Research SIM

Human rights research is part and parcel of Utrecht Law School's five research programmes, of the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges , of its strategic theme ‘Institutions for Open Societies, the  ‘Gender and Diversity Hub’ and the ‘Future of Citizen-based Initiatives Hub’ . Find our key current and recent research projects here:

Current research projects

Completed research projects

FRAME: Fostering Human Rights Among European Policies (2013-2017)

For this project, researchers have investigated the role of human rights in the internal and external policies of the European Union.

You can find more information on the FRAME website.

TJDI - Impact of Transitional Justice Measures on Democratic Institution-Building (2013-2016)

The TJDI project focuses on countries facing a myriad of challenges following their emergence from authoritarian rule and/or violent conflict. Chief among these problems is the demand for accountability for past abuses, and the need to build a new, stable democratic state. Scholars and practitioners continue to debate which of these take priority, or whether in fact one is a necessary precondition for the other. While some recent scholarship suggests that certain transitional justice measures are positively correlated with an improvement in the state of democracy and human rights in transitional states, other scholarship suggests that some transitional justice measures are not linked to improved records of democracy and human rights.

This three-year, inter-disciplinary research project will be conducted by researchers at the University of East London, UK, and at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and will examine the experiences of eight countries: South Korea, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Hungary, and East Germany, in four regions. All of these countries have experienced different types of violence and repression and undergone different types of transition, in different regional and international geopolitical circumstances. Using qualitative methods including field research, secondary research, and incorporating insights from quantitative research, this comparative project will develop new insights regarding the impact of transitional justice measures specifically on democratic institution-building. The researchers aim at contributing to the wide scholarship on the effects of transitional justice and providing insights to practitioners regarding the role of various transitional justice measures.

Fore more information, see

Words of Violence (2010-2013)

In the research project Words of Violence, Antoine Buyse investigates the interlinkages between freedom of expression, the media and violent conflict escalation.

The multidisciplinary project combines legal research with insights from conflict studies. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are the two case studies under review. This project is funded by a Veni talent grant from NWO, the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research.