Amir Hossein Nahidi

PhD Candidate
Amir Hossein Nahidi photo
Dissertation Title
Towards a new Right to Self: Challenges to the Right to Freedom of Thought and Incursions in the Forum Internum in the Face of Emerging Digital Technologies

My academic journey began in England, where I graduated with an LL.B. (Hons) from Guildhall School of Business and Law, London Metropolitan University, and an LL.M. from University College London. In the course of my post-graduate studies, I discovered a deep curiosity for the global financial system and how it interacts with us in our everyday lives, which led me to specialize in international banking and finance law. I pursued research on the new STS securitization regime in Europe to uncover why the securitization issuances have been steadily declining over the past ten years and whether the regulatory standards in Europe are merely attuned to the microeconomic particularities of the United States. Similar to my exploration of the financial system, I seek to ascertain whether an exceptionalist approach to protecting human rights, in the nascence of complex technology, can benefit from an alternative and infra-legal approach. More specifically, I now research, with great passion and an insatiable curiosity, the right to freedom of thought in the advent of new technological forces which imperil it to violation and overreach.


In response to new and potential human rights violations of the individual’s right to freedom of thought and thus agency by new neuro-invasive technologies, such as inferential and predictive software, an equivalent realm of human rights considerations is emerging from the same conceptual incubator that bore the computer and its software. To this end, I seek to recover the legal character, scope and content of the right to freedom of thought in the context of emerging technologies that violate the forum internum via various neuroscientific techniques. The undercurrent of this query comprises three concurrent streams of questions, including the philosophical, the contextual, and the theoretical. The first stream of philosophical questions relates the existential nature of thought to the moral orientations that then ground it as a right. To this end, the interpretation of the right to freedom of thought necessitates new moral and jurisprudential frameworks to justify both the right and its absolute nature. The second stream then contextualizes this new interpretation in the habitat of geopolitics and political philosophy, framing this new jurisprudential framework to facilitate the mitigation of epistemic challenges in defining the freedom of thought in both liberal and authoritarian states. The third stream combines the two former streams to account for the neuroscientific understanding of what human consciousness is, how external stimuli may influence our consciousness, and in the context of Article 18 ICCPR, how this data should be considered in the application of freedom of thought as a right constitutive of the essential human activity of self-conception.