C.V. | Project

Research Interests
Criminal law and procedure, international law, courtroom ethnography, cultural diversity.

Research Area(s)
Europe (esp. Bulgaria)


Maria Nikolova is a lawyer specializing in women’s rights. She gained her experience in Sofia, London and Strasbourg. As a doctoral candidate in the Department of Law & Anthropology, Nikolova is conducting research on “case law of difference” in the criminal courts of Bulgaria. Nikolova is also a contributor to the CUREDI legal database project – a database of European laws touching upon cultural and religious diversity, in which capacity she applies her expertise specifically to cases related to customary marriage and gender-based litigation.

Why Law & Anthropology?

The law tells you how things should be, and anthropology tells you how things are. This piece of legal anthropology folklore best explains the attraction that anthropology has for some of us who come from a legal background. Encountering diversity in courts sometimes requires opening up to new forms of expertise. The Spanish proverb La cultura cura may hint at the remedy that cultural expertise can offer to contemporary, globalized justice processes. This is what I am hoping to explore through my work in the Department of Law & Anthropology in Halle.

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