Universiteit Leiden

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Mariëlle Bruning

Professor of Children and the Law

Prof.mr.drs. M.R. Bruning
+31 71 527 8913

Prof. Dr. Mariëlle Bruning is professor of Child Law at Leiden Law School. She is head of the Child Law Department and programme director of the LLM Child Law.

More information about Mariëlle Bruning

Mariëlle Bruning is professor of Child Law at Leiden Law School since 2004. She is program director of the Dutch LLM Child Law, a specialized program for those working with and for children in the legal field. Bruning teaches various courses in child law for bachelor and master students and post-academic courses for professionals (lawyers, judges etc.). She teaches Child Protection and Children’s Rights in the LL.M Advanced Studies in International Children’s Rights program. She is a member of the Academic Integrity Committee.


She finished her master’s degrees in Law and Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Maastricht and her doctorate in law at the VU University of Amsterdam. She was vice-director of the Amsterdam Centre of Child Studies at the VU University and worked as a legal consultant for a youth care agency. Bruning was program manager for the children’s rights organization Defence for Children International – ECPAT Netherlands (2006-2009). She is engaged in children’s rights projects with several partners, such as Defence for Children International-ECPAT in the Children’s Rights House in Leiden and KidsRights. She is an invited expert and consultant in various projects concerning child law and children’s rights.

As from 2018, Bruning is member of the Group of Experts on Responses to Violence Against Children (CAHENF-VAC) of the Council of Europe, which is established to assist CAHENF in improving the implementation of international and Council of Europe standards on the protection of children from violence in member States. She is also a member of  the Supervisory Board of SOS Children’s Villages Netherlands.


Mariëlle Bruning regularly publishes on children’s rights and family and juvenile law issues. Her research focuses on the legal position of the child and the triangular relations between the rights and duties of parents, children and the state. Bruning takes particular interest in child protection, youth care, children in alternative care, information sharing and privacy issues, legal aspects of child abuse and neglect and child abduction from an international perspective.

She is member of the editorial advice board of the Dutch Journal of Health Law and chaired the editorial advice board of children’s rights journal Right!. Bruning was editor-in-chief of the Dutch Journal of Family and Child Law (2012-2018).


Professor of Children and the Law


  • LLM in Law, University of Maastricht, 1995
  • LLM in Liberal Arts, University of Maastricht, 1996

Title of dissertation

Justification of Child Protection – towards a New Child Protection System After 100 Years of Child Protection, Kluwer, 2001 (in Dutch).

Title of oration

Let’s talk about some kids – Information sharing in youth care, Leiden University, 2006 (“Over sommige kinderen moet je praten – gegevensuitwisseling in de jeugdzorg”).

Ancillary positions + organisation

  • Juvenile Court Judge, District Court of Amsterdam (part-time)
  • Member editorial advice board, Dutch Journal of Health Law
  • Member Advisory Committee Violence Against children in alternative care settings (committee De Winter, 2016-present)
  • Member Committee for Academic Integrity Leiden University
  • Member Supervisory Board, SOS Children’s Villages Netherlands
  • Member Group of Experts on Responses to violence against children (CAHENF-VAC)  


Dutch, English, French, German

Professor of Children and the Law

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Privaatrecht
  • Jeugdrecht

Work address

Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number B 3.41



  • SOS Kinderdorpen Nederland lid Raad van Toezicht
  • Raad van Europa lid expert group Responses to Violence against Children (CAHENF-VAC)
  • universiteit Leiden lid commissie wetenschappelijke integriteit
  • Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidsrecht lid redactieraad
  • Rechtbank Amsterdam Rechter-plaatsvervanger (jeugdstrafkamer)

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