Max van der Stoel Award

The Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award was established in 1995 as an incentive for students and PhD students who have written a thesis or any other academic work in the field of human rights.

The award was an initiative of the Law Faculty and Studium Generale of Tilburg University and was joined by the School of Human Rights Research as of 1998.  Since 2002, the Human Rights Award is named after Max van der Stoel, the former OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, in honour of his work in that field.

Nominations can be submitted by Dutch and Belgian universities and will be assessed by a jury chaired by Prof.dr. Stephan Parmentier. For regulations, click here.

For more information, contact the secretary of the jury: Ms Femke Bijleveld, tel. +31 13 466 3611, e-mail:

Since its establishment the award has been presented to the following persons:


  • Etienne Ruvebana, first prize PhD thesis:
    "Prevention of Genocide under International Law; an analysis of the obligations of States and the United Nations to prevent genocide at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels"
    Defended at Groningen University
  • Ilse Griek, second prize PhD thesis:
    "Human Rights in Translation; dispute resolution in the Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal"
    Defended at Tilburg University
  • Daniëlla Dam - de Jong, honorary mention PhD thesis:
    "International Law and Governance of Natural Resources in Conflict and
    Post-Conflict Situations'
    Defended at Leiden University
  • Omar Sheira, first prize Master's thesis:
    "Towards a way out of the Egyptian dilemma; new lessons for an old regime"
    Defended at Tilburg University
  • Shalindra Dekker, honorary mention of Master's thesis:
    "Human Rights and Sport: is there a human right to sport?"
    Defended at Utrecht University
  • Patrick van Berlo, honorary mention Master's thesis:
    "The Borderscapes of Australia's Offshore Immigration Detention Policy; examining the impact of Operation Sovereign Borders on Pacific Borderscapes"
    Defended at Leiden University


  • Martine Boersma, first prize PhD thesis:
    "Corruption: A Violation of Human Rights and a Crime under International Law?
    Defended at Maastricht University
  • Ciara Smyth, second prize PhD thesis:
    "The Common European Asylum System and the Rights of the Child: An Exploration of Meaning and Compliance"
    Defended at Leiden University
  • Noëmi Géronne, first prize Master's thesis:
    "Mutual recognition, uniform application, effectiveness and primacy of EU law vs. fundamental rights protection under national constitutional las: Does Article 53 ChFR provide a solution for the tension between these interests?"
    Defended at Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Lourdes Peroni and Alexandra Timmer, honorary mention Master's thesis:
    "Vulnerable Groups: The Promise of an emerging Concept in European Human Rights Convention Law"
    Written at Ghent University


  • Nanda Oudejans, first prize PhD thesis:
    "Asylum: a Philosophical Inquiry into the International Protection of Refugees"
    Defended at Tilburg University.
  • Brianne McGonigle - Leyh, honorary mention PhD thesis:
    "Procedural Justice? Victim Participation in International Criminal Proceedings"
    Defended at Utrecht University
  • Nik de Boer, first prize Master's thesis:
    "Constitutional, Fundamental Rights and the issue of divergent rights and standards in the EU"
    Defended at Utrecht University
  • Joeri Bemelmans, second prize Master's thesis:
    "Twee is één teveel; over de gevolgen en wenselijkheid van een Europa-conform feitsbegrip in de ne bis in idem regel"
    Defended at Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Neske Baerwaldt, honorary mention Master's thesis:
    "Vreemdelingendetentie in het kader van de nieuwe penologie"
    Defended at the University of Amsterdam


  • Maarten den Heijer, first prize PhD thesis: 
    “Europe and Extraterritorial Asylum”
    Defended at Leiden University
  • Christophe Paulussen, second prize PhD thesis:
    “Male Captus, Bene Detentus? Surrendering suspects to the International Criminal Court”
    efended at Tilburg University
  • Steven Dewulf, third prize PhD thesis:
    “The Signature of Evil. (Re)defining torture in International Law”
    Defended at University of Antwerp
  • Dirk Ormel, first prize Master's thesis:
    “Ne pas tuer la poule aux oeufs d’or: Can and should the illegal exploitation of natural resources in East-DRC be prosecuted as a war crime by the International Criminal Court?”
    Defended at Leiden University
  • Laura Henderson, second prize Master's thesis: 
    “Tortured Reality. How media framing of waterboarding affects judicial independence”
    Defended at Utrecht University


  • Michal Gondek, first prize PhD thesis:
    "The Reach of Human Rights in a Globalising Wordl: Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties"
    Defended at Maastricht University
  • Nathalie van Leuven, second prize PhD thesis
    "Contracten en Mensenrechten: Een Mensenrechtelijke Lezing van het Contractenrecht"
    Defended at Louvain University
  • Felix Ndahinda, third prize PhD thesis:
    "Indigenousness in Africa: A Contested Legal Framework for Empowerment of 'Marginalized' Communities
    Defended at Tilburg University
  • Masuma Shaid, first prize Master's thesis:
    "Trading Fundamental Rights for Security. An analysis of the European Union's Counter-Terrorism Policy"
    Defended at Erasmus University Rotterdam


  • Stef Vandeginste, first prize PhD thesis:
    "Law as a Source and Instrument of Transitional Justice in Burundi"
    Defended at Antwerp University
  • Laura van Waas, second prize PhD thesis:
    "Nationality Matters; Statelessness under International Law"
    Defended at Tilburg University
  • Edward van Kempen, first prize Master’s thesis:
    The Use of Secret Evidence in Migration Proceedings in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands in the Light of the Principles of Equality of Arms and Adversarial Hearings as set out in International Law’ 
    Defended at VU University of Amsterdam
  • Marlies Vlasselaer, second prize Master's thesis:
    ‘De Bijdrage van het Internationaal Strafhof in het Herstel van Schendingen van Mensenrechten'
    Defended at Catholic University of Leuven


  •  Antoine Buyse, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘Post-Conflict Housing Restitution. The European Human Rights Perspective, With a Case Study on Bosnia and Herzegovina’
    Defended at Leiden University and graded cum laude
  • Gentian Zyberi, second prize PhD thesis:
    The Humanitarian Face of the International Court of Justice. Its Contribution to Interpreting and Developing International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Rules and Principles’

    Defended at Utrecht University
  • Renée van Eijl, first prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘Dealing with Crimes of the Past: No More Amnesty?’
    Defended at Utrecht University


  • Hilde Reiding, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘The Netherlands and the Development of International Human Rights Instruments’
    Defended at Utrecht University
  • Wijnand Hemelaar, first prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘Fair trade and the protection of human rights’
    Defended at Utrecht University
  • Sander van Niekerk, second prize Master’s thesis:
    'The legal and psychological implications of U.S. treatment of detainees in the war on terror’

    Defended at Maastricht University
  • Michiel van Nispen, second prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘The Human Right to Development. A legal-philosophical approach on development and poverty eradication’
    Defended at Tilburg University


  • Anne-Marie de Brouwer, first prize PhD thesis:
    Supranational Criminal Prosecution of Sexual Violence: The ICC and the Practice of the ICTY and the ICTR
    Defended at Tilburg University
  • Jan-Peter Loof, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘Mensenrechten en Staatsveiligheid: Verenigbare groot-heden?
    Defended at Leiden University
  • Jerfi Uzman, first prize Master’s thesis
  • Karel De Meester, first prize Master’s thesis
  • Michal Gondek, first prize article:
    ‘Extraterritorial Application of the European Convention on Human Rights: Territorial Focus in the Age of globalization?


  • Beatrice de Graaf, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘Over de Muur. De DDR, de Nederlandse kerken en de vredesbeweging [Beyond the Wall. The GDR, the Dutch churches and the peace movement] Defended at Utrecht University).
  • Mariska van Delft, first prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘De Comparative Method en de Consensusinterpretatiemethode [The Comparative Method and the Consensusinterpretationmethod]
    Defended at Leiden University
  • Eline Hilwig, second prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘The Barrier in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – Protection of Private Property under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law
    Defended at Utrecht University


  • Marten Zwanenburg, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘Accountability under International Humanitarian Law for United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Peace Support Operations
    Defended at Leiden University

  • Christophe Paulussen, first prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘Male Captus Bene Detentus? Human Rights and the Transfer of Suspects to International Criminal Tribunals
    Defended at Tilburg University
  • Drazan Djukic, second prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘ICTY Plea Bargaining, An Inquiry into the Appropriateness of the Plea Bargaining of Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Defended at Tilburg University
  • Nawel Jallal, incentive prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘Marokko en het VN-Vrouwenverdrag [Morocco and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women]
    defended at Utrecht University


  • Göran Sluiter, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘International Criminal Adjudication and the Collection of Evidence: Obligation of States
    Defended at Utrecht University
  • Janneke Gerards, second prize PhD thesis: ‘Judicial Review on the Basis of the Principle of Equality
    Defended at Maastricht University
  • Suzanne Gower, first prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘What truth, Which Truth, Whose Truth? A Critical Analysis of Truth Commissions
    Defended at Utrecht University 


  • Machteld Boot, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘Nullum Crimen Sine Lege and the Subject Matter Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court’
    Defended at Tilburg University
  • Corinne Packer, second prize PhD thesis:
    ‘Using Human Rights to Change Tradition: Traditional Practices Harmful to Women’s Health in sub-Saharan Africa’
    Defended at Utrecht University
  • Jojanneke Brandt, first prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘TRIPS and the Right to Health: Striking the Right Balance’
    Defended at Tilburg University


  • Anna Meijknecht, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘Towards International Personality: The Position of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples in International Law
    Defended at Tilburg University

  • Floor Gussenhoven, first prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘Papier – en – praktijk: Traditionele Praktijken & de Rechten van de Mens: een onderzoek naar de rol van verdragscomités bij de uitbanning van genitale verminking  [Paper - and – practice: Traditional Practices & Human Rights: an investigation of the role of treaty bodies in the elimination of genital mutilation]
    Defended at Utrecht University


  • Liesbeth Zegveld, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘The Quest for Accountability
    Defended at Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Arjan Alberts, first prize Master’s thesis: 
    ‘De Nederlandse uitleveringspraktijk in het licht van internationale regelgeving [Dutch practice regarding extradition in view of international law]
    Defended at Utrecht University).
  • Suzanne de Groot, second prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘Political participation of national minorities
    Defended at Tilburg University


  • Stefan de Boer, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘From Sharpeville to Soweto
    Defended at Utrecht University
  • Marlies Glasius, second prize PhD thesis:
    ‘Foreign Policy on Human Rights, its Influence on Indonesia under Soeharto
    Defended at Utrecht University
  • Eva Rieter first prize article:
    ‘Interim Measures by the World Court to Suspend the Execution of an Individual: the Breard Case.


  • Peter Malcontent, first prize PhD thesis:
    ‘Op kruistocht in de derde wereld [A third world crusade]
    efended at Utrecht University

  • Barbara Tószegi, first prize Master’s thesis:
    ‘Human Rights and Democracy conditionality in the external relations of the European Union, in particular in the context of the eastward enlargement’
    Defended at Maastricht University

(Earlier information is not available)