Dr. A.E.M. Leijten, LL.M.

  • Assistant professor
  • Fundamental rights - European Convention on Human Rights/European Court of Human Rights
  • Fundamental rights - Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
  • Fundamental rights - Economic and social rights
  • Constitutional law
  • Administrative law
  • Judicial argumentation

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 7398
E-Mail: a.e.m.leijten@law.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Instituut voor Publiekrecht, Staats- en Bestuursrecht
Office Address: Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number B 1.16

General information

Dr. Ingrid Leijten, LL.M. is an assistant professor at the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law of the Leiden University Faculty of Law. She holds a master’s degree in Political Science (2009; with distinction) and an LL.M. degree (2009; with distinction) from Leiden University. She also obtained an LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School in New York (2010; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar) and is admitted as an attorney-at-law to the New York State Bar. 

In 2015, Ingrid Leijten completed her PhD research dealing with the notion of core rights and the protection of socio-economic interests by the European Court of Human Rights. This research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and supervised by Prof. Janneke Gerards (Radboud University Nijmegen). Ingrid Leijten has been a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for comparative Public Law and International Law In Heidelberg, Germany, and the Human Rights Centre of Ghent University in Belgium.

Ingrid Leijten is a member of the working group on European law of the Nederlands Juristen Comité voor de Mensenrechten (NJCM; Dutch Committee of Jurists for Human Rights). She is a staff annotator at European Human Rights Cases (EHRC) as well as a member of the editorial board of the Newsletter of the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research. She regularly contributes to, amongst other blogs, the
Leiden Law Blog and Strasbourg Observers..


Full list of publications

Over the past years, Ingrid Leijten has been working on her PhD thesis, which focuses on the development of the rights laid down in the European Convention on Human Rights and in particular on the socio-economic dimension of these rights. It deals with the question of how the European Court of Human Rights can navigate between providing effective and individual as well as principled fundamental rights protection, while at the same time taking account of its institutional position and showing deference towards (the social policies of) the Member States. In the light of this, the thesis explores the possible use and added value of the notion of ‘core rights’ for the reasoning of the ECtHR in socio-economic cases. By means of a comparative study of (the theoretical underpinnings of) the German Wesensgehaltsgarantie, the minimum core obligations that have been recognized in the context of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the debate on the use of core rights for the protection of socio-economic rights under the South African Constitution, insights are gained on the possibilities and pitfalls inherent in the idea of core rights protection. On the basis thereof, Ingrid Leijten has developed a ‘core rights perspective’ that is tailored to the protection of socio-economic interests by the ECtHR. It is argued that this perspective allows the ECtHR to develop a principled approach to the adjudication of (positive) socio-economic claims that is characterized by a clear demarcation of the scope of the Convention and a focus on minimum guarantees, the protection of vulnerable individuals and non-discrimination. In this way the core rights perspective may help the ECtHR in leaving the necessary room for national laws and policies while ensuring robust socio-economic protection.

For a short explanation of the research, see this video on YouTube.

Ingrid Leijten publishes on the topic of her PhD research as well as on fundamental rights protection, both at the international and at the European level (ECHR; EU) more generally. She is interested in the internationalization and constitutionalization of public law, as well as in legal reasoning and legal theory. Her work appeared in the Human Rights Law Review, the Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, the German Law Journal, and the Tijdschrift voor Constitutioneel Recht as well as in various edited volumes, such as Shaping Rights (CUP 2014).  She also publishes case notes and blog posts, covering particular developments in the (Strasbourg) case law and other current fundamental rights issues.


  •       Principles of the democratic Rechtsstaat (Bachelor I)

  •       Constitutional and Administrative Law (Bachelor II)

  •       Constitutional Issues in a European Context (Master)

  •       Supervision of Bachelor Theses; Supervision of Master Theses

  •       Post academic teaching (ECHR, social security law)

Last Modified: 16-09-2015