Vacancy-Postdoc in judicial independence and human rights in new democracies

The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) at Utrecht University is appointing a Postdoctoral in judicial independence and human rights in new democracies from the field of social sciences, law, human rights, political science or related areas.


The project

Research and research related activities to support the Prince Claus chair, Prof Javier Couso

A postdoctoral position in the study of the relationship between judicial independence and human rights in new democracies is available at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, Utrecht University, working with Prof Javier Couso.

The aim of the postdoctoral researcher is:

1.       to assist the Prince Claus chair as his academic assistant, including reaching out to disciplines beyond law in Utrecht University’s strategic theme ‘Institutions’;

2.       to assist the Prince Claus chair in an ongoing multi-disciplinary research program, as well as co-authoring academic work;

3.       to assist in developing cooperation between Utrecht University and Universidad Diego Portales (in Santiago, Chile);

4.      to coordinate and undertake research activities on the area of comparative constitutional law, legal history and judicial studies, with a focus on the determinants of judicial independence in new democracies, particularly in Latin America.



We are looking for a highly motivated individual with experience in working in multidisciplinary environments and in possession of a doctoral degree. Prof Javier Couso encourages candidates interested in socio-legal approaches to the study of constitutional institutions and the rule of law. Fluency in English is required; the candidate should be able to communicate fluently in English, both verbally and in writing. Knowledge of Spanish is very desirable. The candidate should be able to work both in a team and independently.

Applications from candidates with research training in constitutional law, human rights, transitional justice and political science will be particularly well suited for this position. Any specific experience in research on the judiciary will be highly relevant. 


You will be offered a postdoctoral position for one year. The gross monthly salary is dependent on experience and will amount between € 3,259.00 and € 3,601.00 per month (scale 11-0 to 11-2). We also offer a pension scheme, a health insurance allowance and flexible employment conditions. Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. 

About the organisation

Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Sustainability, Life Sciences, Dynamics of Youth, and Institutions. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding answers to topical and future societal issues.

With over 4,500 students and almost 700 members of staff, the faculty of Law, Economics and Governance offers nationally and internationally acclaimed academic education and research. Characterised by a strong international focus and intensive cooperation between the various disciplines, the faculty provides a unique and inspiring environment for its students and staff.

In the period 2014 -2016 the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance hosts the Prince Claus Chair, prof Javier Couso from Universidad Diego Portales, Chile. He will be working the in the field of judicial independence and human rights in new democracies.

Additional information

For informal enquiries, contact Prof Javier Couso Salas:


Please attach your motivation for the position, a statement of your research interests, a curriculum vitae, and the names and recommendation letters and contacts of two referees (with e-mail contact addresses). To apply, you are required to use the electronic submission system of Utrecht University fort his vacancy, on this website (the position can be found by looking under academic positions and by selecting the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance.


The application deadline is 04 January 2015

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