[Congratulations!] Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award 2023 Winners Announced

Published 9 January 2024
By Ewa Romanowska

Tilburg University 

Congratulations to the Winners!

We are happy to announce that the winners of the 2023 Max van der Stoel Award ceremony were named and distinguished on 7 December 2023. The NNNHRR wishes to warmly congratulate the winners: 

Best PhD Thesis title was awarded to Floris Tan (Leiden University) for his dissertation the Duty to Investigate in Situations of Armed Conflict: An Examination under International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, and Their Interplay

Best Master Thesis title was awarded to Tycho Scholten (VU Amsterdam) for his dissertation titled Groener bij de Buren. Human rights and seperation of powers in the climate lawsuits of the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany

In assessing submissions, the jury followed the selection criteria, which conceive of human rights in a broad sense to include civil and political rights, as well as social, economic and cultural rights. The criteria also allow for works addressing the rights of groups, for instance through the lens of gender, age or ethnicity, or human rights in specific situations, such as emergencies and during or after violent conflicts. The Jury held its deliberations with all members present on 14 November 2023. There, they were also assisted by the Academic Coordinator of the NNHRR.

The jury, led by Prof. Dr. Koen Lemmens (KU Leuven), unanimously concluded that Floris Tan's thesis was impressive in both breadth and depth. The analysis systematically and consistently dealt with the concepts, leading to the consensus that the notion of conflict should be redefined. Regarding Tycho Scholten's thesis, the jury based its reasoning on the high-level analysis conducted, despite the complexity of the study and the extensive comparison of sources.

Thank you!

The NNHRR warmly thanks the organizers at Tilburg University, with special appreciation to Prof. Dr. Nicola Jagers for the wonderful event that brought together academics and students. The Network also wishes to highlight the excellent keynote delivered by Prof. Rianne Letschert, President of Maastricht University, who offered insightful and timely reflections on the role of human rights and academics in our uncertain times, as well as the importance of human rights education. Hearing the keynote was especially relevant, as Prof. Dr. Rianne Letschert wrote her Ph.D. dissertation under the supervision of Max van der Stoel. Thus, she was able to present his dedicated persona from a more private side to the public on this special day!

The NNNHR also wishes to thank the Jury consisting of distinguished human rights scholars:

  • Prof. Dr. Koen Lemmens, K.U. Leuven, Professor of Human Rights Law. Chair of the jury
  • Dr. Lize Glas, Radboud University Associate professor of International and European Law. Winner of the Max vd Stoel prize in 2016
  • Dr. Antenor Hallo de Wolf, University of Groningen. Assistant Professor International Law and Human Rights
  • Dr. Gerhard van den Schyff, Tilburg University. Associate Professor of Comparative and European Constitutional Law and Fundamental Rights
  • Dr. Ingrid Westendorp, Maastricht University. Senior Lecturer and Researcher in International Law and Woman and Law

About the Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award:

The Max van der Stoel Award originated at Tilburg University in 1995 with a view of drawing more attention to research on human rights. In 2019, it was decided that the Tilburg Law School and the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research (NNHRR) will jointly organise the Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award on a bi-annual basis starting in 2019. The nominations for this award are submitted by all faculties linked to universities participating in the Network.