As of September 2020, she will co-head the new Centre with Basak Çali.
In September 2020, Cathryn Costello, currently Andrew W Mellon Professor of Refugee and Migration Law at the University of Oxford, will take up the newly created post of Professor of Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School in Berlin. She will also co-direct the school's new Centre for Fundamental Rights with Basak Çali, Professor of International Law. Costello has been granted a period of special leave from her post at Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre in order to join the Hertie School faculty and forge links between the two institutions.
Since 2018, Çalı and Costello have been collaborating on the research project, Hard Refugee Protection through Soft Enforcement. Their research examines United Nations’ human rights treaty bodies that focus on refugee rights, in particular as ‘soft enforcers’ of non-refoulement. Under international law, non-refoulement requires states to refrain from returning anyone to a country where they would face torture; cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or life-threatening or other harm.
An expert in European and international refugee and migration law, Costello is also part-time Professor II at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the University of Oslo and the Principal Investigator of RefMig, a five-year ERC-funded research project exploring refugee mobility, recognition and rights.