatriation of Dutch children in Syria now unlikely – but it shouldn’t be a political choice’ The Conversation (May 2020)

Van Ark, R., et al ‘Coronavirus crisis, and the urgent need to revisit repatriation of foreign fighters’ children’ Monash Lens (May 2020)

Van Ark, R., ‘The Caliphate's Women and Children - What Role can the Family Courts play?’ (Part 1) ICCT Research Paper (August 2019)

Van Ark, R., ‘The Caliphate's Women and Children - What Role can the Family Courts play?’ (Part 2)  ICCT Research Paper (August 2019)

Van Ark, R., ‘Post Brexit EU (In)Security, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism’,  ICCT  Research Paper (June 2019)

Van Ark, R., ‘British Citizenship Revoked, Bangladeshi Citizenship Uncertain – What next for Shamima Begum?’, ICCT Perspective (March 2019)

Grozdanova, R., ‘Incitement to Terrorism – Treating the Symptoms or Addressing the Causal Malady’, ICCT Perspective (November 2018)

Grozdanova, R., ‘The Normalisation of Secrecy in the UK and Dutch Courts’, joint T.M.C. Asser and IACL (Constitutional Responses to Terrorism) Verfassungsblog Symposium (April 2018)

Grozdanova, R., ‘Ritualised Responses to ‘New’ Terror Threats post 9/11’, Centre for International Governance and Justice (RegNet, ANU) Blog – Regarding Rights (February 2016)

Grozdanova, R., ‘Stateless Terrorists: Domestic and International Legal Implications’, Human Rights in Ireland (November 2013)

Grozdanova, R., ‘US Surveillance Leaks’, Human Rights in Ireland (June 2013)

Grozdanova, R., ‘Extraordinary Rendition and Human Rights: The Case of Khaled El-Masri’1, Centre for International Governance and Justice (RegNet, ANU) Blog – Regarding Rights (March 2013)


Van Ark, R. et al, “A Comparative Research Study on Radical and Extremist (Hate) Speakers in European Member States” (2019, Dutch National Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism (NCTV), available at  https://icct.nl/publication/a-comparative-research-study-on-radical-and-extremist-hate-speakers-in-european-member-states/) (requested by the NCTV on behalf of the Dutch Minister for Justice)