Project leader



Research Team

  1. Laurens van Apeldoorn
  2. Eduardo Arenas Catalán, assistant professor Criminal, international and European Law
  3. Inez Braber, PhD, Dept Criminal, international and European Law
  4. Sven Brinkhoff, Professor of Criminal Law 
  5. Wilma Dreissen, Professor of Criminal Law
  6. Wendy Guns, assistent professor Dept Criminal, International and European Law
  7. Gleider Hernandez, Professor of International law
  8. Marc Hendrikse, Professor of Private Law 
  9. Tom Herrenberg, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law and Legal Theory 
  10. Janine Janssen, Professor of Anthropology of Law
  11. Ronald Janse, Professor of Legal theory
  12. Emile Kolthoff, Professor of Criminology 
  13. Dennis Kotte,  PhD, Dept Private Law 
  14. Marijke Malsch, Professor of Empirical Legal Studies 
  15. Jeroen Mensink, PhD, Dept Criminal, international and European Law
  16. Sophie Naber, PhD, Dept Criminal, international and European Law
  17. Reijer Passchier, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law and Legal Theory 
  18. Jac Rinkes, Professor of Private Law
  19. Jan Willem Sap, Professor of European Law
  20. Mirjam van Schaik, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law and Legal Theory
  21. Mridula Shobinath, Dept Criminal, international and European Law
  22. Göran Sluiter, Professor of Criminal Law
  23. Nicky Touw, PhD, Dept Criminal, international and European Law 
  24. Janneke Vink, Assistant Professor of Legal Theory
  25. Daniëlle Visser, Private Law
  26. Carla Zoethout, Professor of Constitutional Law






Eduardo Arenas Catalán Eduardo Arenas Catalán works as an Assistant Professor of the Open University in its Department of Criminal, International and European Law.

Prior to this, he has worked as a lecturer at Leiden Law School and at the Utrecht School of Law in the field of European and international human rights law. Eduardo grew up and studied law in Chile. He obtained both his LLM and PhD from Utrecht University. His doctoral thesis was awarded the Theo van Boven Maastricht Research Prize of International Law in 2018. Looking at the emerging principle of solidarity, this work provided a critical assessment of the predominant interpretation of access to healthcare as a human right under international law.
Inez Braber Inez Braber graduated in philosophy and in international law from the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in criminal law on the topic of money laundering.

In the past, she worked inter alia as an anti-money laundering analyst for ABN Amro Bank (The Netherlands) and as a researcher on the legal and ethical aspects of global drug development and regulation from a human rights perspective at the Ethics Institute and the International Law Department of Utrecht University (The Netherlands). She has also worked for the law firm Prakken d’Oliveira Human Rights Lawyers and as an independent researcher on terrorism and international criminal law. Her research topic is the criminal law approach towards money laundering. The research project will center around the criminal law aspects of the evidence problems surrounding money laundering, specifically focusing on the principles of nemo tenetur (the right against self-incrimination) and the presumption of innocence. The dissertation will be comparative in nature, i.e. between the Netherlands, Italy, the United States and the United Kingdom. The research will therefore dovetail with the ‘Sectorplan’ elements ‘effective legal protection’ and ‘globalisation’.
Sven Brinkhoff Dr. S. (Sven) Brinkhoff is full professor of criminal (procedural) law at the Open University of the Netherlands.

In his research he focuses on a wide range of legal topics, mostly concerning criminal law. He publishes about these subjects in national and international journals and he has contributed to several books. Sven conducted doctoral research into various Dutch intelligence agencies and the use of their information in criminal proceedings. This study has resulted in the dissertation 'Startinformatie in het strafproces' (2014). He also focuses on the use of covert investigative powers by the police and the use of so-called ‘crown witnesses’ (or pentiti). In his most recent research endeavours, Sven focuses on the subject of ethnic profiling by the police. Sven is a sought-after expert on criminal law and enjoys sharing his research with the wider public.

Wilma Dreissen

 Professor of Criminal Law


Wendy Guns Wendy Guns is an assistant professor ( UD) in International Law at the Open University, the Netherlands.

Wendy completed her Ph. D at University of Leeds, at Leeds, the United Kingdom and her MA in European and International Law at Tilburg University and her LLM at the University of Minnesota School of Law. Her interest areas lie in the area of human rights, in particularly sexual and reproductive rights and human rights issues like the right to housing and the rights of migrants. She is also interested in the role of NGOs in the global legal order and international feminist theory. Believes law is the outcome of societal and political processes and aims to explain it within this context. Key publications include: The Influence of the Feminist Anti-Abortion NGOs as norm-setters at the level of the United Nations, Human Rights Quarterly (August 2013) and A.B. C vs. Ireland ( co-authored) in Loveday Hudson and Troy Lavers, Feminist Judgements in International, Hart (2019).

Gleider Hernandez

Gleider Hernández is Professor of Public International Law at Open Universiteit Nederland and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Previously, he was Associate Professor (Reader) in Public International Law at Durham Law School and Deputy Director of the Durham Global Policy Institute. He is the author of The International Court of Justice and the Judicial Function (OUP, 2014) and International Law (OUP, 2019). He took a D.Phil from Wadham College, Oxford, read for an LL.M in Public International Law at Leiden University, and for BCL (civil law) and LL.B (common law) degrees at McGill University. From 2015 to 2018, Professor Hernández held a Research Leadership Fellowship (Early Career) from the United Kingdom Arts & Humanities Research Council; and from April-August 2019, he was a Fulbright All-Disciplines Scholar at Harvard Law School. Gleider’s overall research interests broadly concern the nature and theory of international law, and its self-understanding as a professional discipline. He studies the form of the international legal system and the role of influential actors, in particular the indirect lawmaking role of judges and of academics. He is also interested in the interaction between international law, domestic law, and other global legal orders. His recent research interests are in the development of international law in new fields, in particular with respect to climate change and cyberspace.

Marc Hendrikse Marc Hendrikse is a full professor of commercial law and insurance law at the Open University (personal chair) and also holder of the endowed JPR chair at that university. Moreover, he is director of the Amsterdam Centre for Insurance Studies (ACIS) at the University of Amsterdam and Vice Chair of the Disputes Committee of the Financial Services Complaints Tribunal (Klachten Insitituut Financiele Dienstverlening, Kifid).

Hendrikse obtained his doctorate at the University of Amsterdam in 2002 on the topic of indemnity insurance law (thesis title: Eigen schuld, bereddingsplicht en medewerkingsplicht in het schadeverzekeringsrecht). Hendrikse publishes regularly on various commercial law topics, in particular insurance law.
Tom Herrenberg Tom Herrenberg is an assistant professor of constitutional law and legal theory at the Open University in the Netherlands.

Prior to joining the Open University, he was a lecturer and a researcher at Leiden Law School. In 2016 he was an Academic Visitor at the law faculty of the University of Oxford. He obtained master’s degrees in criminal law and legal philosophy. His research and teaching revolves primarily around (comparative) constitutional law, human rights, and freedom of expression. Tom is the (co-)editor of two volumes on freedom of expression: The Fall and Rise of Blasphemy Law (Leiden University Press, 2016) and De grenzen van het publieke debat: Over verdraagzaamheid en de vrijheid van meningsuiting in de democratische samenleving (Boom juridisch, 2019). Moreover, he has published in national and international journals and volumes. He wrote the entry on freedom of expression for the Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (Springer). Tom has been invited to present at various conferences, including conferences in Oxford, London, Ankara, Manchester, Luzern, and Lisbon.
Ronald Janse

Professor of Legal theory


Janine Janssen Janine Janssen is professor of anthropology of law at the Open University. Next to that she is professor of violence in relations of dependency at the Avans University of Applied Sciences and head of research at the National Centre of Expertise on Honour-Based Violence of the Dutch National Police Force (LEC EGG).

In her research she focuses on interpersonal violence among (former) partners and family members. With regards to the Sectorplan, she is especially interested in these forms of violence in migrant communities and in the way professionals cooperate in the field of safety and security in order to come to terms with violent behaviour. Janssen is also interested in ‘green criminology’ and issues regarding animal welfare. Recent publications include Focus on Honour. An exploration of cases of honour-related violence for police officers and other professionals, The Hague: Eleven 2018, Waarom de criminologie mij dierbaar is. Een persoonlijk pleidooi voor non-speciesisme, Den Haag: Boom Criminologie 2019, and Observaties van de korpsantropoloog. Een antropologisch perspectief op wetenschapsbeoefening voor, met en bij de politie, Den Haag: Boom Criminologie 2020.
Emile Kolthoff

Emile Kolthoff, PhD (1958) is full professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the Law faculty of the Open University in The Netherlands since 2010, and professor of Organized Crime at Avans University of applied sciences in Den Bosch, Netherlands. He is also a fellow with the Research Group on Quality of Governance at the VU University in Amsterdam and a visiting professor at Aruba University.

He has a background in policing (Commander with the National Police, Criminal Investigation, College for Criminal Investigation & Crime Control) and studied criminology (MA, 1984, Faculty of Law, University of Louvain) and Human Ecology (MSc, 1986, Faculty of Medicine, Free University of Brussels). He received a PhD in Social Sciences after defending his thesis Ethics and New Public Management (2007, VU University, department of Public Administration, Amsterdam). Before shifting to the academic world he was a director with KPMG Forensic Services and managing director of the Office of Public Integrity in the Netherlands. His research interests focus on corporate and state crime, organized crime, corruption and organizational misbehavior, Governance, safety in our cities, and social capital. He supervises PhD students on a variety of criminological topics. In 2019 two PhD students supervised by him defended their PhD thesis successfully: Diana Marijnissen on Threatening behavior toward local politicians, and Robin van Halderen on Nobel cause corruption in the Dutch police. Within the scope of the Sectorplan ‘Transformative effects of globalisation and law in the Netherlands’ of the Law Faculty he is currently working on an assignment by the Dutch parliament (Tweede Kamer) to evaluate the recommendations for preventing harassment, threats and intimidation of politicians and civil servants, research on the development of indicators as early warning signals for organized crime, and preparing a forthcoming large research project on stimulating social capital in neighbourhoods to combat and prevent organized crime. He supervises together with Marijke Malsch the PhD research by Mridula Shobinath on Human Trafficking, and together with Sven Brinkhoff the PhD research by Jeroen Mensink on Legal Protection against Organized Crime. He developed and teaches an introductory course in Criminology, a minor on Safe Cities, and a master course in organizational and state crime at the Open University. Recent publications include

Marijnissen, D., Kolthoff, E., & Huberts, L. (2020). Coping With Threats and Harassment in Politics. Public Integrity, p. 1-22. doi: 10.1080/10999922.2020.1714410

Palmen, D. G. C., Derksen, J. J. L., & Kolthoff, E. (2020). High self-control may support ‘success’ in psychopathic leadership: Self-control versus impulsivity in psychopathic leadership. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 50, 101338. doi:

Stuurman, J., Kolthoff, E. & Van den Tillaart, J. (2020). Datagedreven zicht op ondermijning in woonwijken. Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid (19) 1, 17-50. doi: 10.5553/TvV/187279482020019001002

Kolthoff, E., & Nelen, H. (2019). Keeping up Ethical Standards When Fighting Organized Crime. A Case Study in Law Enforcement. In: C. Jurkiewicz (Ed.) Global Corruption and Ethics Management. Translating Theory into Action, 246-253. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Kolthoff, E. (2019). Organized crime, integrity and the mayor as sheriff. In: G. de Graaf (ed.) It is all about integrity, stupid, 175-185. The Hague: Eleven.

Dennis Kotte
Dennis Kotte works at the Open University as a PhD candidate in Private Law.

Within the framework of the sector plan his PhD research project focuses on the prevention of money laundering in financial institutions, from a private law perspective. This involves the legal embedding of compliance, internal control, customer due diligence and risk management in legislation and regulations (in private and financial law). The internal fight against money laundering is increasingly a system of multi-level regulation in which the European dimension is becoming increasingly important. However, the applicable legislation and regulations are widely dispersed and not yet sufficiently clear and functional.
The research falls under the project ‘Legal protection under threat at home: terrorist organizations and organized crime’ of theme two of the sector plan. It will lead to new and progressive insights into the embedding of measures and systems aimed at the prevention of money laundering and the private law and financial legislation and regulations underlying these processes.
Marijke Malsch

Prof. dr. Marijke Malsch is professor of Empirical Legal Studies at the Open University. She is also a senior researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) in Amsterdam. She has extensive experience as a honorary judge, both on the district court level as on the appellate court level.

Her research focuses in particular on empirical research of legal practice. She conducted research into, among other things: the application of the ‘Wet Belaging’ (Stalking Act), the principle of open justice, lay courts in European countries, written reports of police interrogations, the comprehensibility of DNA reports for lawyers, and the privacy of victims. As part of the Faculty plan, Marijke Malsch will supervise (doctoral) research and conduct research on the following subjects:

1. Human trafficking within the context of prostitution in European countries;
2. Empirical foundations of legislation, in particular laws related to victims’ right to speak in court;
3. Citizens’ experiences with changes in the position of the judiciary in the Netherlands and other countries.
Subject 1. can be situated in Subtheme 2. Subjects 2. and 3. fall within Subtheme 1.

Jeroen Mensink Jeroen Mensink is working as a PhD Candidate at the Open University.

He is conducting research under the project theme ‘Legal protection against organized crime and terrorism’. Jeroen has worked as a university lecturer and researcher at Radboud University and Erasmus University. He conducted research for the Research and Documentation Centre of the Ministry of Justice and Security (WODC) on the Shielded Witness Act. Furthermore, he contributed to a chapter in the Handboek Strafzaken on the ZSM-method in criminal cases. Also, he worked as a legal officer at the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In 2016 he wrote a master thesis on substantive antiterrorism laws in the Netherlands.
Sophie Fleur Naber Sophie Fleur Naber is a researcher pursuing a PhD from the department of Criminal Law, International Law, and European Law at the Open University of the Netherlands. She is also a lecturer in Criminal Law and master’s thesis coordinator at Open University of the Netherlands. Besides lecturing she is a consultant in comprehensive criminal cases where she advises lawyers how to interrogate undercover agents and their chefs about specific undercover operations.

Currently she is working on her PhD-thesis where she is researching several undercover policies in the light of the ECHR. As part of the Sectorplan, her research falls under the theme of “Effective Legal Protection” in Globalisation and Law projects. The current proposal includes a comparative study in an international and European setting wherein the cases for study undercover policies include Netherlands, Canada and Germany. Sophie’s overall research interests broadly concern undercover operations and the interaction with domestic and international law.
Jac Rinkes Jac Rinkes is professor of Private Law at the Open University and holds the chair of European and Comparative Insurance Law at the University of Amsterdam. He is a part-time judge at the Arnhem-Leeuwarden Court of Appeal and at the District Court of Rotterdam.

He publishes widely his specialist subjects; his thesis (1992, Maastricht University) described the Law of Obligations in Comparative Context (jointly with Prof. Geoffrey Samuel, University of Kent).

Jan Willem Sap

Professor of European Law


Mirjam van Schaik

Mirjam van Schaik is an assistant professor of Constitutional Law and Legal Theory at the Open University, the Netherlands.

She has previously worked as a lecturer and researcher at Leiden University. She holds an LL.M. cum laude (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 2008) and an M.A. in Philosophy (Vrije Universtiteit Amsterdam 2012). She is pursuing a PhD at Leiden University and is currently in the final stage of her thesis “Defaming Freedom of Religion or Belief. A Historical and Conceptual Analysis”.

Van Schaik has published in the fields of law and legal theory. Her publications focus on human rights, in particular freedom of religion and speech, blasphemy, apostasy, proselytism, the separation of church and state, and the judicial and democratic legitimacy of judicial law-making and protection. Van Schaik has published in national and international peer-reviewed articles and books. She is currently working on a book project entitled “Religious Ideas in Liberal Democratic States”. Van Schaik’s research falls within the scope of research line 1: The legitimacy of the impact of law beyond the state on the rule of law in the Netherlands.
Mridula Shobinath Mridula Shobinath is a researcher pursuing a PhD from the department of Criminal Law, International Law, and European Law at the Open University of Netherlands.

Having been conducting research in the topic of human trafficking since 2013 as an undergraduate student in India, she has had the opportunity to study different aspects of the topic over the years. After arriving in the Netherlands in 2016 as an Amsterdam Excellence Scholar to pursue her Research Masters in Social Sciences from the University of Amsterdam, she worked as a research intern at the Law Faculty in Tilburg University as part of an EU funded project titled “Demand for Sexual Exploitation in Europe: DESIrE”. Following that, she conducted research on the topic of protection for victims of sex trafficking in the Netherlands for my master’s thesis. As an interdisciplinary researcher, my projects have always involved theories and methods from various disciplines such as political science, law, sociology, and anthropology.

Currently, she is working on research that tries to understand the role of the criminal justice system in the field of anti-human trafficking efforts and initiatives. The aim is to conduct a comparative study that looks at how criminal justice systems in various countries interpret and enforce laws on human trafficking. The research is envisioned to be a socio-legal empirical study titled “Criminal Justice Systems in Relation to the Crime of Sex Trafficking”. As part of the Sectorplan, her research falls under the theme of “Effective Legal Protection” in Globalisation and Law projects. The current proposal includes research in an international setting wherein the cases for study include Netherlands, New Zealand, and Singapore. The premise upon which this research will be conducted is that there is a definite link between anti-human trafficking laws and legislations on sex industry. Therefore, the selection of the aforementioned countries for case study is based on the legislative model of sex work present in the country. Part of herresearch also includes studying the way laws concerning human trafficking have been created upon existing international protocols, interpreted, and enforced by criminal justice systems. This fits well within the vision of the Sectorplan that aims to understand various aspects of the relationship between globalisation and law.

Göran Sluiter

 Professor of Criminal Law


Nicky Touw Nicky Touw holds a BA in Philosophy and Law (cum laude). After obtaining her LLM in criminal law from the University of Amsterdam in 2014, she worked as a paralegal and later as an attorney specializing in financial and corporate criminal law.

Her research concentrates on ‘Businesses and Human Rights.’ Businesses increasingly operate across multiple jurisdictions, employing a complicated corporate structure. In case of human rights abuses, a lack of transparency relating to these structures and business activities, poses substantial challenges for victims to gain access to remedies. This PhD research, within theme 2 of the Globalization and Law program, focuses on the access to information for victims of human rights violations in civil litigation against corporate actors. Access to information for victims of corporate human rights abuses offers an important opportunity to increase legal protection within the Dutch legal order. This research will assess possible measures in light of the applicable human rights framework in a globalized world.
Janneke Vink

Janneke Vink is Assistant Professor of Jurisprudence at the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law and Jurisprudence of the Open University of the Netherlands.

Dr. Janneke Vink LL.M. (Schiedam, 1990) holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law (Leiden University), a Master’s degree in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (Leiden University), a cum laude Master’s degree in Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law (Leiden University) and a Ph.D. in Law (Leiden University). Vink has been lecturer of several jurisprudential courses at Leiden University, guest lecturer for a science course on Human Evolution at Leiden University, lecturer for the Pre-University College at Leiden University, editor and author for the Leiden Law Blog, and is founding board member of the Dutch branch of the NGO Minding Animals. Vink is also a member of the study group on Animal Ethics of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy (Nederlandse Onderzoeksschool Wijsbegeerte) and member of the Advisory Board of Project Absolute of the NGO Wakker Dier.

Vink has published on political philosophy, philosophy of law, animal law and constitutional theory and she has offered expert advice to the Belgian and Dutch Parliaments on bills relating to animal welfare. In July 2020, Vink’s book The Open Society and Its Animals will be published with Palgrave Macmillan (Springer Nature) in the Animal Ethics Series. In her research, Vink focusses on how the modern scientific and philosophical view of the non-human animal offers novel and deeper insights into the main structures of constitutional democracies, and on how this view poses new challenges to some of the key principles relating to democracy and the rule of law. Central themes in this research are: (interspecies) democratic legitimacy, the separation of powers and the functioning of institutions of constitutional democracies from the perspective of effective legal protection. As such, Vink’s research falls within the scope of Research line 1: The legitimacy of the impact of law beyond the state on the rule of law in the Netherlands.

Daniëlle Visser Daniëlle Visser is a PhD candidate at the Open University.
She has obtained her LLM degree in private law at the University of Amsterdam. By comparative law research, she will suggest a solution to enhance a more uniform international commercial law.
Carla Zoethout

Carla M. Zoethout is professor of Constitutional law, Open University, the Netherlands and associate professor of Comparative Constitutional Law, University of Amsterdam.

Previously, she was a lecturer at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Leiden University and the Free University, the Netherlands. Her research interests include: comparative constitutional law, human rights (in particular the freedom of religion) and constitutional theory. Forthcoming publications, related to Theme 1 of the Sectorplan, ‘The legitimacy of the impact of law beyond the state on the rule of law in the Netherlands’ are

‘Populist Resistance against the European Liberal Democratic Order’, Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, Vol 3, 2020

‘Rechter of Politiek? Over het Klimaatarrest en het debat over rechterlijk activisme in Nederland’, Tijdschrift voor Bestuurswetenschappen en Publiekrecht, 2020