PhD Legal Protection Against Organized Crime

PhD Legal Protection Against Organized Crime

Published Deadline Location
15 Jan 5 Feb Heerlen

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Job description

One of the subthemes of the faculty of law’s research sectorplan is “Effective legal protection”. Its central research question is: “What is the impact of certain non-State actors (namely organized crime and terrorist groups) on security and the legal protection of individuals and is the globalized legal order currently adequate to respond to it and to ensure effective legal protection?” Legal protection comes with symmetry, entailing that not only the (potential) victim, but also the wrongdoer is entitled to it, especially when she/he is implicated in legal (criminal) proceedings.

One of the PhD projects under the subtheme is “Legal protection against organized crime”. Research questions in this project include:

What improvements can be made in terms of expanding the reach of (criminal) law to hinder or prevent facilitating organized crime by e.g. public notaries, lawyers, public accountants, financial institutions, real estate developers, etc.

Are amendments to substantive criminal law, either at the national, European or global level, required to improve the criminal investigation and prosecution of organized crime?

To what degree and in which ways are public-private partnerships essential in combating organized crime? For example, can banks be involved with a view to ending the financing of organized crime?

The PhD candidate will conduct research on one of the above research questions, or a combination thereof. As part of the procedure the applicant is expected to formulate an overarching research question and to reflect on the direction and scope of the research as she/he sees fit (max 2 pp.)The PhD candidate is expected to combine empirical and legal research methods and to have a good grasp of both the criminological and legal aspects of the research.
Various research methods can be employed in this PhD project, such as desk research (study of Parliamentary documents, legislations), comparative legal analysis, observations, and interviews.



The Open Universiteit (OU)


We are looking for a motivated and talented candidate who is interested in, and able to, conduct both scientific legal doctrinal and legal empirical research. The candidate has not only an affinity with academic research, but is also interested in working closely with (international) criminal law practitioners and in developing tools to implement results of his/her research in practice.
The candidate must have a (research) Master in (international) criminal law / criminology, and skills (or a clear interest) in conducting not only legal doctrinal research, but also using empirical, social science methodology. He/she has a clear affinity with conducting scientific research (for example, evidenced by an excellent thesis, a publication, or having completed a research master's degree). Knowledge of the Dutch language and Dutch law is an advantage.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: The PhD candidate will be appointed for a period of 12 months. The appointment will be extended to four years.

The PhD candidate will be appointed for a period of 12 months. The appointment will be extended to four years  when progress and performance are good. The salary is € 2.325,= gross per month in the first year and is expected to increase to € 2.972,= in the fourth year, for a full time appointment, contingent on satisfactory.

The Open Universiteit provides good secondary benefits such as training, mobility, part-time employment and paid parental leave. 


Open University

Studying online anywhere in the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders)
The Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL) is the university in the Netherlands where students study part-time and follow online and activating education in bachelor and master degree programs in seven fields of study. Characteristics of the education are openness, flexibility and quality. Enhancing the study success of students is an important point of focus. More than 14.000 students are studying at the OUNL and it has 655 employees. The OUNL has a network of regional study centers in the Netherlands and in Belgium (Flanders) ( The head office is situated in Heerlen.
The most modern technologies and educational insights are applied in bachelor and master programs and courses and also in projects and programs with partners. Nationally and internationally the OUNL plays a key role in the innovation of higher education. Education and research are closely interrelated which guarantees that the current state of science is applied. The OUNL not only invests in research in the various academic disciplines, but also in research in the field of learning, teaching and technology.

Satisfied students
For several consecutive years, the OUNL has achieved a top position among the fourteen Dutch universities in the National Students Survey, the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Universiteiten’ (in which the ratings by students and experts of the bachelor studies of the fourteen universities are compared), and the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Masters’. In addition all studies score high in the rankings of the universities for these studies. All ratings are available on the website (




Faculty of Law

The faculty of Law deals with university education and research in the fields of law. In this field the faculty offers academic bachelor and master programs. It aims to integrate innovation of content and education in the educational programs. There is a strong focus on digital tools and an electronic learning environment. In the field of law the faculty offers a Law bachelor and master program, the Law premaster and a Higher Vocational Education Law program. The faculty has four main focus fields: civil law, constitutional and administrative law, criminal law and international & European law. Additionally the faculty is working on enhancing the connection between education and research within the research program ‘Law in a personal network society’.


  • PhD; Education
  • Law
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • AT/RW/20006


The Open Universiteit (OU)

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