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Postdoc Rule of Law backsliding in the European Union (1,0 FTE) in Groningen

... Faculty of... ... University of... The Faculty of Law (http://www.rug.nl/rechten/) is building on a longstanding tradition of four centuries. Its mission is to be...



Faculty of Law


University of Groningen

The Faculty of Law (http://www.rug.nl/rechten/) is building on a longstanding tradition of four centuries. Its mission is to be an ambitious top ranking faculty of law with both education and high-quality research (http://www.rug.nl/research/groningen-centre-for-law-and-governance/programmas/), with a strong international orientation, firmly rooted in the North of The Netherlands. The faculty creates and shares knowledge through outstanding education and high-quality research, benefitting to society. With more than 3400 students, the faculty is heavily involved in educating students, both Dutch and international. The faculty is a modern, broad and international institution, educating students to become forward-looking, articulate and independent lawyers.

The Department of European and Economic Law is a multinational collection of ambitious academics doing research and teaching in a broad array of fields. Excellence in research is a notable marker of the Department. Colleagues publish in the top journals, organize top of the line events, and have served as visiting professors in the key schools worldwide including Panthéon-Assas, Princeton University, Leuven, and the College of Europe. One of the key series of books in EU law – Cambridge Studies in European Law and Policy – is coedited by Professor Laurence Gormley, the head of department. The advertised position falls under the responsibility of Professor Dimitry Kochenov, who, among other extensive interests and obligations is the Principle Investigator on the Working Package on ‘Practices of the Rule of Law’ in the framework of RECONNECT Horizon2020 project.

RECONNECT is a multidisciplinary research project, carried out by 18 research institutions and led by the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at KU Leuven. Please consult https://www.reconnect-europe.eu/ for more information.

Job description

The position concerns legal research in the auspices of the RECONNECT project, focusing on the practices of the Rule of Law under the guidance of Professor Kochenov and in close cooperation with the colleagues working across the RECONNECT consortium, but in particular with the scholars and institutions involved in the work on the Rule of Law work packages. These include Middlesex University, London (Prof Laurent Pech); the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law (Dr Justine Stefanelli); Central European University (Prof Petra Bárd); University of Gdansk (Prof. Tadeusz Tomasz Koncewicz) and other institutions.

Every member state of the EU and the Union as a whole, all enjoying full autonomy and competence regarding compliance with the principle of the rule of law, have adopted a palette of different approaches to it. A worrying development in this regard is the ‘rule of law backsliding’ which some EU member states are experiencing, and which the EU has failed to redress. None the less, the EU provides for mutual recognition (in particular of judgments) based on a presumption of compliance with the rule of law, thereby creating risks of contagion of improper national practices. Additionally, the emphasis of the Court of Justice on the principles of autonomy and supremacy of EU law even where substantive rules might leave to be desired weakens the Union’s role as the guarantor of the rule of law.

Against this background, the core objectives of the research project are threefold:
1. to document, classify and analyse the key practices implementing and/or undermining the rule of law across all levels of governance in the EU
2. to scrutinise EU and domestic attempts to address rule of law backsliding and systemic rule of law deficiencies, as well as the impact of recent treaty amendments and legislation on these efforts, with a focus on the role of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
3. to analyse the functioning of the EU institutions, in particular (i) the CJEU and domestic courts, as the mediators between various rule of law practices in a context of mutual recognition and presumption of compliance, (ii) justice and home affairs agencies, in a context of legal, administrative and judicial cooperation in sensitive areas such as criminal law and intelligence.

In addition to working on the project outlined above, which includes high-level international publishing and active conference participation as well as involvement in project coordination, the successful candidate will participate in the day-to-day activities of the European and Economic Law Department, such as the supervision of students interested in doing research on the Rule of Law.


• PhD in law with a focus on comparative constitutional law (ideally, on the Rule of Law)
• sound knowledge of European Union law
• excellent knowledge of English (Polish, Hungarian and Romanian would be particularly welcome too, given the focus of the project)
• excellent track-record of publications in the relevant fields of law
• knowledge of Dutch is not required for this position
• demonstrable competences result orientation, knowledge and deployment of legal research methodologies, sticking to deadlines, polished presentation skills.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 24 months.

The University of Groningen offers a salary depending on qualifications and work experience between € 3,545 (scale 11) gross per month up to a maximum of € 4,166 (scale 11.5) gross per month for a full-time (1.0 FTE) position (Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities available in English on http://www.vsnu.nl). The position is defined according to the University Function Classification (UFO) job profile ‘researcher 3’. The position is temporary for a fixed period of two years.

Preferred starting date: as soon as possible

You may apply for this position until 9 September 23:59h / before 10 September 2018 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Kindly include in the application your CV with a list of publications and the names and full contact information of at least two academic referees, and a letter of motivation.

The interviews with a select group of candidates will take place in the week of 24 September 2018.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated. Additional information

Extra informatie

Fulltime (startersfunctie)

Groningen | Groningen | Fulltime (startersfunctie)

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