Maja Vestad

Image of Maja Vestad
Norwegian version of this page
Visiting address Kristian Augusts gate 17 Domus Juridica 8.etg 0164 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 6706 St. Olavs plass 0130 Oslo

Academic interests

Vestad researches trace collection at crime scenes and technological changes to forensic practice. She also works with rural criminology, pandemic management and crisis communication.

1. DNA as evidence

There are differences in how "technological" the methods for collecting and interpreting forensic evidence is. While some methods are mostly algorithmic and require little human influence, others are almost entirely manual.

Vestad's PhD project “Forensic DNA Evidence Technologies and Criminological Horizons" investigates how crime scene technicians and forensic analysts in Norwegian and European law enforcement navigate the landscape of evidence production technologies. The project is part of Digital DNA, and brings empirical knowledge of 'high' and 'low tech' in policing to a discussion of how technological developments inform crime scene investigations.

2. The Cabin Ban and the Swedish border

Vestad has researched the Norwegian COVID-19 cabin ban of March and April 2020, and has since followed the cabin owners' class action lawsuit against the State throughout the Oslo District Court, Borgarting Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The cabin studies are part of Vestad's contribution to Corona and the Rule of Law.

3. The 22 July terror attack

Vestad is part of LAW22JULY: RIPPLES - the main component in the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo's initiative to commemorate 22 July, investigating temporal 'micro-memorialisation' after the attack.


Coordinating roles


Vestad has previously held research assistant positions at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law and the Department of Public and International Law, University of Oslo. Vestad holds a Master’s degree in Criminology from the University of Oslo, and undergraduate degrees in Crime, Justice and Legal Studies, and Anthropology, from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.


  • Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Ikdahl, Ingunn; Lohne, Kjersti; Vestad, Maja; Sørlie, Anniken & Moe-Pryce, Marit (2022). Law after July 22, 2011: Survivors, Memory and Reconstruction. PRIO Paper. Full text in Research Archive
  • Vestad, Maja Viktoria Spigseth (2021). Mistenksomhetens spiral : Autoktoni og eskalasjonsmomenter i den norske hytteforbudkonflikten. Nordisk Tidsskrift for Kriminalvidenskab. ISSN 0029-1528. 108(3), p. 468–482. doi: 10.7146/ntfk.v108i3.129651. Full text in Research Archive

View all works in Cristin

  • Kaufmann, Mareile & Vestad, Maja (2022). Visualizing Suspect Bodies.
  • Kaufmann, Mareile & Vestad, Maja (2022). Measuring Bodies.
  • Vestad, Maja & Foshaugen, Marina Hiller (2022). Policing acute and crowded crime scenes: Confluences of proactive and reactive police work.
  • Vestad, Maja (2022). Measuring Suspect and Deviant Bodies: Science and technology in forensic biometrics.
  • Vestad, Maja (2022). Mala prohibita - Mala in se: Key Principles in Criminology.
  • Kaufmann, Mareile & Vestad, Maja (2022). Blood stains, skulls & DNA – when evidence goes digital. Nordic Criminology Blog.
  • Vestad, Maja & Kaufmann, Mareile (2022). Visualising Suspect Bodies: Science and technology in forensic biometrics.
  • Vestad, Maja (2022). Norway’s COVID-19 Cabin Controversies: Powers, Privileges, and Plagues.
  • Vestad, Maja (2022). Hvem vokter vokterne? Hyttesak i Høyesterett. Morgenbladet. ISSN 0805-3847. 14, p. 34–35.
  • Vestad, Maja (2022). «Hyttesaken» og pandemihåndteringens grenser.
  • Vestad, Maja Viktoria Spigseth (2021). Nordiska experterna om svenska skjutningarna: En hotbild. [Newspaper]. Aftonbladet.
  • Vestad, Maja Viktoria Spigseth (2021). Overrasket over at ikke flere har saksøkt staten. [Internet]. NRK.

View all works in Cristin

Published Aug. 19, 2021 3:00 PM - Last modified Nov. 28, 2022 11:24 AM