FRAME Fostering Human Rights Among European Policies



Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, Utrecht University

The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) is the interdisciplinary Human Rights Institute of Utrecht University, existing since 1981. SIM provides a unique combination of research, training and education and an extensive documentation centre with specialised databases in the field of European and International human rights law. The research and teaching cover general aspects of human rights law. The present research programme focuses on a comparison of the role of various stakeholders in the protection of human rights (States, NGOs, corporations) and compares the international and regional human rights systems. Central themes are diversity and pluralism and the interrelation between conflicts and human rights. SIM manages the Netherlands Research School of Human Rights and plays a leading role in the inter-faculty research programme Conflicts and Human Rights. SIM has participated in numerous (MATRA, NUFFIC/NICHE, Asia Link, ALFA, USAid and other) training programmes in Bulgaria, Latin America, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, Mongolia. Research projects have been co-financed by EU, the Dutch Government, the Dutch Foundation for Research (NWO). PhD research covers areas in the field of human rights and international (criminal) law; human rights based approaches in various fields, political economy of human rights, climate change, transitional justice, human rights indicators and benchmarks. SIM alumni occupy leading positions as Special Rapporteurs, members of International NGOs, officials of international organisations and judges and lawyers. SIM staff members are member of treaty bodies and other international institutions. The Utrecht School of Law is partner in EIUC’s European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Venice and Malta.


Anja Mihr

Anja Mihr is Associate Professor at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), University of Utrecht, Netherlands. She teaches Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Democratization in International Relations.

In her latest research she is focusing on Transitional Justice, Rule of Law, Non-state actors, Reconciliation, Human Rights and Democratization.
In 2008 she was Visiting Professor for Human Rights at Peking University Law School in China and worked for the Raoul Wallenberg Research Institute on Human Rights, Lund University.
From 2006-2008 she was the European Program Director for the European Master Degree in Human Rights and Democratization at the European Inter-University Center for Human Rights in Venice (EIUC), Italy.
She received her Ph.D in Political Sciences from the Free University in Berlin, Germany, in 2001. Mihr has worked for Amnesty International and the German Institute for Human Rights. Starting as a assistant professor with UNESCO Chair in Human Rights at the University of Magdeburg in 2002 in Germany, she was later a research director at the Humboldt University of Berlin carrying out the research project ‘Teaching Human Rights in Europe’ from 2003-2006. From 2002-2006 Anja Mihr also served on the board of directors of Amnesty International Germany.


Antoine Buyse

Antoine Buyse is associate professor and senior researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) and a member of the Young Academy of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences. He teaches ‘economic, social and cultural human rights’ and ‘the human rights – conflict nexus’. He is executive editor of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, member of the editorial board of the Dutch human rights review, and he hosts a weblog about the European Convention on Human Rights. Currently, he is conducting research on the links between freedom of expression and conflict escalation, funded by the Dutch Organisation on Scientific Research.


Jenny Goldschmidt

Jenny Goldschmidt is director of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) since 1 October 2007 where she was appointed professor in human rights law since 1 January 2004. From 1994-2003 she was president of the Equal Treatment Commission and also part time professor Equality and Legal Pluralism at Leiden University. Before, she was professor Legal Women’s Studies at Utrecht University. The topic of her dissertation was “National and indigenous constitutional law in Ghana: their development and their relation to each other” (Leiden, 1981). Research interests include: Implementation of international human rights in national legal systems;Nature of obligations in human rights law and Equality and nondiscrimination.

She is a.o. Vice-President of Commission Integrity of Civil Servants, Member of Human Rights Commission of the Advisory Council for Foreign Policy of the Netherlands, Member of the Netherlands’ Helsinki Committee, Member of the International Commission of Jurists (Geneva).


Alexandra Timmer

Alexandra Timmer is a post-doctoral researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM). She conducts research within the framework of a large-scale international FP-7 funded project entitled Fostering Human Rights Among European (external and internal) Policies (“FRAME”). She teaches human rights law courses both in the Bachelor’s program and in the LL.M. International Human Rights and Criminal Justice. Before joining SIM, Alexandra Timmer worked as a PhD researcher at Ghent University in Belgium (2010-2013). Her PhD focuses on the equality analysis of the European Court of Human Rights, and more specifically on stereotyping and vulnerability as concepts in the Court’s legal reasoning. She has studied both law (LL.M. 2009; cum laude) and history (M.A. 2011) at Leiden University. She also studied law as a Fulbright scholar at Columbia University School of Law (LL.M. 2009, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar). Alexandra Timmer has been a visiting scholar at Emory University in the U.S., and Toronto University in Canada (both 2012). She was a guest lecturer at the University of Maputo in Mozambique (2013). She is a founding member and regular contributor to the Strasbourg Observers blog (