Esther Nauta (she/her) is a PhD candidate in Criminal Law at the Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law (UCALL) and the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law. Her PhD research is focussed on the role of dangerousness and mental illness as a requirement for indefinite preventive detention of dangerous offenders in Dutch criminal law, in comparison to German criminal law as well as from a international human rights law perspective. Her project is supervised by Gerben Meynen, Johannes Bijlsma, Ferry de Jong and Lydia Dalhuisen. 

Her research interests are comparative law, human rights law, criminal law and legal theory. 

In addition to working on her doctoral thesis, Esther is a junior researcher in the project Law and Ethics of Neurotechnology in Criminal Justice (LENC), headed by prof. Gerben Meynen and funded by the Dutch Research Organization (NWO).

From February-May 2022, Esther was a visiting doctoral researcher at the Max-Planck-Institut zur Erforschung von Kriminalität, Sicherheit und Recht in Freiburg im Breisgrau (Germany).