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Dr. G. (Gregor) Maucec

Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Criminal Law (international criminal law, international criminal adjudication, international judicial behaviour and decision-making)
Faculty of Law
Criminal Law

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Postal address
  • Postbus 15557
    1001 NB Amsterdam
  • Personal statement

    I joined the UvA's Department of Criminal Law in June 2023 as a Postdoctoral Researcher. During my 2-year research stay at UvA, I will be working on my Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral research project on "thinking-fast", intuitive decision-making on the international criminal bench. Previously, I was Assistant Professor of International and Criminal Law at the New University’s Faculty of Government and European Studies, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at iCourts - the Centre of Excellence for International Courts at the University of Copenhagen, Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow in Law at the European University Institute and JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kyoto University’s School of Law. I hold a doctorate (PhD) in Law and a master's degree in International Law (both from the University of Maribor). I have taught on Global Migration Law and human rights-related subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate level (at the New University) and on the Public International Law course at the undergraduate level and related master courses (at the University of Maribor). I also guest lectured at the University of Copenhagen, University of Florence, University College London and elsewhere. I currently sit on the editorial board of Book collection on International Law.

  • Research overview

    My research in international law and international adjudication combines empirical findings with theoretical and doctrinal legal investigations while using inspiration, methods and insights from social, behavioural and psychological sciences to cross traditional barriers. My writing and publications have focused on the international judicial function, and particularly how it is understood and carried out by the judges of different international adjudicative bodies; international judicial behaviour and decision-making; protection of minorities and indigenous populations through international courts; international(ised) criminal tribunals; discrimination, fair trial, criminal sentencing and the death penalty; compound and intersecting forms of discrimination in the context of mass atrocities; various transitional justice issues; and legal and human rights aspects of a migration-border defence nexus in the context of European integrated border management. I have published extensively on these topics and presented numerous conference and seminar papers. My work has been published in leading academic journals in my field, amongst others, the Leiden Journal of International Law, Journal of International Dispute Settlement, International Criminal Law Review, International Journal of Minority and Group Rights, Florida Journal of International Law, Utrecht Journal of International and European Law, as well as in edited book volumes.

    As a member of the Central European Professors' Network “Migration challenges – legal responses” led by the Central European Academy (Hungary), my work also includes comparative legal research on the relationship between border defence, migration and the issue of refugees.


  • Research focus areas and interests

    My research foci explore the followings:
    • Judicial function as understood and exercised by international judges
    • Judicial behaviour and decision-making at international courts
    • Compound and intersecting forms of discrimination in the context of mass atrocities
    • The protection of minorities in the international courts’ jurisprudence
    • Sociology of international law
    • Psychology of international law
    • Global migration law
    • Transitional justice
    • Death penalty

  • Current research project

    As a Postdoctoral Researcher at UvA's Criminal Law Department, I am working on my Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral research project "Intuitions and International Judging: An Interdisciplinary Study of 'Thinking-Fast' Decision-Making on the International Criminal Bench - JUDGEHUNCH". The project investigates the role that intuition as a personal trait and psychological phenomenon plays in the act of international criminal judging. It researchers how international judges' intuitive reactions and fast thinking contribute to their decision-making at all stages of the international criminal process. Focusing on the International Criminal Court, International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, this study will provide an empirical and qualitative assessment of choices and motivations ascribed to the international criminal judges’ intuitive decision-making. In essence, the project researches how much of these judges’ work is actually based on ‘System 1’, ‘fast’ type of thinking and is thus more prone to cognitive biases. The overall goal is to offer a broader and more realistic view of the role and use of intuitions in judicial decision-making at international criminal tribunals and to understand how the use of intuitions in judicial reasoning affects the impartiality of judges as well as unjust or biased outcome of international criminal trials. To establish the nature and extent of intuitive decision-making by judges of international criminal courts, the project uses a unique interdisciplinary approach, employing doctrinal legal analysis, legal philosophical theories of judging, as well as insights from sociology, social psychology and behavioural science. For the purposes of my research, “intuitive decision-making” refers to instinctive and unconscious knowing without deduction or logical reasoning, thus arriving at judicial decisions fast and without conscious reasoning. My working hypothesis is that international criminal judges are neither only “highly skilled mechanics” who make rational and logical decisions nor are they purely intuitive decision makers who “feel” their way to decisions that they only later justify with deliberation and legal reasoning. Rather, their judicial cognitive style involves both deduction (often associated with legal formalism) and intuition (commonly associated with legal realism). Both deductive/deliberative as well as intuitive cognitive processes, it is further hypothesized, operate simultaneously and the main challenge for an international criminal judge is in deciding when to follow their intuitive reactions and when to overcome them with rule-based deliberation. My research at the intersection of international law, psychology and behavioral science will provide a rule of law-rooted systematic and empirically grounded analysis of the cognitive-intuitive realities that are pertinent to the cases before international criminal tribunals. To add further clarity and depth to doctrinal research and legal analysis, the project will draw on a series of extended interviews and a questionnaire (including hypothetical case scenarios and “Cognitive Reflection Test”) with international judges to further explore whether they make judgments in predominantly intuitive rather than deliberative/reflective ways. The combined empirical approach will allow for better understanding of judicial decision-making in international criminal courts. This study is thus genuinely interdisciplinary both with regard to its concepts as well as the methods used. It will form the basis/provide a framework for a more comprehensive, refined and interdisciplinary decision making theory pertinent to ever-increasing judicialization of international criminal law. This important aspect of international criminal adjudication which has so far been little explored will therefore push forward the knowledge frontier. The in-depth empirical examination of judicial decision-making processes at international criminal courts will also help identify their legitimisation and effectiveness strategies.

  • Research grants and externally funded fellowships
    • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (Slovenian Research and Innovation Agency - research funding provided by the European Commission through Slovenia’s recovery and resilience plan, 2023 - 2026)
    • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (European Commission, 2018 - 2021)
    • Guest Research Fellowship (Public Scholarship Fund of the Republic of Slovenia, 2020 - 2021)
    • EUI Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellowship (Slovenian Research Agency, 2017 - 2018)
    • JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 2013 - 2014)
    • Doctoral (PhD) fellowship for talented early career researchers (Slovenian Research Agency, 2008 - 2011)
  • Selected publications
    • Maucec, G. (2023). Protecting Minorities from Mass Violence and Atrocity Crimes Through the International Criminal Court: a Legal Appraisal. In P. Hilpold & C. Perathoner (Eds.), Europäisches Minderheitenrecht Festschrift für Professor Gilbert Gornig (pp. 675-695). Facultas-Vienna/Nomos-Baden-Baden.
    • Maucec, G. & Dothan, S. (2022). Judicial Dissent at the International Criminal Court: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis. Leiden Journal of International Law, 35(4), 945-961. doi:10.1017/s0922156522000103.
    • Maucec, G. & Dothan, S. (2022). The effects of international judges’ personal characteristics on their judging. Leiden Journal of International Law, 35(4), 887-895. doi:10.1017/s0922156522000577.
    • Maucec, G. (2021). On Implementation of Intersectionality in Prosecuting and Adjudicating Mass Atrocities by the International Criminal Court. International Criminal Law Review, 21(3), 534-560. doi:10.1163/15718123-bja10064.
    • Maucec, G. (2021). Law Development by the International Criminal Court as a Way to Enhance the Protection of Minorities—the Case for Intersectional Consideration of Mass Atrocities. Journal of International Dispute Settlement, 12(1), 42-83. doi:10.1093/jnlids/idaa029.
    • Maucec, G. (2021). The International Criminal Court and the Issue of Intersectionality—A Conceptual and Legal Framework for Analysis. International Criminal Law Review, 1-34. doi:10.1163/15718123-21012000.
    • Maucec, G. (2021). Qualifying a public health emergency as "a threat to international peace and security" and Covid-19: the practice of the UN Security Council revisited. Florida Journal of International Law, 33(1), 1-39.
    • Maucec, G. (2020). The Power of Culture and Judicial Decision-Making at the International Criminal Court. In J. Fraser & B. McGonigle Leyh (Eds.), Intersections of Law and Culture at the International Criminal Court (pp. 190-208). Edward Elgar Publishing.
    • Maucec, G. (2020). Protecting Minorities from Discrimination and Mass Violence through Provisional Measures Indicated by the International Court of Justice. International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, 27(3), 377-409. doi:10.1163/15718115-02701006.
    • Maucec, G. (2017). Proving Unlawful Discrimination in Capital Cases: In Quest of an Adequate Standard of Proof. Utrecht Journal of International and European Law, 33(85), 5-37. doi:10.5334/ujiel.356.
    • Maucec, G. (2014). Discrimination in capital sentencing: an international law treatise. In G. Calabrò & G. L. Cecchini (Eds.), Liber amicorum: Scritti in onore di Domenico Coccopalmerio (pp. 621-669). Amon.
    • Maucec, G. (2013). Tackling disability-based discrimination in international and European law. International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, 13(1), 34-49. doi:10.1177/1358229113482072.
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities