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Winners Meijers PhD position 2019

Herewith we are happy to announce the winners of the Meijers PhD-positions 2019.

Nina van Capelleveen

Preventing and tackling radicalisation of children: balancing fundamental rights, child protection and public safety
The research concerns the legal aspects with regard to preventing and tackling radicalisation of children. In the research I will focus on various legal instruments that can be employed in this context, based on child protection law, criminal law and administrative law, and it will be examined to what extent the development of the child, public safety and, at the same time, the fundamental rights of the child are protected.

Supervisors: Prof. dr. drs. M.E. Bruning and Dr.Y.N. van den Brink.

Niels Demper

Judicial review of discretionary administrative decisions: theory and practice”
Courts may assess the lawfulness of administrative decisions, such as generally binding regulations, policy rules and the exercise of supervisory powers. But how should they do so when administrative authorities are granted discretionary powers? This research project focuses on the doctrine of judicial deference in civil law, examining judicial review of discretionary administrative action by civil courts against the background of recent developments with regard to judicial deference by administrative courts. The research project involves a desk research into legal scholarship and case law and is complemented with a series of interviews as well as a vignette study. It aims to contribute to a better understanding of judicial decision patterns and case law, from which courts as well as administrative authorities and parties seeking legal protection against the use of discretionary powers will profit.

Supervisors: Prof.dr. A.G. Castermans and Prof. dr. T. Barkhuysen.

Jan Maarten Elbers

Understanding the role of cognitive capabilities and autonomy in the resocialization process of prisoners in Dutch penitentiary institutions
This PhD research focuses on the question: What is the role of cognitive capabilities and autonomy in the resocialization of prisoners in Dutch penitentiary institutions? This question is important because the current detention policy focuses on promoting autonomy and self-reliance of prisoners, provided that they exhibit behavioral change. It is, however, uncertain whether all prisoners possess sufficient cognitive capabilities to initiate behavioral change on their own, and all the more whether they are cognitively equipped to exercise autonomy and take responsibilities. To answer this question properly, quantitative data (from the Life in Custody study, Leiden University) is combined with qualitative data from interviews and focus groups. The result of this research aims to contribute to the development of theory in the field of resocialization, as well as to provide tools for an even more evidence-based detention policy.

Supervisors: Prof. dr. P. Nieuwbeerta and Prof. dr. M.M. Boone; Daily supervisors Dr. A.Q. Bosma and Dr. H. Palmen.

Kiki Twisk

Extending or bridging the gap between forensic experts and lawyers? The appraisal of activity level forensic evidence”

Recently, there has been a shift in forensic science in preference for the type of questions that are answered in expert reports. The main purpose of this research is to scrutinize the effects of this shift for the understanding and appraisal of forensic evidence in criminal cases and to explore ways to improve the understanding. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods will be used to answer the research questions.

Supervisors: Prof. dr. J.W. de Keijser and Prof. dr. J.H Crijns.

About the Meijers PhD-positions

Every year, the Faculty awards two Meijers PhD positions to talented young scholars. Candidates both from within and outside of the Faculty can apply. For the first time this year, candidates from the newly established Pre-PhD program applied as well. Nina van Capelleveen and Kiki Twisk were enrolled in this program which successfully enabled them to work on the research proposal with which they won their PhD position.

About the procedure

Candidates were selected in several rounds.The first selection was made by the Research Board of the Faculty. Each research program could nominate two candidates.  On the basis of this selection, 14 candidates were asked to further develop a full research proposal.

The second selection was made by a Selection Board, consisting of Prof. dr. Nick Huls , mr. Jouke Tegelaar, dr. Alison McDonnell and dr. Masja van Meeteren (secretary). The members of this committee were very impressed by the overall high quality of the research proposals and the impressive CVs of the candidates. They selected six candidates for an interview. All candidates made a very good impression. Because a new procedure was introduced this year regarding matching, the committee ranked all six candidates. Because of this new procedure, until the end, it remained exciting how many positions would be funded. Because there were matching possibilities of 50% with the first four candidates, the committee was able to nominate four candidates for the position, which the Faculty board consequently confirmed.

Many thanks to all those people who were involved in the selection process at any point in time. We wish the new Meijers PhDs a lot of success. We  look forward to the results of their very promising research projects.

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