Veerle Van Den Eeckhout

Veerle Van Den Eeckhout


Venusstraat 23
2000 Antwerpen, BEL

Starting from April 15th 2018, I will work as a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg. While working there, I will remain affiliated with the University of Antwerp (as a senior researcher) as well as with the Radboud University Nijmegen (as a research fellow).

Curriculum vitae  Veerle Van Den Eeckhout (updated until the summer of 2015)

I was born in Aalst (Belgium) on November 15th 1967.

I have the Belgian nationality.

Since 1999, I have been domiciled in the Netherlands.

Languages: Dutch (mother language), French, English.

Married, two children. 


After Secondary School (Latin-Mathematics, +80%, Ranked First by Finish in June 1985), I studied Law (five-year programme; Candidate level (two-year programme) finished in June 1987, magna cum laude, Master level (three-year programme) finished in June 1990, magna cum laude, top 1% students all options (class of 231 students), Ranked First students Option "Civil Law", Universiteit Gent, Belgium) and (in French) Sociology (Finished in June 1991, magna cum laude, top 1%, Ranked First, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium).

On December 16th 1997 I defended my PhD (“The law applicable to the marriage and the divorce of mixed marriages” (in Dutch), 660 p.) in  Private International  Law at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) (at the University of Leuven, no grades are awarded for doctorates in law).

Work experience

I worked at the Faculty of Law of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium as an assistant (October 1991 - December 1997, full-time), a doctor-assistant (January 1998 - September 1998, full-time) and a substitute-professor (October 1998 - September 1999; responsible for the course "Youth Protection Law", attended by students of Law, Criminology and Psychology).

From October 1998 until December 1998 I also worked at the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism in Brussels, Belgium (full-time).

At the Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands, I have been working as an assistant professor in Private International Law (January 1999 - December 2000, full-time, fixed-term) and, since January 2001, as an associate professor in Private International Law (full-time, tenured). 

Since February 2007, I have also been appointed as a Professor ("Comparative and European Private International Law") at the Universiteit Antwerpen (Belgium) (ZAP-appointment, Hoofddocent; ten percent appointment, in addition to my appointment in Leiden).

Since January 2015, I have also been appointed as a fellow at the Law Faculty of the Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands).


I have published extensively (in a continuous way and without any gaps)

(For an OVERVIEW of and more information on my publications (increasingly written in English):

see the list of publications at (since 1999, the year I was appointed at Leiden University)

and  (selection since 1992)):        

I have published extensively in (international, double blind) peer review journals (such as European Law Journal, Human Rights & International Legal Discourse, Academie voor Arbeidsrecht (Arbac))

I have published dozens of (often very extensive) scientific articles (see my list of publications)

I have published a whole series of scientific analysis reports, repeatedly written within the context of international projects (such as the “Refgov” project and the “Valencia” project; on these projects, see below),

I have published a whole series of chapters in books – often the result of my work within national and international projects

(such as 

V. Van Den Eeckhout, "The Instrumentalisation of Private International Law - Quo Vadis? Rethinking the "Neutrality" of Private International Law in an Era of Globalisation and Europeanisation of Private International Law" in J.S. Bergé, S. Francq and M. Gardenes Santiago (eds.), Boundaries of European Private International Law. Les frontières de droit international privé européen. Las fronteras del derecho internacional privado europea, Bruxelles: Bruylant 2015, p. 387-406.

V. Van Den Eeckhout, “Internationaal privaatrecht en fundamentele rechten” in J. Gerards, C. Sieburgh (eds.), De Invloed van fundamentele rechten op het materiële recht, Deventer:Kluwer 2013, p. 265-290;

V. Van Den Eeckhout, “The Application of Foreign Law by Judicial and Non-judicial Authorities in Europe: the Netherlands” in Application of Foreign Law, J. Luis Iglesias, C. Esplugues en G. Palao (red.), Munich: Sellier European Law Publishers 2011, p. 377-390;

V. Van Den Eeckhout, "Communitarization of International Family Law as seen from a Dutch perspective: what is new ? - A prospective analysis -", in A. Nuytsand N. Watté (red.), International civil litigation in Europe and Relations with Third States, Brussel: Bruylant 2005, p. 509-561;

V. Van Den Eeckhout, "Reële aanspraken of optische effecten? Versteviging of uitholling van initieel toegekende aanspraken door samenspel van rechtsgebieden?", in V. Van Den Eeckhout, C.J. Forder, E. Hooghiemstra, E. Nicolai, S.W. van Walsum (red.), Transnationale gezinnen in Nederland, Den Haag: Boom Juridische Uitgevers 2005 (Meijers-Reeks nr. 99), p. 129-183;

V. Van Den Eeckhout, "Prévoir l’imprévisible. Les techniques de droit international privé et le doute quant à la réussite de relations familiales mixtes", in M.-CL. Foblets and F. Strijbosch (red.), Relations familiales interculturelles, Onati Proceedings 1999, p. 121-138.)

I have been (co-)editor of several books (such as V. Van Den Eeckhout, C.J. Forder, E. Hooghiemstra, E. Nicolai, S.W. van Walsum (red.), Transnationale gezinnen in Nederland, Den Haag: Boom JuridischeUitgevers 2005 (Meijers-Reeks nr. 99).

I have been the author of several books (such as V. Van Den Eeckhout, Huwelijk en echtscheiding in het Belgische conflictenrecht. Een analyse vanuit de invalshoek van nationaliteitsgemengde partnerverhoudingen, 1998, 340 p.)

10 representative publications (all of them single-authored):

* “Corporate Human Rights Violations and Private International Law. The Hinge Function and Conductivity of PIL in Implementing Human Rights in Civil Proceedings in Europe: a Facilitating Role for PIL or PIL as a Complicating Factor?” Human Rights & International Legal Discourse,2012, issue 1 (special issue “Business and Human Rights in Conflict Zones”), p. 192-219.


* “Some Reflections on Recent European and Dutch Case-Law in Issues of International Labour (Koelzsch, Voogsgeerd, Vicoplus, Nuon-rechtspraak and Case FNV/De Mooij). Which (New) Possibilities for Argumentation for Employees to Claim (a Higher Level of) Labour Protection in International Situations?” (in Dutch), Arbac 2012, 31 p.


* “International Environment Pollution and Some Other PIL-issues of Transnational Corporate Social Responsibility. A Case-study of the Instrumentalisation of Private International Law in the year 2010: Developments at the Beginning of a New Decade” (in Dutch), Paper Refgov-project 2010, “Fundamental Rights”, FR 29, 30 p.


* “International Labour Law Oppressed between Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Services, Freedom of Establishment and Non-Discrimination – Some Considerations from a Private International Law Perspective on the Recent Judgments Viking, Laval, Rüffert and Commissie/Luxemburg” (in Dutch), Paper Refgov-project 2009, “Fundamental Rights”, “FR26”, 34 p.


* “Competing norms and European Private International Law”, Paper Refgov-project 2008, “Fundamental Rights”, “FR20”, 36 p.


* “The Promotion of Fundamental Rights by the Union as a contribution to the European Legal Space: the Role of European Private International Law”,  Paper Refgov-project 2006, “Fundamental rights”, “FR4”, 52 p. (in extensive version), also published in European Law Journal , 2008, p. 105-127 (“Promoting Human Rights within the Union: the Role of European Private International Law”)

* “Private International Law: a discipline out of the wind or in the surf of fierce legal-social debates?”(in Dutch), Tijdschrift voor Familie- en Jeugdrecht 2005, p. 236-244. 

* "Communitarization of International Family Law as seen from a Dutch perspective: what is new? - A prospective analysis -", in A. Nuyts and N. Watté (red.), International civil litigation in Europe and Relations with Third States, Brussel: Bruylant 2005, p. 509-561.

* “The socialization of Private International Law. Developments at the beginning of the 21st century” (in Dutch), Migrantenrecht 2002, p. 144-158.

* “Private International Law and migration law. The evolution of a two-track policy” (in Dutch), Nemesis 2002, p. 75-88.


Early achievements track-record

* systematic *First ranking" during studies (both secondary school (Latin-Mathematics) and university studies at both Dutch-language and other universities, both in the study of law and at other faculties) (whereby as regards my PhD it applies that at the Faculty of Law of Leuven University there is anyway no possibility of awarding the degree classification “cum laude”: the PhD is passed or not, but no degree classification can be awarded).

(N.B. systematic first ranking, although I was almost always “the youngest”: I was always the youngest during secondary school, almost the youngest during my law studies and, again, the youngest during my sociology studies;

Moreover, I finished my  PhD within the normal time, although meanwhile I had given birth to my daughter).

* appointment as Professor of law at Antwerp University  in 2007, “European and comparative private international law” (10 % ZAP appointment, in addition to the full-time appointment in Leiden)

* appointment as senior-fellow (“Meijers-fellow”) in the research programme “Securing the rule of law in a world of multilevel jurisdiction” as well as in the research programme “Coherent Private Law” at Leiden University

* appointment as senior-fellow at the Dutch Human Rights Research School (coordinated by the University of Utrecht)

* appointment as senior-fellow in the research programme “Law enforcement and proper administration of justice” at Antwerp University

* exceptionally intensive international research and teaching mobility, both during my studies and during my career, with research and teaching at very diverse universities at home and abroad – an indeed exceptionally intensive form of “international mobility” both as regards teaching and research.

Even before my arrival at Leiden I already had teaching and research experience at other universities; during my work at Leiden University I have gained further teaching and research experience at other (foreign) universities; my arrival at Leiden obliged me, for that matter, to internationalise in the most far-reaching sense – compelling to a restudy of PIL (at the time after all still very much national in origin) –, already immediately resulting in teaching Dutch PIL, writing (together with prof. Polak) the prestigious “NJB chronicles” for Private International Law (covering the whole field of Dutch PIL) etc. 


- studies: followed both at Ghent University and at the French-language Louvain University


- worked at Leuven  University, Leiden University and Antwerp University


- teaching: at Leuven University, Antwerp University and Leiden University, each time in a very intensive manner


- research: e.g. at Leuven University (taken my PhD there), Antwerp University (where I also am a fellow in a research programme) and Leiden University


- participation as expert in many international projects with experts of many foreign universities




* invited speaker at many (international) conferences (e.g. in Rabat, New York, Bonn, Antwerp, Onati, Leuven, Brussels, Kleve, Paris, Maastricht, Louvain) (funded stays) Including, e.g.:


Invited expert, participated in a private expert seminar on European private international law organized in Antwerp on  21 and 22 October 2005. The seminar was organized as part of a research project which was financed by the European Commission and which was granted under the framework programme for judicial cooperation in civil matters in 2004 to the universities of Antwerp, Barcelona, Louvain-la-Neuve, Lund, Milan, Toulouse and Utrecht (“organizing committee”, consisting of the professors Bariatti, Boele-Woelki, Bogdan, Borrás, Carlier, Fallon, González Beilfuss, Meeusen, Pertegás, Peruzzetto, Straetmans and Swennen) for the organisation of the research project “What international family law is ‘necessary for the proper functioning of the internal market’?”. The project was coordinated by the University of Antwerp.


Invited speaker at Conferences in New York (19 and 20 May 2003) and Brussels (23 January 2004) in the Project on Judicial cooperation in civil matters with Third Countries (see below) (resulted in a chapter in a book)


Invited speaker (title  speech: “Instrumentalisation of and by Migration Law. Instrumentalisation and PIL”), International Research Seminar, Research Community “Transposition of European Migration Law” Antwerp, 8 and 9 December 2005


Invited speaker First open conference Fundamental Rights, Refgov-project (see below), 24 May 2006, Brussels. Title speech: “The importance of private international law for the project. Settling choice of law issues in the Union and its impact on fundamental rights”



Invited speaker International Conference (“Law in a Transnational context”, Kleve, 14 and 15 December 2009 (title speech: “Developments in European International Family Law: a Liberal Approach to Transnational situations”, organized by VSR (Vereniging voor de Sociaalwetenschappelijke bestudering van het recht) (Dutch and Flemish Association for Socio-Legal Studies)


Invited speaker with a presentation on the Instrumentalisation/Neutrality of PIL at Paris at Sciences Po Law School, “PILAGG-programme” (Private International Law as Global Governance), 19 April 2013. Title speech: “PIL questions that arise in the relation between migration law and family law: subjection of PIL to policies of migration law?”



Invited speaker at an International conference in Maastricht, 18 October 2013, “The Citizen in European Private Law. Norm Setting, Enforcement and Choice”, presentation on PIL-aspects. Title speech: “Choice and Regulatory Competition – Rules on Choice of Law and Forum.” (to be published; powerpoint is available at


Invited speaker (opening speaker) on an international conference in Louvain “The Boundaries of European Private International Law. What are the Boundaries between Internal Market and European PIL and among PIL instruments?” (Jean Monnet Life Long Learning Programme Lyon-Barcelona-Louvain), 5 June 2014. Title speech: “The Instrumentalisation of PIL by the European Institutions: quo vadis? Rethinking the “Neutrality” of PIL in an Era of Europeanisation of PIL and Globalisation” (published 2015).  



Invited speaker on an international conference in Lausanne, 10 October 2014, “The PIL Dimension of the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights” (Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé; organized by A. Bonomi, F. Zamora Cabot and L. Heckdorn Urscheler) (to be published in "The Implementation of the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights In Private International Law", Schulthess, Zurich, Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé 2015) (the powerpoint is available at ).


Invited as a discussant (together with Prof. E. Pataut) on the presentation of Prof. A. van Hoek and Prof. M. Houwerzijl on "Rules on conflict and employment law: Rome I and posting Directive" on the Expert Seminar "Where do I belong?" University of Antwerp, 7-8 May 2015 (to be published). 


* publications in many (international) (peer reviewed (often “double blind”) journals. In international (blind) peer review my work was judged as being “brilliant”, “excellent”, “innovative”, “creative”, “very thorough”, “original”, “solid”


* invited to assess as a commission member the excellent/innovating character of research at Dutch NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research)


(in 2011 I was a member of the jury (permanent panel member) of the VENI committee – financing projects of researchers proposed within 3 years after the defence of their PhD, up to 250.OOO euro (before I was invited to be a member of the jury for individual MAGW project applications and thereafter invited to be a member of the jury for “Research talent”);

in 2012-2013 I was a member (permanent panel member) of the VIDI committee – financing projects of researchers proposed within 8 years after the defence of their PhD, up to 800.000 euro in order to create their own research team) (including reviewing and ranking myself the proposals, assessing the reviews of referees, interviewing the candidates etc.)

In 2015 I am a member of the VENI committee. 


* ambassador of the international Minority Research Network (coordinated by Prof. Dr. Kristin Henrard at Erasmus University Rotterdam)   


* membership of various scientific organisations such as “NVIR” (Dutch Association for International Law)


* winner of teaching prize of the law faculty of Leiden University in 2003 and virtually systematically nominated for this prize prior to and after winning the teaching prize, including recently e.g. 2011 (longlist) and 2013 (shortlist). In possession of the BKO (University Teaching Qualification)


(I have been teaching courses in Dutch and English on all academic levels, on all aspects of PIL (e.g. both procedural issues and issues of applicable law, both issues of family law (all aspects) and issues of contracts, torts, company law, insolvency, agency, property law etc.), including courses in the advanced LLM-programmes "International Business Law" and "European Business Law" and "Post Academisch Onderwijs").


* asked as scientific expert at various organisations and committees such as the Dutch Association for Civil Registrars; experience as a member c.q. secretary in dozens of commissions inside and outside the University


* frequently asked as expert at both national and international research projects, including several European projects (funded projects)


national projects

such as

the project (2004-2005) on “The legal status of foreign families in the Netherlands”, national project with Prof. Dr. S. van Walsum, Prof. Dr. C. Forder; Dr. E. Hooghiemstra, Drs. E. Nicolai; subsidised by the Dutch Family Council (Nederlandse Gezinsraad);

the project coordinated by Prof. Dr. J. Gerards and Prof. Dr. C. Sieburgh (both University of Nijmegen) on the impact of Fundamental Rights on private law, 2012-2013 (I was the expert on PIL)


international projects

such as the projects coordinated e.g. by

the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium ("Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters with Third Countries);

the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium  ("Reflexive Governance in the Public Interest, 6th European Framework Programme in Research and Development. Fundamental Rights Governance");

the Universidad de Valencia, Spain (DG Justice, Freedom and Security, "The application of foreign law by judicial and non-judicial authorities in Europe").

These projects were subsidised by the European Commission.


Involved in the international project “Business and Human Rights. Challenges for cross border litigation in the European Union”(2014-2016), coordinated by the Globernance Institute for Democratic Governance, Spain (Selected grant “Specific Programme Civil Justice call for proposals for action grants Just/2013/JCIV/AG, subsidised by the European Commission)


(For some more details on some international projects: 


-Refgov-project: 6th European Framework Programme in Research and Development; “REFGOV”: Reflexive Governance in the Public interest. The  integrated project REFGOV counted 29 partner-institutions and was coordinated by the Centre for Philosophy of Law - Centre de Philosophie du Droit (CPDR) of the Catholic University of Louvain (Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium), 2005-2010.


-Project “Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters with Third Countries: Project for the European Commission, 2003-2004, coordinated by the Université Libre de Bruxelles. (From the website : « Ce projet co-financé par des fonds européens a été sélectionné par la Commission européenne dans le cadre du programme quinquennal sur la coopération judiciaire en matière civile (Règlement (CE) n° 743/2002 du Conseil, du 25 avril 2002, établissant un cadre général communautaire d'activités en vue de faciliter la coopération judiciaire en matière civile). Le projet rassemblait un groupe de dix-neuf experts de la matière en provenance de neuf universités étrangères, et visait à réaliser une étude globale des questions liées à l’application des instruments communautaires de droit judiciaire lorsque la situation présente des points de contact non seulement avec l’espace européen mais aussi avec un ou plusieurs Etats tiers. Les travaux des experts furent encadrés par la tenue de deux tables rondes. La première table ronde a eu lieu à New York les 19 et 20 mai 2003. La seconde réunion a eu lieu le 20 mai 2003 à l’Université de Columbia. Enfin, le projet a culminé par la tenue d’un colloque international à l’ULB, le 23 janvier 2004. Les différentes contributions écrites au projet ont été rassemblées dans un ouvrage ayant pour ambition d'être l’étude de référence sur le sujet de la coopération judiciaire entre l’espace judiciaire européen et les Etats tiers: A. Nuyts et N. Watté (éd.) Bruylant, 2005, 685 pages.”)


-Project “The application of foreign law”: Specific project « civil justice » 2007-2013(Specific transnational projects, JSL/CJ/2007-1), project coordinated by the University of Valencia (Spain). « The application of foreign law by judicial and non-judicial authorities in Europe », project JSL/CJ/2007-1/03 (international project with three partners, ten associate partners).


* I have organized several international conferences (e.g. the Belgian-Dutch conference on "The importance of comparative law for the creation of a European area of  Freedom,  Justice and  Security")


* constructively involved in research/publications/subsidy applications of many colleagues (doctoral researchers, postdoctoral researchers and professors) inside and outside Leiden university/the Netherlands


* supervising students and researchers and coaching them at all levels

(from supervision of students within the framework of the Leiden Law Practices via successful supervision of dozens of students within the framework of bachelor theses to successful supervision of dozens of students writing master theses and also advanced master theses, research master programmes etc.). For many of the students supervised by me I have acted as reference in their applications for subsidies/PhD places/applications to foreign universities such as Oxford and Harvard – and with several of them, I am still in contact).

Several theses of students supervised by me have been nominated for/have been awarded various prestigious prizes (e.g. master theses of Taida Pasic, Boukje Veelders, Fieke van Overbeeke). Several of the students supervised by me in their master thesis are by now writing a doctoral thesis on PIL/have obtained their doctorate on PIL (e.g. Louwrens Kiestra, Rufat Babayev, Fieke van Overbeeke - starting from October 2015, I am a member of the doctoral PhD-commission of Fieke van Overbeeke).


* Supervision as a promoter of dozens of master theses and post-master theses at Leiden University

(on all kinds of PIL-subjects; students in European law, civil law, notarial law, business law, international law etc.); supervision as a promoter of several master theses at Antwerp University.

Experience in successful coaching and support of PhD researchers. I have been a member of jury for PhD (recently – February 2014 – e.g. PhD Iris Sportel (University of Nijmegen) and – December 2014 – e.g. PhD Pauline Kruiniger (Maastricht University)


* very high organizational c.q. management skills, already demonstrated throughout my career

(e.g. as coordinator and team leader of the section I belong to, as secretary of the department I belong to, within the many research projects, within dozens of commissions,  as (co-)editor of books, as member of editorial boards, as conference organiser, etc.).


* Systematic “top ten” downloads of my publications at the “Social Science Research Network” site (“ssrn”, open access), see


For a research agenda, presented at several international conferences,  


For a list of publications since 2007, see




Forthcoming in 2015/2016:

V. Van Den Eeckhout, «Choice and Regulatory Competition : Rules on Choice of Law and Forum », in Congress book International Conference « The Citizen in European Private Law : Norm-setting, Enforcement and Choice », October 2013, Maastricht


V. Van Den Eeckhout, “The Private International Law Dimension of the Principles. An Introduction”, in Publications of the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law 2015 (Conference October 2014, « The Implementation of the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights”, Lausanne)


V. Van Den Eeckhout, « The « right » way to go when confronted with Private International Law aspects of employment contracts.»


(updated until the summer of 2015 - see also 

for a list of publications since 1992, see  )


Statute & functions

Bijzonder academisch personeel

  • unpaid staff