Universiteit Leiden

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Clara van Dam

Assistant professor

J.C.A. van Dam LLM
+31 71 527 1389

Clara van Dam is PhD researcher and junior lecturer at the department of Constitutional and Administrative law at Leiden University.

More information about Clara van Dam


Provisional title: The role of guidance documents of the European Commission in the implementation of EU law in the Dutch legal order

In her PhD research Clara studies the role of guidance documents of the European Commission in the implementation of EU law in the Dutch legal order. To this end, she explores in what ways administrative authorities use guidance documents when implementing EU law as well as the way in which national courts use guidance documents when reviewing  implementing practices. The use of guidance documents is studied in three different policy areas: agricultural subsidies, free movement of persons and the habitats directive.

Identifying the role of guidance documents in implementation process provides insights, in the first place, in the actual influence these documents have despite their non-legally binding force. Secondly, this research also enables to provide insights in the implications that guidance documents have in light of legal principles.

Finally, the question is raised whether and to what extent the use of guidance documents at the national level should be regulated, so that the use of guidance documents enables a smooth implementation of EU law whilst, at the same time, respecting legal principles in the implementation process.


Clara is coordinator of and teaches in the master course (10 ECTS) ‘Administrative law in the EU legal order’. This master course studies the influence of EU law on Dutch Administrative Law.

From September 2017 until July 2018 Clara was, as academic coordinator, involved in the development and organization of the first edition of summer course ‘Europeanisation of administrative law in the EU Member States’ which took place in The Hague in July 2017.


Clara studied Law and Political Sciences. She obtained the master degree in Dutch Constitutional and Administrative Law from Leiden University (2011; with distinction) and the master degree in European Political and Administrative Studies at the College of Europe in Bruges (2012). In the first semester of 2010/2011 Clara studied at l’Institut d'études politiques in Paris.

As a PhD student Clara attended the Academy of European Law Summer School at the European University Institute (Florence, 2014) as well as the Summer School in Methods and Techniques; Process Tracing Methodology; European Consortium of Political Research (Ljubljana, 2014).

From October 2015 until February 2016 Clara was a Blue book trainee at the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission. During this traineeship she made an inventory and categorisation of direct payment guidance documents and worked on a ‘guidance for guidance’, which outlines some general rules and principles that can be taken into account by Commission officials when drafting, issuing and using guidance documents.

Since November 2014 Clara has been a board member of the Dutch Association for European Law (NVER). Clara also was a board member of the Dutch Association for Young European Lawyers (STER).

Assistant professor

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Publiekrecht
  • Staats- en Bestuursrecht

Work address

Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number B1.38



  • Redactielid Nederlandse tijdschrift voor Europees recht Lid van de redactie (beoordeling artikelen en verwerven van kopij/auteurs)
  • Nederlandse Vereniging voor Europees Recht Bestuurslid
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