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Dr Agata Fijalkowski

About Dr Agata Fijalkowski

Originally from Chicago, Dr Agata Fijalkowski is Reader at Leeds Law School. She joined Leeds Beckett in July 2019. Agata has written extensively about judiciaries in post-Communist Europe. Her research is distinctly interdisciplinary.

Agata completed her Ph.D. at the University of London on 'The Rule of Law Revived: The Polish Experience'. A monograph resulted from this, entitled From Old Times to New Europe (Ashgate 2010). At the heart of this work is the contention that constitutional guarantees for the independence of the judiciary is paramount to the success of a legal transition. The case study was Poland and, more broadly, Central and Eastern Europe. She is an enthusiastic and committed teacher, and has taught research-informed modules on topics that include European human rights law and the forgotten trials of the Holocaust, and on international terrorism and the law.

Agata has published extensively in the area of transitional justice, including the co-edited volume Transitional Criminal Justice in Post-Dictatorial and Post-Conflict Societies (Intersentia 2015). She is concerned with the (mal)administration of justice in former Communist states, in particular in the immediate post-WW2 period.

She has vast experience in archival work and has researched in Albania, Germany, Poland, Romania and the UK. Agata's project concerning the legal team behind the Polish war crimes trials resulted in a 2018 Socio-Legal Studies Association Grant Scheme Award, which funded archival research in Poland. She is currently writing about one member of the group, the Polish war crimes prosecutor and photographer, Tadeusz Cyprian. Agata has been awarded a Visiting Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2020 to advance her work on this study.

Meet Dr Agata Fijalkowski at the Postgrad LIVE virtual study fair on Monday 22nd June

Postgrad LIVE study fair

Current Teaching

  • PGDL/LLM Public Law (Module Leader)
  • Public Law
  • European Law

Research Interests

Agata is in the process of completing Law, Visual Culture and the Show Trial, for GlassHouse Books (Routledge). The monograph considers photographs of trials from the period 1944-1957 in Albania, East Germany and Poland. It contends that these photographs 'speak legally'. The work's distinct novelty lies in unravelling the cultural, historical, and political implications of visualising law from the images themselves. Three vignettes from the book are available online.

Agata's exploration of the law and the visual has been rewarding. Agata organised an exhibition on the Albanian writer and political dissident Musine Kokalari (1917-1983) at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The display included a short, 'arty' film ‘An Unsung Hero: Musine Kokalari (2017)’ (on IMDb). Using archival materials, the film dramatised Musine Kokalari reading her court statement at her 1946 trial, which was originally denied by the military tribunal. Watch this space for further developments.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (5)

Books (3)

  • Simic O (2016) An Introduction to Transitional Justice. Taylor & Francis.
  • Fijalkowski A; Grosescu R ed. (2015) Transitional Criminal Justice in Post-Dictatorial and Post-Conflict Societies. Intersentia Uitgevers N V.
  • Fijalkowski A (2010) From old times to new Europe: The Polish struggle for democracy and constitutionalism.

Chapters (5)

  • Fijalkowski A (In press) European Policy on the Death Penalty. In: Is the Death Penalty Dying?. : Cambridge University Press, pp. 268-291.
  • Fijalkowski AA (2018) Historical Politics and Court Redress in the Baltic States. In: Horne C; Stan L Transitional Justice and the Former Soviet Union: Reviewing the Past, Looking toward the Future. : Cambridge University Press, pp. 216-240.
    View Repository Record
  • Grosescu R; Fijalkowski AA (2017) Retrospective justice and legal culture. In: Justice, Memory and redress in Romania: New Insights. : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 100-123.
    View Repository Record
  • Fijalkowski AA (2016) Amnesty. In: Simic O An Introduction to Transitional Justice. : Routledge, pp. 113-136.
    View Repository Record
  • Fijalkowski AA (2016) Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. In: Simic O An Introduction to Transitional Justice. : Routledge, pp. 91-112.
    View Repository Record
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