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:
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...
This conference aims to compare and critically assess the developments in European Criminal Law and International Criminal Law. The conference sets out to analyse differences and similarities with regard to a variety of different aspects of criminal justice in a globalized world.
The Consul Association has jointly decided to award a prize (value: 1000 euro) for the best master thesis in the field of EU law, written at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University during the academic year 2022/2023. The Prize will be awarded to the student who wrote a thesis of outstanding...
On 13 March 2023, the latest Globalization & Law seminar took place. We had the pleasure to listen to prof. Patricia Popelier speak about her ongoing research on “Trust in Multi-Tiered Systems”. Dr Šejla Imamović acted as a discussant.
The topic of cross-border cooperation plays only a modest role in the party manifestos for the upcoming provincial elections, even in border provinces. This is one of the findings of a thematic analysis by researchers from ITEM, Maastricht University’s transnational expertise centre.
On Wednesday 15 March 2023, there will be elections in the Netherlands. We will then vote for the Provincial Council and the District Water Board. Seven of the 12 Dutch provinces border a neighbouring country. Cross-border cooperation and special attention for border regions is therefore extra...
Daan has investigated how employees communicate with each other in a multilingual metal foundry in Limburg, nearby the Dutch-German border. He worked in the metal foundry for 3.5 months to observe and experience to what degree multilingualism hindered efficient communication, and the role of...
After short Christmas break, the Globalization and Law Network (GLaw-Net) resumed its bi-weekly seminars with invited experts who study the role of law in a globalizing world.
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...
05 Oct 06 Oct09:00 - 21:30
We are excited to announce that the Group for Research on European and International Taxation (GREIT) will hold its conference “National (Tax) Autonomy and the European Union: Revival or Demise?” on 5 and 6 October 2023 at Maastricht University.
07 Oct09:30 - 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.
11 Oct16:00 - 18:00
On 11 October, our speaker is Aileen Kavanagh, Professor of Constitutional Governance, Trinity College Dublin - Title: The Collaborative Constitution.
12 Oct09:30 - 10:30
Preventing instead of breaking barriers – How to minimise the risk of emerging obstacles to cross-border cooperation
In this workshop you will learn more about three examples or projects that address the issue of reducing the risk of emerging obstacles in cross-border cooperation. You will have the opportunity to share challenges and opportunities with speakers from ITEM, the Euro-Institut and the Centre for Cross...
12 Oct 28 Mar13:30 - 17:15
During the Experience Day you will receive more information about the European Law School programme and Problem-Based Learning (PBL) system.
26 Oct 27 Oct09:00 - 17:00
Crises, Challenges, and the Future of Public Law
The newly founded ICON-S Benelux Chapter will organize its Inaugural Conference on 26-27 October 2023. The conference will take place in Maastricht (NL), hosted by Maastricht University - Faculty of Law, with a fully in-person program of panels...
26 Oct12:00 - 19:00
Enhancing sustainable business and corporate regulation in the EU
Will be postponed to 1 November 2024.
03 Nov10:00 - 15:00
We are proud to hand the diploma's to our graduates on this festive day.
The graduates will receive an invitation from Law Events Office to register.
Infrastructure and mobility: 'Strong connections with neighbouring countries towards a sustainable and liveable society across the border'
The next ITEM Annual Conference will take place in cooperation with Province of Zuid Holland on Friday 17 November 2023 in The Hague.
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.