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Atina Krajewska

Atina Krajewska

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

School of Law and Politics


I joined Cardiff Law School in September 2011. Prior to that I spent three years at the University of Exeter where I taught Tort Law, Medical Law, and EU law. I obtained my PhD at the University of Wrocław, Poland, in 2007. I also hold a "Master in British Studies" from the Humboldt University in Berlin. During my doctoral studies I was a visiting research fellow at the Institute for German, European & International, Medical Law, Public Health Law and Bioethics at the University of Mannheim in 2005, and at the Max Planck Institute for Public Comparative and International Law in Heidelberg in 2006.  In 2007 I was awarded a BA postdoctoral visiting fellowship at the Egenis Centre at the Exeter University.

My main research interests are in Biomedical Law, International and European Human Rights Law, and Public Comparative Law. I focus on the developments in the field of human rights law that result from the recent advances in biomedicine and new technologies. Underpinning my research is the attempt to investigate the question of how international community should manage scientific progress. My current research includes three main strands. The first strand constitutes a continuation of my research in the area of privacy, informational autonomy and data protection law in Europe in the context of genetic and genomic science. The second strand concerns global governance of health care and biomedicine and focuses on the formation of Global Health Law. I am currently developing a project concerning the constitutionalisation of global health, which elaborates on increasingly prominent debates regarding post-traditional patterns of constitutional organization and global justice. It constructs Global Health Law as a rising system of transnational law, bearing diversely on distinct legal spheres of medical- and public health law, public international law, and the sociology of law. Finally, in collaboration with my former colleagues at the University of Exeter, I have also developed a new interdisciplinary project, which aims to provide theoretical basis for the multi-disciplinary communication between neuroscientists, policymakers and lawmakers in order to address the challenges posed by the advances in the neuroscience of developmental conditions.

Currently I teach Medicine, Ethics and Law, and European Law at the undergraduate level and contribute to the Legal Aspects of Medical Practice course at the postgraduate level.


April 2013

Erasmus Teaching Mobility Scheme: Biomedical Law in the EU - series of lectures and seminars at the UG and PG level; School of Law, Warsaw University, Poland.

Jun 2011 - Dec 2012

Co-I on the ESRC Seminar Series on Developmental Social Neuroscience, Ethics and the Law: Challenges to legal perspectives in the UK and Europe (ref. no. RES-451-26-0872) with K. McAuliffe (PI) and H. Williams (Co-I); £15000.

March 2011

PI on the ‘Bridging the Gap' University of Exeter Scheme Project: Brain imaging, developmental neuroscience, and law: in search of rights-based innovative social and health care policies for young offenders; £3677 (non-transferable to Cardiff University).

Sep 2007 - Jan 2008

British Academy Visiting Fellowship, Centre for Genomics in Society EGENIS, University of Exeter, UK


Visiting Research Fellowship, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Germany.


Visiting Research Fellowship, Institute for German, European and International Medical Law Public Health Law and Bioethics, University of Mannheim, Germany.

Oct 2003 - Sep 2006

PhD scholarship funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the University of Wroclaw, Poland.

Feb 2005

Conference grant funded by the Polish Science Foundation (FNP).

Oct 2002 - May 2004

MA scholarship funded by the Centre for British Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

Genetics and new technologies

The first strand of my research focuses on novel issues of genomics and post-genomics, bringing together different areas of enquiry in comparative and international medical law. In my work I have argued against genetic determinism and strict genetic exceptionalist views in data protection legislation across the world. At the same time, I have highlighted the need for new approaches to privacy laws and proposed the notion of the ‘right to personality' as an alternative framework.

My work outside university settings involves advising government and parliamentary bodies in Poland on issues concerning the regulation of new technologies in medicine. I was the co-author of the justification of the Bill concerning the implementation of the EU tissues and cells directive 2004/23/EC submitted to the Polish Parliament on 29.07.2009, currently under parliamentary review. In 2011/12 I also acted as an ad hoc expert and an external observer to the Molecular Genetic Testing Committee at the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. In addition to writing a Report on the Implementation of the OECD Guidelines on Quality Assurance in Molecular Genetic Testing 2007, I also assisted the Committee with the preparation of draft bills on both, molecular genetic testing and biobanks for research. In September 2012 I also advised the Polish Senate on the subsidiarity principle and the EU proposal of Clinical Trials Regulations. All of these roles require substantive collaboration with policy makers and members of other disciplines.

Between 2008 and 2009 I was invited as a national expert to the EU funded PRIVILEGED and CELAB projects looking at the ethical and legal interests in privacy and data protection for research involving genetic databases. Earlier, I held a BA post-doctoral fellowship at the Egenis Centre at Exeter University, a Max Plank Institute visiting fellowship, and two German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) grants. Most recently, I have been involved in the ERC funded project on ‘Law, Science and Interests in the EU' (Stijn Smismans (PI)) by contributing to the exchange with CEE.

While at the University of Exeter, I was also involved in an interdisciplinary public engagement project organised by the ‘Theatrescience' company. A project called ‘Not My Fault', funded by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England, aimed at creating new pieces of theatre about genetic variation and health. My participation consisted of a presentation and discussion of legal issues concerning genetics during a Writers' Weekend at the Eden Project, Cornwall, 21-22 November 2009. Subsequently, I also provided help and assistance to a young play-writer (Selma Demitrijevic), who wrote a play exploring the concept of genetic identity. This experience prompted me to get involved with the wider public and I have since been regularly invited to give talks in high schools in Wroclaw (Poland) to raise awareness about the legal regulation of new technologies.

Global health law

I am currently developing a project concerning the constitutionalisation of global health, which makes an original contribution to increasingly prominent debates regarding post-traditional patterns of constitutional organization and global justice. It is bearing diversely on very distinct legal spheres of medical- and public health law, public international law, and the sociology of law, it constructs Global Health Law as a rising system of transnational law.

Science, medicine and the issues connected to global health have assumed rapidly increasing importance in recent years, and debates about legal regulation of health have been quite profoundly transformed. In consequence of this, both in its institutional and its normative dimensions, the area of global health has recently experienced a process of fragmentation, which has implications, most specifically, for the law. Its increasing institutional and normative pluralism leads to a diversity of understandings of global health, which impedes the creation and sustaining of unified, coherent legal/political responses to global health challenges. Although considerable efforts have been undertaken to address these challenges through the WHO reforms and the new post-2015 global health agenda, its depictions often reflect a sense of failure and continuous crisis.

Addressing these phenomena, the project's basic claim is that existing analyses of this bundle of transformative processes have normally been unable to provide a synthetic construction of the changing global form of health care and medical law, and they lack a theoretical underpinning able to address and to explain these changes in a broad context. Strikingly, despite the fact that issues of global health have been recently on the global agenda, with many public health experts, lawyers and sociologists placing health at the centre of academic debates (especially with regard to right to health), thus far there is little research that examines how health-care norms are shaped and implemented, and what the wider unifying normative features of global health law might be. This constitutes a theoretical gap in a number of fields of research, and it has relevance, not only for public health experts, but also for constitutionalists and transnational lawyers, and legal theorists. Against this research background, the project's objective is to construct a wide-angled, sociologically informed analysis of medical law, in a global setting. In particular, it aims to show how recent developments and debates in the field of global health ought to be viewed, not necessarily as examples of crisis or systemic failure, but, on the contrary, as a new stage in the growing constitutional autonomy and organization of global health law.

In terms of methodology, the project explores the theoretical and conceptual foundations of global health law in light of the theories of fragmentation and global legal pluralism. This approach creates a framework for analysis that goes beyond normative claims about fragmentation and institutional or normative proliferation, and it observes these processes as an integral part of the rising autonomy of the global health system. This approach also helps us to explain the competition between the expanding human rights discourse focused on the right to health on the one hand, and for instance intellectual property or commercial law, on the other. Moreover, it provides analytical tools for coherent conceptualisation of the prima facie chaotic expansion of legal, ethical and professional norms created by public, private and semi-private actors. In each respect, the approach promoted here facilitates the examination of its legal dimension, which is becoming increasingly complex and difficult to capture.

Neuroscience and law

In 2011-2012 I was a co-investigator on an ESRC-funded Seminar Series: Developmental Social Neuroscience, Ethics and the Law: Challenges to legal perspectives in the UK and Europe (with K McAuliffe (PI - Exeter) and H Williams (CI - Exeter). This seminar series brought together specialists from neuroscience, law, and policymaking, to address legal questions relating to brain development and neurological injury. Its aim was to: 1) share advances in the neuroscience of developmental conditions; 2) explore legal implications of such advances at national and EU levels and, 3) consider how regulation of neuroscience could be improved at those levels. The project addressed methodological, theoretical and practical differences that occurred during the work between neuroscientists, lawyers, and policy-makers and developed methods through which some of them have eventually been resolved. The final meeting "Children, brain development and the criminal law" was hosted by the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST) in the Houses of Parliament. In response to the findings of the seminar series, the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology has been tasked with forming a report for MPs in 2013 on the age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales and the grantholders have been asked to contribute to this research. The seminar series was also recommended to and incorporated into the schedule for students on UCL's clinical paediatric neuropsychology programme. A number of charities and other organisations became increasingly involved in the seminar series as it progressed, including: Barrow Cadbury Trust, Office of the Children's Commissioner, Youth Justice Board and National Offender Management Services. Consequently, I was invited to join the Expert Advisory Group which assisted the Children's Commissioner's with the report: ‘Nobody made the connection: The prevalence of neurodisability in young people who offend'.


I am also a visiting professor at the School of Law at Warsaw University, Poland, where I teach Biomedical Law in the EU - as a series of lectures and seminars at the UG and PG level.


Qualifications and education

Oct 2008 - Oct 2009

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Graduate School of Education, Universityof Exeter, UK.

Oct 2003 - Sep 2007

PhD in Law (International and European Law), Department of Law Administration and Economics and the Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies, University of Wroclaw, Poland (cum laude).

Oct 2002 - May 2004

Master in British Studies, Centre for British Studies, Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

Oct 1997 - Mar 2002

Master of Law, Department of Law and Administration, University of Wroclaw, Poland (5- year degree).

Media coverage

Oct 2012

Expert Report on the complience with the principle of proportionality of the EU  Commission's Proposal for the a Regulation on clinical trials on medicinal products for  human use (COM (2012) 369) -  accepted 28 October 2012.

Dec 2011

Expert Report on the Implementation of the OECD Guidelines on the quality assurance of  molecular genetic testing - commissioned by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education   (18.000 words) – accepted 23 December 2011.

Jul 2009

Co-author of the justification of the bill concerning the implementation of the EU tissues and cells directive 2004/23/EC and in vitro fertilisation submitted to the Polish Parliament on 29.07.2009, currently under parliamentary review, available via Polish Parliament’s website

May 2008

“Czy warto przystapić do Konwencji Bioetycznej”, Rzeczpospolita 16.05.2008 – article in the second biggest Polish daily newspaper on the ratification of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine.

Apr 2008

“Gowin, nie tędy droga”, Gazeta Wyborcza, No. 100, 28.04.2008 – Interview for the biggest Polish daily newspaper about the Government’s Bioethics Committee working on in vitro legislation.

Apr 2008

“In vitro tylko dla malzenstw”, Gazeta Wyborcza, 22.04.2008, – quoted on in vitro legislation.

Academic positions

Jul 2008 - Aug 2011

Lecturer in Law, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, UK.

Jan 2008 - Jul 2008

Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Genomics in Society (EGENIS), University of Exeter, UK.

Oct 2006 - Jun 2007

International and European Law tutor, Department of Law, Administration and Economic sUniversity of Wroclaw, Poland.

Oct 2006 - Jan 2007

Law tutor, Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies, University of Wroclaw, Poland.

Sep 2003 - Dec 2003

Policy project officer- Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, London, UK.