PhD position on Access to Justice and EU Enforcement Agencies (1.0 FTE)

PhD position on Access to Justice and EU Enforcement Agencies (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
17 Jun 4 Jul Utrecht

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Utrecht University's Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance is looking for a PhD position on Access to Justice and EU Enforcement Agencies.

Job description

The Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE) of the School of Law, Faculty Law, Economics and Governance is looking for a PhD on “Access to Justic and EU Enforcement Agencies”. 
The project aims to thoroughly examine the emerging problem of access to justice for migrants subjected to the mandate of complex enforcement actors in the field of migration such as the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX). The expanding operational mandate of this agency has detrimentally affected access to remedies in cases of fundamental rights violations. This project, therefore, aims to devise access to justice safeguards that could be implemented by FRONTEX and contribute to the realisation of rights of migrants attempting to enter the European Union (EU).

The PhD candidate will focus on how the EU can ensure effective access to justice for migrants interacting with FRONTEX, especially when their fundamental rights have been violated. The candidate will undertake doctrinal legal and socio-legal research into the current EU legal order and its distinct phenomenon of ‘agencification’, namely the rise of EU decentralised agencies. The candidate will also undertake legal-empirical research, including fact-finding visits to ‘hotspots’ or temporary asylum reception facilities in frontline States, like Italy (Lampedusa, Pozzallo, Taranto), Greece (Lesvos, Chios, Samos), and interviews with relevant stakeholders. Finally, the candidate will undertake normative investigation into how the law should be shaped to guarantee effective access to justice. In this regard, the PhD candidate will develop a normative framework based on the European standards of access to justice as well as the values and principles stemming from the European constitutional context and human rights law.

This PhD project will be carried out within the Building block on Citizenship and Migration of the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE) under the supervision of Prof. Paul Minderhoud, Dr. Julie Fraser, and Dr. Salvo Nicolosi. The PhD candidate will be employed at the Utrecht University Law School. RENFORCE focuses on the relationship between regulation and enforcement at the interplay of national, European and other levels of government as well as private spheres of regulatory enforcement. The RENFORCE Building block on Citizenship and Migration aims to theoretically contest the major divides between citizenship and migration by legally and empirically investigating the interconnection between these social and legal phenomena from the perspective of legislative and policy reforms as well as the enforcement of rights and norms.
The envisioned start date is 1 October 2022.


Utrecht University


We are looking for a candidate with:
  • a completed master’s degree in Law or European/international affairs with a solid background in EU law and human rights law;
  • demonstrable interest in (EU) migration and asylum law and policies;
  • demonstrable skill for normative legal research, analysis, and writing; experience conducting inter/multi-disciplinary and/or empirical field research with external stakeholders will be considered an asset;
  • the ability to work in an independent, methodological and structured way, processing and organizing large amounts of data/information;
  • a high level of spoken and written academic English; it will be considered an asset for the candidate to speak additional languages (such as Greek or Italian) to enable easy interaction with societal stakeholders during field research;
  • strong interpersonal skills, who is a team player and values working in a diverse, inclusive, and international environment.

Conditions of employment

This is an appointment of 1.0 FTE for the duration of 18 months. Upon good performance, the contract will be extended for 2,5 more years. The gross salary starts with € 2,395 per month in the first year and increases to € 3,061 per month in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities) for a full-time employment. 
Besides that, you will receive a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. Utrecht University also has an appealing package of terms of employment, including the choice for a good balance between work and private (a good arrangement for leave, among other things), possibilities for development and an excellent pension scheme. More information on working at Utrecht University can be found here.


A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
The Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance is a faculty at the heart of society, with a strong focus on social issues. Our subjects of Law, Economics and Governance give us a strong mix of academic disciplines that complement and enhance each other. This is a unique combination and a mark of our faculty's strength.

The Utrecht University School of Law is part of the LEG faculty. 'Law in Utrecht' stands for multidimensional research in the main areas of law and for intensive and varied legal education in a small-scale academic community. Teaching and research focuses primarily on the core areas of law and the links between them: Private Law, Criminal Law, State and Administrative Law and Theory of Law as well as International and European Law. The department aims to play an active and distinctive role within innovative legal research, into scientifically and socially relevant themes and with challenging education that trains students who can lead societal change.


  • PhD
  • Law
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1192084



Newtonlaan 201, 3584 BH, Utrecht

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