Universiteit Leiden

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Iris Houben

Associate Professor

Mr. I.S.J. Houben
+31 71 527 7408

I. Houben is connected to the Institute for Private Law since 1 September 1997.

More information about Iris Houben

Iris Houben ( Maastricht 1973) studied law in Leiden, obtaining her masters degree in civil law as well as in company law in 1997. After graduating she worked as an assistant professor at her alma mater, and was appointed associate professor of civil law in 2006. She teaches classes at the law faculty but also post-academic courses for attorneys and other practitioners, such as judges. 

She teaches on ‘Franchise contracts’ in the Advanced Master International Civil and Commercial Law (ICCL). In 1998 she started working on a PhD-thesis on duties to enter into a contract. This thesis deals with a fundamental breach of the principle of freedom of contract, for instance where an universal service obligation is imposed on a company. In 2005 she defended her PhD-thesis, titled (in Dutch):  Contractdwang. Since then she continued her research in the field of contract law. Central theme is the interaction between (sector specific) public law and contract law.  

Together with prof. mr. Jac. Hijma she wrote a research proposal on  The enforcement of civil law by regulatory authorities, which was selected by a jury of the Research program of Leiden University called  Interaction between legal systems. Regulatory authorities are increasingly being charged with the enforcement of important parts of civil law. Often European competition rules force the establishment of these independent regulatory authorities. The question is whether the enforcement of civil law by regulatory authorities, with public law instruments, causes problems. It might be that public law is not equipped to give meaning to civil law conceptions. On the other hand legislators have recently chosen enforcement by means of public law instruments, because it would be more efficacious. 

Iris Houben has recently (2015) published a book on innominate contracts, such as leasing, factoring, franchising and contracts in the field of energy and telecommunications. 

Associate Professor

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Privaatrecht
  • Civiel recht

Work address

Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number C203



  • Gerechtshof Arnhem-Leeuwarden Raadsheer-plaatsvervanger
  • Wolters Kluwer auteur
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