Prof Dr Roland Pierik (R.)

Roland Pierik is a professor of Philosophy of Law and chair of the Department of Foundations of Law.

His research interests revolve around the question of how liberal democracies should deal with cases of colliding fundamental rights or conflicts between fundamental rights and other central ideals within constitutional democracies: the rule of law or democracy.

Prof. Pierik studies fundamental rights as legal-philosophical concepts and legally enforceable rights as they have been formalized in human rights conventions, especially the European Convention on Human Rights.

On 1 December 2023, Prof. Pierik gave his inaugural lecture, as professor of philosopy of law at Maastricht University, entitled: "Convention Constitutionalism. On the Necessity of Judicial Review for Democratic Governance." 

The European Convention on Human Rights was set up as an attempt of Party States to collaborate with other states that pursue similar constitutional-democratic projects. This horizontalization of constitutional authority is the move from ‘constitution’ to ‘constitutionality.’ It broadens the authority of constitutional values and fundamental rights because they are no longer merely dependent on endorsement by an independent people but are also collectively endorsed by like-minded peoples in the shared enterprise of the Convention system. This research line investigates the emerging phenomenon of ‘convention constitutionalism’ among the State Parties of the European Convention. In particular, the project investigates the role of the European Court of Human Rights in the ongoing dialogue with Party States in cementing this convention constitutionalism through the further strengthening of a European consensus on the content and impact of Convention rights.

Recent publications: