ERI's coordinating team members include:
Associate and Assistant Professors
Profiles of the researchers
Sonja Bekker: "I research labour market and social policy in a European context. I often write about so-called 'atypical' workers, such as those on temporary contracts, part-time workers, young people or people whose jobs do not pay them enough to get above the poverty line. They often have a vulnerable position in the labour market. The European dimension covers European coordination of national social policies, as happens for example in the context of the European Semester. In my research I like to combine disciplines, whether or not by working together with lawyers, sociologists and political scientists."
Kees van den Bos: "My research program studies fundamental questions about the experience of (in)justice, morality, trust, tensions between groups and cultures, pro-social behavior and radicalization, extremism and terrorism. Insights resulting from his fundamental research are applied in important social contexts, especially in the fields of law, social conflict and society. Topics that my colleagues and I study include the issue of fair treatment ("perceived procedural fairness") in interactions between citizens and government, the role of endangered groups in terrorism and radical behavior, and the psychological processes that lead to trust. or distrust in government and other important social institutions such as the legal email@example.com ] firstname.lastname@example.org ). I wrote a book about the performance of Empirical Legal Research that will be published in August 2020 by Edward Elgar (and later in Dutch translation by Boom Legal)."
Lydia Dalhuisen: I am a lawyer and psychologist and I work as assistant professor of forensich psychiatry and psychology at the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology. As a researcher I am affiliated with the Utrecht Center for Accountability and Liability Law (UCALL). I am also affiliated with the Forensic Psychiatric Clinic in Assen where I study the implementation of a treatment program for arsonists. My research focuses on forensic behavioral themes such as arson and the role of victims within forensic psychiatry. Within ERI I investigate victim-offender contact during a TBS treatment.
Natalie Dobson: I am an Assistant Professor in public international law, and researcher with the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL). My research considers states’ rights and obligations to take protective measures responding to climate change risks. My PhD on Extraterritoriality and Climate Change Jurisdiction concerned the legal conditions on the right to regulate for climate protection, with a focus on the EU. My ERI research considers the role of domestic courts in interpreting and forming states’ international climate obligations. In particular, it focuses on how domestic courts are using climate science both independently and in judicial dialogue. Through legal precedent and borrowing, such early court practice can have a great impact on the development of both national and international law. This ERI project will evaluate the legitimacy of the current developments, considering implications for the rule of law.
Emanuel van Dongen: "I work as an Associate Professor of private law at the Molengraaff Institute of Private Law. I am also connected as a researcher to Ucall and to the Montaigne Centre. In my teaching and research I approach (private) law not only from a dogmatic perspective, but also from the context of other domains. As a result, my publications are not limited to private law, but have a broader scope. My 'law and' approach fits my broad background, which lies in the fields of private law, legal history and methodology. Within ERI, I conduct a comparative-empirical study of abuse of (procedural) law."
Hanneke van Eijken: "I am an assistant professor and researcher in European law. My research themes are: European citizenship, division of competences, free movement, democracy and fundamental rights. Within Empirical Legal Research and Conflict Resolution Institutions (ERI) I will engage in empirical research into European law and focus on European citizenship and judicial review in Europe. My focus areas are European citizenship, free movement and fundamental rights protection. How does the court deal with the rights of the child in European citizenship cases? How are freedoms of EU citizens restricted to travel and reside in other Member States?"
Marion Evers: Na het afronden van de HR-bachelor Personeelwetenschappen aan de Universiteit van Tilburg heb ik de gecombineerde master Labour Law and Employment relations afgerond. Deze combineert aspecten van HR, sociaal beleid en (Europees) arbeidsrecht. Vanuit deze achtergrond ben ik momenteel als onderzoeker verbonden aan het Europese ‘Working, Yet Poor’ project, een internationaal onderzoek naar armoede onder werkenden.
Julie Fraser: I am an Assistant Professor with The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) and a researcher with the Montaigne Centre where I focus on human rights and transitional justice. My ERI research project looks at the role of Islamic law in cases before the International Criminal Court, in particular the case from the situation in Mali: The Prosecutor v Al Hassan. From the perspective of legal pluralism, my research examines the relationship between Islamic law and international criminal law and seeks to investigate their interaction within the context of international criminal justice. In addition to traditional legal desk research, this project will include empirical studies involving stakeholders at the International Criminal Court. This builds upon the empirical studies in my PhD which won the Max van der Stoel Prize for human rights in 2019. Prior to joining Utrecht University, I worked at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for almost two years.
Remy Gaarthuis: I am an assistant professor of criminal (procedural) law at the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal law and Criminology. As a researcher, I am affiliated with the Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law and Administration of Justice and the ERI research cluster. My research focuses on the intersection between punishment and care, in particular on the possibilities the law offers to divert mentally ill delinquents from the criminal justice system to the (compulsory) mental health care. I’m especially interested in the role of the public prosecutor in such procedures. How and based on what considerations are these types of cases handled by the prosecutor? What challenges do prosecutors encounter? And how do their daily decision making processes relate to the principles underlying the regulatory framework?
Han Gulyás: I am an Assistant Professor with the Molengraaff Instituut. My focus is on the valuation of companies, which means I conduct research into how much a company or a block of shares is worth. My ERI research project is about the safeguards the law provides when a judge decides upon conflicts that concern the valuation of shares of private limited companies, with a particular emphasis on the role that valuation experts play in such proceedings. The private character of a private limited company results in the situation where transferring such shares is difficult. This often results in conflicts about the price of the shares where a shareholder would like to exit the company, let alone the situation where shareholders already have a conflict about other matters. The main question here is which price is ‘fair’ for shares that are sold in such conflict situations. This question is frequently decided upon by a judge as supported by a report of a valuation expert. My ERI research project looks at whether Dutch law, given the key role of valuation experts for the judicial decision of share valuations, has sufficient safeguards to ensure parties obtain a ‘fair’ price when ending conflicts within private limited companies. In addition to providing the legal framework for such share valuations, the ERI research project includes empirical studies involving the main stakeholders for valuations. These stakeholders are valuation experts, lawyers, and judges. The ERI research can be seen as a follow-up of my PhD research at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Prior to joining Utrecht University in 2021, I finished my PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen. My PhD concerns the valuation of publicly traded companies from the perspective of price data.
Laura Henderson: "I am an Associate Professor of International and European Law. A future-proof rule of law must adequately deal with the uncertainty that characterises the challenges of the 21st century. I will empirically examine the extent to which current tactics for dealing with empirical uncertainty within legal decision-making are sufficiently robust for these contemporary challenges. To answer this question, I will use a multiple case study approach based on a theoretical replication design to study how courts deal with empirical uncertainty in the 21st century. Specifically, I aim to understand the different types of empirical uncertainty courts face and the tactics they use to reduce this uncertainty."
Joost Huijer: I am an Assistant Professor at the Molengraaff Institute for Private Law and a researcher at UCERF (Utrecht Centre for European Research into Family Law). My research specialises in the functioning of the system of child protection in the Netherlands. In November 2020, I received my PhD with a study of the legal justification in practice for the use of a child protection measure. The empirical-legal research comprises an extensive analysis of files of the Child Protection Board, which examines whether, and if so how, the legal requirements are applied in practice. In addition, in cooperation with the Verwey-Jonker Institute, I conducted the 2018 interim evaluation of the Child Protection Measures Review Act.
Pauline Jacobs: "I work as an Associate Professor of criminal (procedural) law at the Willem Pompe Institute. I am also affiliated to the Montaigne Centre as a researcher. In my teaching and research I am mainly involved in criminal (procedural) law and human rights and penitentiary law (the law that relates to the execution of punishments and measures). Within ERI, I conduct research on vulnerable prisoners, more specifically transgender."
Urszula Jaremba: I am associate professor of EU law at the Department of International and European law, and researcher with RENFORCE. I have broad research interest in the field of EU law. My PhD project which I completed in 2012 considered the functioning of national courts as EU law courts and included a profound empirical study of quantitative and qualitative nature among national judges. Since the beginning of my academic career, I have published a number of interdisciplinary articles combining legal and political perspectives in the field of (effective) judicial protection in the EU, application of EU law by national courts and functioning of national judges. Next to that, I conduct research in the field of EU external trade relations, international dispute resolution and externalization of EU non-economic values by means of trade policy.
My ERI research considers the completeness of the judicial review system of legal acts of the European Union. In that sense, it aims at empirically researching the use of the preliminary ruling procedure (under article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU) on the validity of EU law by national courts. The ultimate goal of the research project is to answer the question to what extent the preliminary ruling procedure constitutes an efficient alternative to the direct action for annulment (under article 263 TFEU) and whether there is a complete system of legal remedies and procedures designed to ensure judicial review of EU acts, as it is repeatedly claimed by the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Manon Julicher: Ik ben universitair docent staatsrecht bij de afdeling Staatsrecht, bestuursrecht en rechtstheorie. Als onderzoeker ben ik verbonden aan het Montaigne Centrum voor Rechtsstaat en Rechtspleging en het onderzoekscluster ERI. Binnen ERI houd ik mij bezig met de Grondwet. Ik ga onderzoeken welke functie de Grondwet heeft volgens verschillende groepen in de samenleving (bijv. studenten, docenten op middelbare scholen, rechters en Kamerleden). En hoe de Grondwet er in lijn met deze functie uit moet zien. Voldoet de huidige Grondwet aan de wensen? Of dient deze gewijzigd te worden? Zo ja, op welke onderdelen dan? Over het doel en de functie van de Grondwet is van oudsher veel discussie. Bijvoorbeeld over de vraag of de Grondwet een richtinggevende functie moet hebben als er conflicten of problemen in de samenleving zijn. Of de vraag of de Grondwet een ‘identiteitsbepaler’ moet zijn en ook in het onderwijs moet kunnen worden gebruikt om de waarden van de democratische rechtsstaat te leren kennen. Of is het voldoende als de Grondwet sober is, alleen gaat over de basisregels van onze staatsinrichting, en hier geen enkele samenbindende werking vanuit gaat? Met deze en andere vragen over de Grondwet zal ik mij de komende tijd bezighouden.
Machiko Kanetake: I am Assistant Professor of Public International Law. At Utrecht University, I assume various responsibilities, including a member of the Management Board of the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE). Among a number of external responsibilities, I serve as an Editorial Board member of the Leiden Journal of International Law and a convenor for the Interest Group on International Courts and Tribunals within the European Society of International Law. Within ERI, my research focus lies in the regional human rights courts' engagement (particularly the ECtHR) with UN human rights treaty-monitoring bodies. My project analyses the extent to which the regional human rights courts accept, or even contest, the interpretations put forward by the treaty bodies on a set of human rights norms commonly prescribed by the regional and international human rights treaties.
Salvatore Nicolosi: I am a Senior Assistant Professor in European and International Migration Law at Utrecht University Law School, where I have assumed various leadership positions in research and education. In particular, I have been acting as Co-leader of the Building block on Citizenship and Migration within the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE) and as Coordinator of the LL.M. programme in European Law. I am also a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) and was included in the List of legal experts of the EU Agency for Asylum (EUAA).
Within ERI, my research fills in the knowledge gap regarding the compensatory systems available to migrants, attempting to enter the EU and being faced with measures adopted by new actors, such as the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX). By combining literature review, case law analysis, and focus groups, I will especially draw recommendations about the features that complaint mechanisms must possess to offer adequate access to justice to migrants.
Laura van Oploo: "I am an Associate Professor of criminal (procedural) law at the Willem Pompe Institute. My research is at the interface of (cultural, forensic) psychiatry and psychology and criminal (procedural) law. In 2021 I received my PhD with research on cultural considerations in behavioural advice to the judge about suspects. Within ERI, I conduct research on culture- and migration-related bias in (forensic) risk assessment instruments."
Thomas Riesthuis: "I am an associate professor of Legal Theory. Philosophers of law are largely in agreement that in exceptional cases the judge cannot rule solely on the basis of law. These cases are also called difficult cases. Legal philosophers differ on how often difficult cases occur in legal practice and how a judge arrives at a judicial decision in these cases. Legal theories offer various explanations of why judges face difficult cases and how judges resolve difficult cases. However, these legal theories are often based on general assumptions and intuitions about our law; not on empirical data. In this project, I therefore investigate whether theories of legal discovery correspond to the perceptions and experiences of Dutch fact-finding judges. In my research project I explore to what extent legal theories that aim to clarify how judges solve difficult cases match the perceptions and experiences that Dutch factual judges have regarding legal discovery. The project is a first exploration focusing on legal discovery problems in ECHR cases that judges in courts of law are confronted with. Interviews will be used to map the extent to which theories about legal discovery can actually clarify the practice of legal discovery in ECHR cases."
Rianka Rijnhout: "My research focuses on the settlement of damages of individuals. What difficulties are experienced by injured parties and institutions in recovering damages? How should collective damage be settled? How does one settle damages abroad? And would other (alternative) damage settlement systems work better in practice than the classic route for damage recovery: liability law? My research focuses on socially relevant themes, always involving vulnerable victims: personal injury settlements, mining damage settlements, human rights violations and collective actions by, for example, consumers or associations with an idealistic interest (climate actions). I use various methods: literature and case law analysis, internal and external legal comparison and qualitative research (interviews, focus groups). As a secondary function, I am affiliated with the Standards Working Group of De Letselschaderaad as chair and I teach as a permanent teacher within the course of the Personal Injury Lawyers. In addition, I am an enthusiastic teacher within the Master Private Law, specialisation Liability Law of the University of Utrecht."
Marc Simon Thomas: "The research I will be conducting for ERI is a longitudinal, qualitative empirical research on an ongoing experiment with a community court in Rotterdam: Wijkrechtspraak op Zuid. I started this project in 2020, and during my ERI research time I plan to continue this socio-legal research which in the end will lead to a legal-anthropological ethnography. This book will theoretically deal with the concept of responsive justice but also aims to be a guide for young socio-legal researchers who plan to use participant observation and (informal) interviewing as their main methodology. I am trained as a lawyer as well as an anthropologist. My PhD research concerned a legal-anthropological study (including 11 months of fieldwork) on local dispute settlement among an indigenous community living in the Andean highlands of Ecuador. Currently I conduct research on alternative dispute resolution (ADR, and especially on mediation) and ‘socially effective justice’ in the Netherlands. As an Associate Professor I also teach legal theory courses in our Bachelor, including an elective course on sociology of law."
Jasper Sluijs: I am assistant professor in European Competition law and work at the intersection of legal research and experimental economics. My research aims to investigate empirically the need for regulatory or judiciary intervention regarding new types of competition on markets. I do this by means of experiments: a methodology in which participants behave like market actors and interact with each other on simulated markets. These experiments are ex-ante evaluations, as an alternative to a-priori normative conclusions. Outcomes of these experiments can provide a foundation for follow-up doctrinal legal research to recommend a legislative or judiciary response.
Lorena Sosa: I am an Assistant Professor with The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) and a researcher with UCERF. My research explores the inclusiveness of human rights law in relation to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, and sex characteristics, in the realms of violence, and equality and non-discrimination. I often use multi-level case-study designs and empirical methods for legal analysis, in addition to (qualitative) empirical research. Given my interaction with minorities and groups in vulnerable situations, research ethics are also central to my research. My ERI research project is inspired by my current VENI project on violence against trans and intersex individuals, which indicates that their personal experiences of violence often begin with conflicts between them and their parents during childhood. Solving these conflicts early on becomes decisive for children’s future. Under the ERI programme, I will explore to what extent different parent-child conflict-resolution approaches meet the demands and experiences of the trans and intersex collective, and make proposals for legal and institutional reform.
Daan van Uhm: "I am an Associate Professor of Criminology at the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology. I conduct research on different forms of environmental crime, such as cross-border wildlife trade, deforestation and timber trade in Southeast Asia, illegal mining in Latin America and the illegal dog trade in Europe, and assisted in several court cases. I received my PhD in Criminology from Utrecht University in 2016 (The Illegal Wildlife Trade: Inside the World of Poachers, Smugglers and Traders, Springer). In 2018 I received the prestigious Veni grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for its research project: 'The Diversification of Organised Crime into the Illegal Trade in Natural Resources'. I primarily focus on research in the context of green crimes and damages."
Thomas Verellen: I am an assistant professor in EU law at Utrecht University and researcher with the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE). My research focusses on the constitutional rules governing the foreign relations of federal unions, including the European Union. In my recent work, I explore the governance implications of the unilateral turn in EU trade policy, i.e. the increasing use by the EU of unilateral as opposed to multi-, pluri- or bilateral instruments to conduct trade policy in response to a changing geopolitical environment. My ERI research will focus on how parliaments exercise oversight over the executive as the latter wields unilateral trade instruments.
Gentrita Bajrami: We are witnessing a rising trend towards a wholesale shift in the resolution of civil disputes out of the public realm and into private dispute resolution mechanisms. Conflicts that once used to be resolved by authoritative judges sitting in courtrooms, are now being decided away from courts with the help of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. In the face of civil justice becoming increasingly privatised, countries have begun to explore new ways in which they hope to maintain the relevancy of traditional court proceedings and the judicial system as we know it. As a PhD candidate affiliated with the Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law and Administration of Justice of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, my research examines institutions for conflict resolution under a rapidly changing rule of law framework. The focus of my doctoral research lies on the role of courts and their societal effectiveness in relation to private and/or digital alternatives for conflict resolution, such as mediation, arbitration, and online dispute resolution (ODR).
Tekla Beekhuis: "As a PhD student, I am affiliated with the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Justice, Ucall and ERI. My PhD research deals with the obligations under the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act to conduct customer due diligence and report unusual transactions by banks, accountants and notaries (gatekeepers). The focus is on the assessment of the criminal and administrative liability of the gatekeepers in light of the legal and practical (im)possibilities that they experience in complying with the said Wwft obligations. In doing so, I make use of both classical-legal and empirical research."
Stijn van Deursen: "After having completed my bachelor (Utrecht Law College) and master (Legal Research Master) in Utrecht, I have been associated with the ERI research cluster as a PhD student since February 1, 2020. I conduct empirical and comparative legal research on the significance of macro effects and social side effects within liability law and administrative law. In principle, this involves the non-legal effects of judicial decisions for parties not involved in a procedure. More specifically, my research focuses on the question of how, when and why judges in these jurisdictions take such aspects into account and - if so - how they substantiate them in their rulings. Previously, I have been involved in several research projects at Utrecht University, including on the legal aspects of algorithmic decision making and on Sino-European university collaborations."
Annelies Hommes: "As a PhD student, I have been affiliated with the Empirical Research into Institutions for Conflict Resolution (ERI) research cluster, the Montaigne Center for Rule of Law and Justice and the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Justice Sciences since August 2021. My PhD research focuses on the needs of victims regarding the exercise of their right to speak in the criminal process. The increasing expansion of the right to speak for victims of crime in criminal proceedings suggests that there is a need for this among those entitled to speak. Whether this is actually the case, however, is unclear: since the introduction of the right to speak in 2005, only a single study has examined victims' needs regarding the exercise of the right to speak in criminal proceedings. The aim of my research is to find out, on the basis of systematic empirical-legal research, what these needs are and to what extent the right to speak in its current form meets those needs of victims. The research is supervised by Prof. François Kristen (supervisor, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure) and Dr. Michèlle Bal (co-supervisor, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science)."
Deborah Nidel: "I am a PhD student at the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Justice Sciences, RENFORCE and ERI. My PhD research is on Joint Investigation Teams (JITs), a form of legal cooperation between EU member states, or between an EU member state and a non-member state, in cases of cross-border crime. I will investigate how the interests of authorities, suspects and victims are weighed within a JIT."
Danai Nikolakopoulou is a PhD candidate, affiliated to the research institutes ERI and RENFORCE. Her research project deals with the effective enforcement of the prohibition of workplace sexual harassment, in the context the European Union, the Council of Europe and the International Labour Organisation. The research project is legal multi-dimensional and empirical, and the method of choice is interviews. The legal fields of interest are: labour law, tort law, non-discrimination, European and international law. Danai studied Law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Labour Law and Employment Relations at Tilburg University. She is a member of the Bar in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Sofie Oosterhuis: "My PhD research is about the Boards of Appeal of European Union agencies. As more and more agencies can make binding decisions, the Boards of Appeal are becoming increasingly important for the protection of the rights of private parties and the further development of legal protection within the EU. Although the Boards of Appeal are part of the agencies, they seem to be increasingly seen as part of the European judiciary. At the same time, they cannot provide the same safeguards and more seems to be expected from their procedures. My research focuses on the question of how these appeal procedures should be designed to meet their expectations as an independent, efficient and expert mechanism for conflict resolution. Legal-dogmatic and empirical research will be used to answer this question in order to get a full picture of how these Boards of Appeal function and how they should function."
Marlou Overheul: "My research is about alternative compensation systems for occupational diseases. The aim is to contribute, through both legal and empirical-legal research, to the scientific and social debate on the functioning and desirability of alternative compensation systems. The central question is what the legal position of the injured party is in an alternative compensation system for occupational diseases and to what extent that legal position is guaranteed, considering liability, compensation and procedural law as well as the experiences of injured parties. The two compensation schemes that have been set up for damage caused by Chromium-6 serve here as case studies."
Devita Kartika Putri: "My research fields are Criminal Law, Transnational Criminal Law, International Criminal Law, Terrorism, Violent Extremism, and Human Rights."
Jacob van der Tang: "Injured parties and their interest groups are increasingly using third-party funding in collective actions. There is insufficient clarity on how this takes place. Furthermore, there is not yet an assessment framework with which judges can test compensation to funders. My research therefore focuses on external financing of mass claims in particular. This phenomenon is illuminated from a legal-dogmatic, empirical and comparative law perspective. The aim is to thereby make a fundamental contribution to the development of financing of collective damage recovery."
Max Vetzo: "As an ERI researcher, I conduct PhD research on the constitutional role of the Dutch judge. I do so against the background of the rise of politically sensitive legal cases with a strong cross-party character, which I refer to in my research as cases of Dutch jurisdiction with a constitutional dimension. Current examples abound from the Urgenda case to proceedings on the corona measures and from lawsuits on the retrieval of IS fighters to judgments on the legality of algorithmic surveillance systems. Through systematic case law analysis, comparative law and the study of constitutional theories about the role of the judge, I try to shape the (further) development of 'constitutional procedural law': the constitutional standardisation of procedural law issues. Consider, for example, the question of whether the judge should sometimes refrain from ruling on the substance of a lawsuit because of its 'political' character, or the question of what room the judge should leave to the legislator when he has found that a law violates human rights. With my research I hope to further develop the constitutional perspective on important judicial procedures in order to contribute to the future-proofing of the role of the Dutch judge."
Anouk Wouters: "My research focuses on the question of whether the Dutch government can play a role in the settlement of mass damage suffered by consumers. At present, the Dutch government plays no role in the settlement of actual cases of mass damage suffered by consumers, but 'only' establishes the rules of the game (read: the legal framework) within which the market can subsequently do its work. A look across the borders shows that alternative systems are conceivable. In this respect, one could first consider a system in which the government supports private parties in their role in the settlement of mass damage, for example by subsidising them. A more far-reaching variant could consist of a party such as the regulator playing a direct role in the settlement of mass damage, for example by litigating or negotiating compensation for injured parties."