Hrefna Dögg Gunnarsdóttir

Hrefna Dögg Gunnarsdóttir


Hrefna Dögg Gunnarsdóttir is a post doc at WELMA - Legal Studies for Welfare and Market at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen. 

Prior to academia, Hrefna practiced as an Attorney-at-Law at Réttur - Aðalsteinsson & Partners, a litigation and human rights law firm based in Reykjavík, Iceland. She has contributed to policy making of the Icelandic government and the Icelandic Bar Association, and to research with the Human Rights Institute at the Univ. of Iceland. Her experience also includes variety of cross-sectoral projects in different regional and country context ranging between the archipelago of Svalbard and Tamil Nadu in India. She has held two consultancies with the UNHCR where she mapped the status of stateless persons, and has provided legal advice to refugees in the Moria detention camp on behalf of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe via European Lawyers in Lesvos, Greece. Hrefna is a board member of Nordic Per Med Law, a network working with legislation for modern medicine, and serves on the international experts panel of the Genetic Discrimination Observatory. She is a member of IASC's Justice in the Arctic Working Group, and is specifically interested in health law, data governance and research reciprocity in the environmental, societal and cultural context of the circumpolar North. Hrefna has been featured by the Women in the Arctic and Antarctic (WiAA) initiative. 

Hrefna has been a visiting researcher at Faculty of Law, Uppsala University and at The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School. 

Hrefna holds a BA and Mag. Juris in Law from the University of Iceland (2012); MA in Disaster Management from School of Global Health, University of Copenhagen (2018) and; a PhD from the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen (2023) which she undertook at Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL). She was admitted to the Icelandic Bar Association in 2013. 

Fields of interest

  • Human rights and human dignity 
  • Right to life and right to health
  • Health data governance
  • Ethics, including bioethics and data ethics 
  • Law and ethics in relation to science and technology

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