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Aleydis Nissen wins the European Public Law Organization Thesis Prize

The postdoc received the 2020 Thesis Prize for her PhD research on the role of the EU Member States in regulating and remedying corporate human rights violations.

Aleydis Nissen

Since 1994, the European Scientific Council of the European Public Law Organization awards the Prize on an annual basis, to the researcher who wrote the best doctoral or postdoctoral public law thesis characterized by its European dimension. The competition is open to researchers under the age of 40 who are from the European Union or conduct their work in a research centre in the European Union.

The winning thesis investigates corporations from developing and emerging states. 'I discovered that the existing literature on 'business and human rights' focuses almost exclusively on corporations based in economically developed countries', says Nissen. 'Therefore, I decided to write my PhD thesis on companies that are born and bred in developing and emerging countries. Think, for example, of the South Korean electronics company LG or rose farms that are owned by the Kenyan elite. My thesis assesses the role of the European Union and its Member States to regulate and remedy human right violations by such corporations.'

This thesis makes an important contribution to the literature. 'Many stakeholders fear that 'our' corporations would suffer a competitive disadvantage if they are the only ones that have to bear the costs associated with mandatory obligations and litigation risks', Nissen notes.


Right after her PhD defence at Cardiff University in Wales, Nissen started working as a postdoc researcher in Institutions for Conflict Resolution in Leiden. Leiden Law School picked this theme from the sector plan for all Dutch law schools. 'In Leiden, we focus in particular on the role of the judge. We collaborate with researchers from Utrecht University and Radboud University.'

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