Postdoc Montaigne Centre – Rule of Law Backsliding and Human Rights at Utrecht Uni, Netherlands 2022



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Postdoc Montaigne Centre: Rule of Law Backsliding and Human Rights at Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, Department of Law, Utrecht University, Netherlands 2022

Qualification Details

  • You have obtained or are about to obtain a doctorate in human rights law, public international law, or constitutional law.
  • You have an affinity with the subject-matter of the position.
  • You are a critical and creative thinker, with good planning and organising skills, and have the ability to deliver high-quality results in time.
  • You have the ability to quickly adjust to new settings.
  • You can work autonomously as well as in a team, meaning that you have good interpersonal skills that allow you to actively engage with colleagues within the Montaigne centre and its activities, and you can communicate well with your supervisor and process feedback effectively.
  • You have a good command of written and spoken English, which is also apparent from publications and presentations in national and/or international settings.
  • Candidates with a background underrepresented in Dutch academia are encouraged to apply for this position.

Responsibilities/Job Description

The Montaigne Centre is currently looking for a postdoctoral researcher in international (human rights) law for a one-year appointment. The dynamics of rule of law protection are at the core of the research of the Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law and Administration of Justice. In many states, the rule of law is under pressure or even backsliding. While this issue has been much studied both from constitutional law as well as European Union law perspectives, this position will focus on the possible responses from international human rights institutions. Several questions deserve further research:

  • How can and should such institutions deal with the weakening of domestic rule of law?
  • Which procedural tools would be useful to apply, ranging from interim measures to remedies indicating structural changes? Or are such institutions toothless tigers?
  • And substantively, since such a backsliding goes squarely against the oft-repeated mantra of an ever-increasing level of human rights protection, how does this development influence the substantive standards of international human rights law?
  • Which effects does it have on the right to a fair trial, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and the rights of other watchdogs among civil society?
Backsliding might be a relatively new, but not unknown phenomenon for the European Court of Human Rights. Yet, its Inter-American and African counterparts have experience in dealing with earlier, similar developments of backsliding. The work of United Nations human rights treaty bodies equally deserves attention in this context. This one year postdoctoral position has been created to further explore these issues. As a postdoctoral researcher, you will be part of and supported by the research community of the Montaigne Centre. You will conduct research, both autonomously and with colleagues within the Montaigne Centre, on the issues described above. Within the appointment for one year, you will organise an international workshop on the topic and aim to co-edit a special issue of an international journal based on the workshop’s contributions, for which you will also author one of the substantive articles, and consider writing a follow-up research proposal for external funders.In addition, active collaboration within the Centre as well as outreach (in terms of networking, publication of other articles, blogposts, conference presentations, guest lectures etc.) to the international academic community beyond it are expected, in order to further strengthen this part of the Montaigne Centre’s research programme.

How to Apply?

Application Method: online_applicationRef. No. -

Application Procedure

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the 'apply' button. We would also like to receive:

  • a list of publications (if any);
  • a sample of academic writing.
  • contacts of two referees.

About the Department/Section/Group

The Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance is a faculty at the heart of society, with a strong focus on social issues. Our subjects of Law, Economics and Governance give us a strong mix of academic disciplines that complement and enhance each other. This is a unique combination and a mark of our faculty's strength. We work with a diverse group of employees and students. We find a working environment in which everyone is recognized and appreciated, dares to speak out and is treated with respect, very important. We ask all our employees to contribute to an open and inspiring work and learning environment for employees and students of all backgrounds. Together we ensure that everyone feels welcome and can develop themselves. Read more about the theme ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ within the UU. The School of Law has provided quality research and education for more than 350 years. Constant innovation has enabled the School to maintain its leading position. Top-ranking research is conducted in all important legal fields: private law, criminal law, constitutional and administrative law, EU law, public international law. Researchers collaborate intensively with foreign partners, mainly from the angle of European and comparative law. The School of Law also conducts contract research and consultancy for other organizations. The extensive educational programme is based on academic research conducted within the faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. Students are trained to be highly qualified, internationally-oriented lawyers on the basis of modern didactical principles. Utrecht University’s Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law and Administration of Justice combines multidimensional expertise in the field of rule of law and administration of justice. The Montaigne Centre is involved in multidisciplinary research consultancy  and education  Read more about the Montaigne Centre .  

Note or Other details

We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for a period of 1 year. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience  - ranges between €3,974 and €5,439 (scale 11 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities) per month, at a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, a minimum of 29 leave days per year (for a full-time appointment) and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information visit working at Utrecht University 

Contact Details

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. dr. A.C. (Antoine) Buyse (Professor of Human Rights), via [email protected].