Maastricht Centre for Human Rights
The Maastricht Centre for Human Rights brings together researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds from law and other academic fields, to conduct cutting edge human rights research. The Centre focuses on research themes that contribute to a fair and equitable society, and that raise fundamental questions about human rights. Human rights research carried out within the Centre takes a normative approach, reflecting an integrated view of both economic, social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights. Research conducted by Centre members incorporates doctrinal and applied methodologies, and is sometimes interdisciplinary in nature. The main focus of the Centre’s research lies in the legal field (including public international law and criminal law), but this research is combined with research from the social sciences (including criminology, political science, international relations) and at times philosophy and history (the humanities). The research conducted within the Centre covers the following themes.
- focus on public international law, criminal law, criminology, and social sciences
- close attention to gender issues
- established in 1993 by prof. Theo van Boven, former director of UN Division for Human Rights, and prof. Cees Flinterman
- all 25 members invest research capacity in human rights subjects, next to their teaching responsibilities
Regional human rights systems and comparative human rights law
The members of the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights share a strong interest in comparative research and the examination of human rights issues arising in domestic, regional and international legal systems. This interest is reflected in the Centre’s research, which explores the intersections between jurisprudential developments emerging from various national and supranational courts as well as bodies involved in interpreting and implementing human rights norms.
Human rights, non-discrimination and inclusion
The theme ‘’human rights, non-discrimination and inclusion’’ brings together research on groups or individuals suffering from unjustifiable differential treatment and ingrained patterns of discrimination in society. Members investigate how legal rules and instruments can be used to address political, economic, criminal, environmental and social challenges by promoting equality and inclusion in society. Some of the research under this theme also tends to be comparative in nature, focusing on the integration and interaction between different legal orders operating at the national, supranational (European Union) and international levels.
Human rights, conflict and transitional justice
The perpetration of international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression usually cause extensive harm to individuals, communities and societies more broadly. Such crimes have occurred in different parts of the world since time immemorial, and they are likely to reoccur. Therefore, research on the relations and interplay between human rights, conflict and transitional justice (i.e., the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with society’s attempts to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale past abuses) is crucial to achieving accountability, promoting reconciliation and preventing future harm.
MCfHR’s research mainly takes place
in the following Faculty research pillar:
Let's talk human rights
Human rights issues affect us all. But sometimes there can be an unfortunate disconnect between the human rights research that goes on in universities, and the rest of the world. Let’s Talk Human Rights is a video and podcast series which aims to bridge that gap. We interview human rights experts at one of the primary hubs of human rights research in the Netherlands, the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights, in order to open a window to show what is actually happening in human rights research today. We discuss pressing issues, from human rights and social media to the rights of disabled persons.
We also talk to the researchers about themselves, their projects, and their research journey. Focusing mainly on early career researchers, we cast a light not only on human rights law and how it works, but also on what it means to be a human rights researcher.
Read more about our Let's Talk Human Rights initiative
You can find our episodes on:
PhD thesis written by Sander Paul Martijn Kramer
A growing number of mobile individuals, who take advantage of their European freedoms of movement, face a lack of comprehensive pension information. This obstacle can hinder those who need pension information the most in making well-informed retirement...
PhD thesis written by Alice Giannini
The idea of criminal behavior of artificial intelligence (AI) systems is nothing new. In fact, science fiction has been dealing for decades with evil robots rebelling against humans and taking control, or with machines that go crazy and act unpredictably. Yet, it...
PhD thesis written by Haiyang Yu
Professional marine salvors who have the emergency response capacity to maritime casualties traditionally are rewarded on a ‘No Cure-No Pay' basis under the maritime law of salvage. However, in cases involving potentially significant environmental damage, such as...
As per 1 November 2023, UM’s Executive Board has appointed Dr Maja Brkan as endowed professor of Digitalisation and EU Law.
27 September 2023, Brussels | “The green transition in mobility is going well, but it could be a lot better. Until 2040 and 2050, the infrastructure we need to build, will be impossible to achieve on an individual level.” With this conclusion, Turi Fiorito director of the European Federation of...
The EU-funded project FullCompensation aims to make the compensation of pain and suffering damages more equitable and efficient. To this end, the project led to the development of a model legislative proposal and guidelines, based on comparative and empirical evidence. These documents are intended...
“Wie als slachtoffer zijn recht zoekt, verdwaalt gemakkelijk in juristerij en een wereld waarin veel onbestraft blijft”, aldus Steven van de Put, promovendus aan de universiteit Maastricht. “Dit moet én kan anders. Het kan niet zo zijn dat individuen of groepen van individuen die iets ergs is...
Three new professors were recently appointed, and all three will take up their professorships at our faculty from 1 September next.
PhD thesis written by Giulia Giardi
This book draws on never-before used data on both crimes and enforcement to shed light on this murky world. Whether you are professionally or privately engaged in contrasting corporate crime or environmental harm, this book can enhance your perspective and toolset...
Throughout the EU, the rights of asylum seekers come under pressure. Overdue policy changes remain stuck in negotiations because of lacking political will. It is up to the European Commission to step up and protect the fundamental rights of asylum seekers.
The debate on the implications of Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia recently intensified after a report concluded that the Dutch forces had used extreme violence. Reactions to the report reveal that the issue remains controversial and challenging to discuss. The findings in the report do however...
Admittedly, the right to erasure, or more colloquially, the right to be forgotten is nothing new in the European legal landscape. Indeed, this right can be found as far back as 1981 in the predecessor of the Modernised Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing...
About a year ago, this blog published my contribution “Let us not forget about EU fundamental rights,” which addressed the situation at the EU’s external borders. At the time, the decision of the ECtHR in the case of N.D and N.T v. Spain, was heavily criticised for failing to protect the right to...
06 Dec15:30 - 17:00
This lecture series provides a set of important insights from environmental law scholars on how EU environmental law helps to achieve the aim of a high level of environmental protection in the European Union and across the world.
08 Dec10:45 - 16:00
Tijdens de Meeloopdag ervaar je hoe het is om rechtenstudent te zijn. Dit betekent dat je een échte onderwijsgroep gaat observeren*. Deze onderwijsgroep bestaat uit huidige rechtenstudenten die over een actueel juridisch onderwerp discussiëren onder leiding van een tutor. Zo krijg je een goed beeld...
12 Dec14:00 - 15:30
The activities of the centre include regular organisation of academic conferences and workshops, as well as monthly research seminars to which high-level speakers are invited to discuss a specific topic in the field of EU law.
13 Dec16:00 - 18:00
Michele Ubertone, Maastricht University - Questions of Application
14 Dec18:00 - 20:00
Are you enthusiastic about broadening your global outlook and expanding your knowledge of foreign legal systems? Are you interested in learning the basics of the Chinese legal system? Do you wish to enrich your curriculum by demonstrating that you are an active student who takes part in...
18 Dec 20 Dec00:00
36th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems.
29 Jan13:15 - 18:00
The 13th Pension Seminar provides guidance on how to implement the WTP and make pension agreements adequate and fair at the social partners' negotiating table. A compass for those involved to find their way together in this terra incognita.
02 Feb15:00 - 17:00
Guest lecture and panel discussion on ‘The Polish Constitutional Tribunal and the Rule of Law: Theoretical and Practical Reflections
A lecture-discussion in a panel setting will take place to stimulate the debate on this important topic by bringing together distinguished experts from both legal practice and academia. The invited and confirmed speakers are Marcin Matczak (Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Warsaw)...
24 Feb09:30 - 16:30
Find out more about one of the most international universities in Europe, experience our unique approach to teaching and immerse yourself in your programme of choice.
Maastricht Centre for Human Rights introduction
This short introduction tells about the interdisciplinary character of the centre for human rights.
Maastricht Centre for Human Rights past events
Read about the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights past key events:
- Human Rights beyond borders conference
- 30 years Limburg principles and migrationy
- Theo van Boven lecture 2016
Documentary about the life of one of the most important advocates of human rights. Theo van Boven, a former Director of the United Nations Division of Human Rights (1977-1982), was among the first to defend international human rights responsibilities with courage and openness. He came face-to-face with some of the most repressive regimes of the 20th century. This documentary details the dramatic journey of Theo van Boven and his team, and their struggle to bring justice and change to the UN.
Video: Trailer for The Subversives, a documentary about van Theo van Boven's time at the UN.