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.

Building bridges across borders

In Alumni
Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:22
Esther Tromp is a lawyer in the Netherlands and Germany.
Her activities for the German Desk at Boels Zanders are often cross-border in nature. “I work on both sides of the border, trying to understand the two nationalities not only from a legal standpoint but also an intercultural one. Building bridges and helping people cross borders is what I do.”

From victim to survivor

In Society
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:54
Marcelle Devries was 36 years old when she was murdered in Auschwitz in 1942. Last summer, a memorial stone bearing her name was unveiled in front of the Bosscherweg 185 in Maastricht, where she lived until she was deported. The house is now occupied by Fred Grünfeld, professor of International Relations at Maastricht University and initiator of the ‘Stumbling Stones’ project in Maastricht.

“Every year we expose thousands of newborn babies to inhuman treatment.” This is the legal opinion of Jan Willems, a researcher on the structural prevention of child abuse. The main reason: the sacred cow of automatic parental authority. Willems calls for a different approach to dealing with the perils of unprepared parenthood. “Rather than child protection via postnatal intervention, we should be focusing on prenatal care and parenting education.”

As a law student in Brussels, Christine van den Wyngaert wanted nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of her heroes, the singers Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. And so she did. A regular on stage, she released her first LP in 1971. But this was also her last. She embarked instead on an academic career – again, not without success. In 1985 Van den Wyngaert became professor of Criminal Law at the University of Antwerp. Now she is a judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, helping to administer the first dose of international criminal justice. On 31 May, she will be awarded an honorary doctorate from Maastricht University.

Neighbourhood policy wonk in parliament

In Alumni
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 16:20
As a law student, Manon Fokke had no political ambitions. But that changed when she met the people behind the social welfare figures. She honed her political craft in the Maastricht city council and, six years later, she is now a member of the Dutch House of Representatives. Here, she reflects on a lightning career.

The very sexual researcher

Wednesday, 20 February 2013 15:59

The band The Very Sexuals was formed in 2008 and released their first album, Post-apocalyptic Love,online in that same year. The album was downloaded 20,000 times and picked up by music forums in countries as far flung as Brazil, Japan and the United States. A tour was inevitable, the record company agreed. Niels Philipsen, drummer for The Very Sexuals and researcher at the Maastricht Institute for Transnational Legal Research (METRO), looks back at this exciting time with a touch of melancholy.


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