He fled the golden cage

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 09:23
Peter van den Bossche speaks thoughtfully, as befits a judge. Certain things he doesn’t say, but instead portrays with his hands. To illustrate the collaboration with his six colleagues in the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO), he rubs the knuckles of his fists against each other. With a more than impressive CV, he holds the highest judicial position in the field of international trade law. He may be in Geneva more often than he is in Maastricht, but he feels a deep bond with the university. “I owe UM so much.”

Tackling corruption, throwing the spotlight on human rights and introducing the community policing concept in the kampungs, the local communities. These are the challenges of a new project in which experts from the Faculty of Law, coordinated by MUNDO, will oversee the training of Indonesian police officers. Running until February 2018, the project involves the retraining of more than 420,000 officers from the Indonesian National Police (NPI) as part of the country’s democratisation process.

It is the only master’s programme in the world where graduates receive a degree from both the United Nations University (UNU) and Maastricht University (UM): Public Policy and Human Development (MPP). The programme was awarded the top position in this year’s guide to master’s programmes in the Netherlands, the Keuzegids Masters 2014, in the category Political Science and Public Administration. Director Lutz Krebs explains the success of ‘his’ programme.

Modern architecture was brought to Africa in the 20th century to ‘civilise’ this ‘underdeveloped’ continent. It was primarily a manifestation of (failed) colonialism. In his PhD dissertation, Maastricht University (UM) researcher Christoph Rausch spotlights the heated debate over modern heritage in Africa. What should be preserved? And would you really want to preserve ‘innovative’ architecture that is now well and truly outdated?

When marriage becomes a prison

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:34

“Till death do us part” – or divorce, we should perhaps add to that most famous of all marriage vows. In the Netherlands, one in three marriages ends in divorce. And the Dutch government has plans to permit divorce without judicial intervention, which means – in some cases at least – separating is set to become even easier. However, the end of a civil marriage does not necessarily imply the end of its religious equivalent. This is a serious social problem for religious and migrant communities in our multicultural society, and can even lead to instances of marital captivity.

“Toilet innovation is important”

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 09:30
Toilets may not be the sexiest of topics. But for UNU-MERIT Maastricht researcher Shuan SadreGhazi, they are a highly significant – if neglected – phenomenon. “Today, more than 2.4 billion people in the world don’t have access to a proper sanitation system.”

The law is not always the solution

In Society
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 14:59
The collapse in April of a textiles factory in Bangladesh that killed 1127 workers shocked the world. Suddenly, stores like Primark, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger and G-Star turned out to be acutely interested in working conditions and safety at their suppliers’ factories. PhD candidate Mark Kawakami, who studies human rights in sweatshops, and his supervisor Jan Smits, professor of Private European Law, were not exactly surprised. “Social pressure is sometimes stronger than strict legislation.”

PhD dissertation Jing Liu

Environmental pollution and devastation accompanying rapid economic development have created not only alarming losses to human beings and property but also astonishing damage to the environment itself. The difficulties in assessment and the special legal status of natural resources make traditional tort law an insufficient solution for the protection and compensation of this so called ecological damage.

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