Universiteit Leiden

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Willemien den Ouden

Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law

Prof.mr.drs. W. den Ouden
+31 71 527 7726

Professor Willemien den Ouden (1971) is Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Leiden Law School and a Research Fellow of the E.M. Meijers Institute of Legal Scientific Research. On 1 September 2017 she became Academic Director of the Institute of Public Law.

More information about Willemien den Ouden

As Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Leiden Law School and as a Research Fellow of the E.M. Meijers Institute of Legal Scientific Research, Willemien den Ouden's work focuses mainly on administrative law. Her field of expertise in research and teaching is financial administrative law in general,  and more specifically subsidy law, limited public rights, European and national law concerning the European Structural Funds and State Aid. The interaction of EU financial law and Dutch financial law plays a central role in her research. She participates in the Research Programmes 'The Legitimacy and Effectiveness of Law & Governance in a World of Multilevel Jurisdictions and 'The progression of EU Law: Accommodating change and upholding values'.

Willemien den Ouden is also one of the initiators of the Leiden Expert Group on State Aid (LEGSA), an informal collaboration among Leiden academics who deal with the topic of European state aid in their daily research and education. She is also one of the initiators of the ‘Studiegroep Europese Subsidies’ (European subsidies study group) and the international summer course on Europeanisation of national administrative law that took place for the first time in the summer of 2017.

Curriculum vitae
Willemien den Ouden (1971) finished her pre-university education at the Christelijk Lyceum in Alphen aan den Rijn and started studying in Theology at Leiden University in 1990. In 1991, she commenced additional studies in Law at the same university. She finished her studies in theology in 1994 with a specialisation in philosophies of life and graduated in Dutch law in 1996 with a specialisation in administrative law.

She first joined the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Leiden Law School as a PhD student and subsequently became a University lecturer at the same department. In January 2002, she successfully defended her doctoral thesis entitled ‘Wie betaalt bepaalt? Een onderzoek naar de rechtmatigheid van subsidieverplichtingen (Deventer: Kluwer 2002) (Who pays decides? A study on the legality of aid commitments). She was subsequently appointed to the position of Associate Professor and in March 2007 she became a full professor. Her inaugural lecture held on 11 April, 2008 was entitled ‘Het wankele evenwicht tussen Europees en Nederlands subsidierecht bij de uitvoering van Europese structuurfondsen’ (The unstable balance between European and Dutch subsidy law in the realisation of European structural funds). From 2012 - 2016 she was Dean of the University Honours Academy. As of September 2017 she is Academic Director of the Institute of Public Law at Leiden Law School.

Willemien den Ouden has published books and articles in Dutch as well as in international law journals in the field of European and Dutch administrative law and financial administrative law. She was selected as the best candidate by her peers for writing the best Dutch annotation of the year on administrative case law in 2007, 2010 and in 2011. She contributed to the English textbook Europeanisation of Public Law, published in 2015. In 2016 the book Scarcity and the State: The Allocation of Limited Rights by the Administration was published with Willemien den Ouden as one of the editors.

Willemien den Ouden lectures at Leiden University,  and also outside the university, in the field of (financial) administrative law:

  • Constitutional and Administrative law in all phases of the bachelor’s programme.
  • Supervising the Moot Court in the bachelor’s programme.
  • European Administrative law in the master’s programme.
  • ‘Publiekrechtelijke geschillenbeslechting’ in the master’s programme.
  • Supervising the teams of the ‘VAR’ plea competition.
  • Supervising students with their thesis in the master’s programme.
  • Post academic education in (financial) administrative law, among others at Grotiusacademie, Academievoorwetgeving and SSR.

Relevant additional functions

Administratiefrechtelijke Beslissingen (journal for annotated administrative case law
Chairman of the editorial board

College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven (Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal)
Deputy judge

Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties (The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations)
Member of the ‘Referendumcommissie’ (commission for referenda)

Stichting Recht en Overheid (Foundation Law and Government)
Member of the board

European Group of Public Administration (EGPA)
Member of the study group ‘Law and Public Administration’

Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (Netherlands Public Broadcasting)
Member of the commission of appeal

Review of European Administrative Law (REALaw);
Member of the Editorial Advisory Board

Nederlands Juristenblad (Netherlands Law Journal)
Staff member

Thorbecke chair
Member of the board and the curatorium

Netherlands Administrative Law Library (NALL)
Member of the board

European Public Law Organisation (EPLO);

Vrouwennetwerk Bestuursrecht (Women’s Network for Administrative Law)
Member of the board

Europa Instituut Leiden University
Member of the curatorium

De VAR Vereniging voor bestuursrecht (Association for Administrative Law)

Relevant former additional functions

  • Member of the commission of appeal of the ‘Ministerie Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport (VWS)’;
  • Member of the commission of appeal of the municipality Zoetermeer;
  • Member of the commission of guidance ‘Burgerraadslieden Leiden’.


Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law

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

Work address

Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number B1.31



  • College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven Raadsheer-plaatsvervanger
  • Nederlands Juristenblad (NJB) Medewerker
  • European group of Public Administration (EGPA) Lid studiegroep 'Law and Public Administration'
  • European Public Law Organisation (EPLO) Lid
  • VAR Vereniging voor bestuursrecht voorzitter
  • Ministerie van BZK Lid Regieraad Responsieve Overheid
  • Stichting Recht en Overheid Bestuurslid
  • Stichting Leger des Heils Welzijns- en gezondheidszorg Lid Raad van Toezicht
  • Kluwer uiitgeverij Lid redactie Nederlands Tijdschrift voor bestuursrecht
  • Raad van State Staatsraad
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