4 September 2019

Katadreuffe-price 2019 for Margot Albert

The Katadreuffe-prize 2019 was won by 4th year student Margot Albert. During the start of the academic year for 1st year law students in the Jacobikerk she received the prize from the chairman of the jury and vice-dean Education of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, Prof. Elaine Mak.

"Everyone should try to volunteer sometime. You help people, and you also learn a lot from it."

According to the jury, her nomination inspires because of an eye for the human aspect in law and governance and an extraordinarily impressive list of related activities. Margot works for refugees and children, in Utrecht but also abroad. She does this on a very practical level, for example as a 'buddy' of a status holder. In the meantime, she is working on her broader development as a lawyer who is able to apply tax law fairly and who, with her knowledge of governance and policy, can make a real difference to society.

In 2012, Professor Ivo Giesen was named Utrecht University lecturer of the year. He returned the prize money he won to the student. On his initiative, the Katadreuffe-prize (named after the main character Jacob Willem Katadreuffe from the novel Character by Ferdinand Bordewijk from 1938) is awarded each year to the most remarkable law student of the past academic year. Who is that, the most remarkable law student? He or she is someone with character, as evidenced for example by special study achievements, a valuable, sustainable contribution to for example University, Faculty, Department, society, city, sport, or culture, but always insofar as that contribution is directly or indirectly related to the study at the Department of Law at Utrecht University.

The prize consists of a sum of € 500,-- as well as a copy of Bordewijk's novel Character, signed by Professor Giesen.

Margot was one of the three nominees selected by the jury after a thorough pre-selection of a large number of nominations. This year's jury for the Katadreuffe-prize 2019 consisted of Petra klein Gunnewiek (lawyer/partner Van Benthem & Keulen), Elbert de Jong (senior lecturer in private law), Nelly Wisse (bachelor's student in law), Julia Krijbolder (master's student in law) and Elaine Mak (vice-dean Education and professor of Encyclopaedia and Law Theory) as its chairman.

The jury held interviews with all the nominated students. On the basis of these interviews, three nominations for the Katadreuffe-prize 2019 were finally determined by the jury. In two cases these nominations concerned several people, who together have delivered a remarkable performance. The jury was charmed by the enthusiasm and remarkable achievements of all nominees. Nevertheless, the jury unanimously chose Margot.

In addition to the winner Margot Albert, Hanine Al-Nassar and Youri Pluis and Stephanie Balint, Thijs Friedrichs and Willem Pham were also nominated.

Margot Albert
Margot Albert is a fourth-year student with a passion for the technique of tax law and the social aspects of governance and policy. What distinguishes her from her fellow students is her many years of enthusiastic and unbridled dedication as a volunteer. In the past two years, for example, she has been coordinator of the Children's Rights City, a liaison function between Unicef and the municipality of Utrecht. A common thread in Margot's voluntary work is her commitment to refugees. As a language coach and social worker, she helped status holders to find their way in Utrecht and this summer she helped to receive refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos. Her message to new Law students: "Everyone should try to be a volunteer. You help people, and you also learn a lot from it."

The other nominees
Hanine Al-Nassar and Youri Pluis are both third-year students and are the driving force behind the 'VoorTegen' foundation. They founded this foundation last year to make young people more aware of the European elections on 23 May 2019. They have developed a youth voting guide, organised festivals and provided guest lectures at MBO schools in cooperation with political youth organisations. With the help of subsidies, they hope to be able to provide guest lectures on a larger scale and to work on the establishment of a Dutch youth council. Their motivation is to strengthen citizenship and political opinion-forming among young people, so that elections live more and more widely. Hanine and Youri advise new law students to, "if you want to achieve something for society, be enterprising and a little cheeky towards the established institutions."

Stephanie Balint, Thijs Friedrichs and Willem Pham are second year students. They are the founders of Boeq, a small company that collects and sells legal textbooks based on an innovative concept. The strength of their project lies in the accessibility and convenience for students, and gradually a sustainability aspect has been added. In the space of six months Boeq has become more professional, with a Facebook page and contacts with publishers to be able to deliver the right editions of books. They are now working on strengthening the basic model for law and have the ambition to become the go to for students at other faculties and universities as well. Stephanie, Thijs and Willem want to tell new law students that "you can achieve something at the start of your studies and that you can continue to look at things from a broader perspective".