Welcome to my homepage. I am Associate Professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam Law School. In addition, I am the director of the Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence and member of The Health Council of the Netherlands.



The Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence (PSC) is the meta-juridical research institute in the Amsterdam Law School. We are the pivotal centre for the legal-theoretical, i.e. empirical, historic and normative study of the law. Our research revolves around our research program Law in Contexts.



The Health Council of the NetherlandsGezondheidsraad – is an independent scientific advisory body whose legal task it is to advise ministers and Parliament in the field of public health. I have been appointed by Royal decree on 1 January 2018. I am actively involved in the Standing Vaccinations Committee and was member of the ad hoc HPV Committee (human papillomavirus).

Research interests
"I’m an analytical philosopher. Let me give you the smaller picture."

My research interests revolve around the question of how liberal democracies should deal with cases of colluding fundamental rights or conflicts between fundamental rights and other central ideals within constitutional democracies: the rule of law or democracy. I study fundamental rights both as legal-philosophical concepts and as legally enforceable rights as they have been formalized in human rights conventions, especially the ECHR.

I have analyzed a myriad of such legal disputes and policy dilemmas: the discussion of the crucifix in Italian public school before the EC(t)HR; the role of human rights in the regulation of transnational clinical trials; The shared responsibility of nation states to protect fundamental human rights for all; and the tension between universal human rights and national identity.

Vaccination
Since 2013, my research interests increasingly gravitated towards the legal regulation of childhood vaccination against infectious diseases. Several (conflicting) fundamental rights are pivotal in these discussions: the freedom of religion and conscience of non-vaccinating parents, the right to bodily integrity, but also the right to health of unvaccinated children – in particular Art. 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, stating that in all actions concerning children, their best interests must be a primary consideration of state agencies. Other relevant considerations are the responsibility of the state to protect public health and vulnerable citizens.

I currently work on a monograph entitled Inducing Immunity: The Regulation of Vaccination (with Marcel Verweij). In this book, we analyse the conditions under which a liberal-democratic government should make vaccination against infectious diseases such as such as measles, polio and whooping cough mandatory.

Visting scholarships
In 2015 and 2016 I was affiliated as a "visiting fellow" to Ripple (Research in Political Philosophy in Leuven) at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Leuven. Before that, I was a visiting scholar at the Centre for the Study of Social Justice of Oxford University (2013), University College London (2005), Columbia University (2004) and Ottawa University (1997-1998).


Supervision of PhD students:

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Before I came to Amsterdam, I taught political theory at Radboud University Nijmegen and legal theory at Tilburg University.