Dr I.S.J. Houben

  • Associate professor
  • Contract Law
  • Innominate contracts
  • Infrastructure commited area's: transport, energy, telecommunication

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 7408
E-Mail: i.s.j.houben@law.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Instituut voor Privaatrecht, Civiel recht
Office Address: Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number C203


She studied law in Leiden, obtaining her masters degree in civil law as well as in company law in 1997.

Title of dissertation/ oration/ key publications

In 1998 she started working on a PhD-thesis on duties to enter into a contract. This thesis deals with a fundamental breach of the principle of freedom of contract, for instance where an universal service obligation is imposed on a company. In 2005 she defended her PhD-thesis, titled (in Dutch): Contractdwang.

She continued her research in the field of contract law. Central theme is the interaction between (sector specific) public law and contract law. Together with prof. mr. Jac. Hijma she wrote a research proposal on The enforcement of civil law by regulatory authorities, which was selected by a jury of the Research program of Leiden University called Interaction between legal systems. Regulatory authorities are increasingly being charged with the enforcement of important parts of civil law. Often European competition rules force the establishment of these independent regulatory authorities. The question is whether the enforcement of civil law by regulatory authorities, with public law instruments, causes problems. It might be that public law is not equipped to give meaning to civil law conceptions. On the other hand legislators have recently chosen enforcement by means of public law instruments, because it would be more efficacious.

Iris Houben is now working on a book on innominate contracts, which is due to be published in 2012.

Courses within institution associated with

She teaches various classes at the law faculty such as Introduction to civil law, contract law and property law. She also participates in post-academic courses for attorneys and other practitioners, such as judges.

Last Modified: 31-05-2016