Current doctorates


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Involuntary care. A practical and care-ethical evaluation of the rules on restraint in residential care

Tim OPGENHAFFEN; Promotor: Prof. dr. Johan Put; Period: 01/09/2014 – 31/12/2018

Is it acceptable that house rules of a residential care unit for intellectually disabled clients prohibit residents to have sexual relationships? May retirement homes impose that caregivers may enter the room of a client at any time? Is it allowed for an admission form to stipulate that a resident takes a shower once a week, if necessary involuntarily? Living in a care residence is accompanied with rules to steer life and care in the right direction. These rules have an impact on a client’s freedom. Legal evaluations of these rules and the legislation applicable to them are scarce. As a consequence, in Flanders little is known about the limits to the freedom of a client in residential elderly and disability care and about the quality of these limits. Important questions on for example the extent of a client’s freedom, the allowability to contractually deviate from a basic right, the  possibility to oppose to actually oppose to a restriction agreed on upon admission, and the quality of the law have been given little attention.
This research project fills this lacuna by verifying to what extent the rules issued by residential care units for the elderly and disabled persons in Flanders and the Netherlands are consistent with the national legislation applicable to them and to what extent this national legislation, supplemented with these rules stand the test of a basic rights framework refined with care ethics.
To reach this aim, first with a combination of empirical methods are applied to qualitatively examine which rules issued by residential care units restrict a client’s freedom. These restrictions are inductively categorized and are subsequently tested to the national legislation applicable to them. The combination of national legislation and the rules issued by residential care units offers an insight into the laws that are currently applicable. In the next step, the law will be evaluated to the basic rights. However, as basic rights are just a minimum the law has to comply with, this project subsequently develops a maximum. This maximum is based on care ethics, an ethical school that takes care as the starting point of its analysis. On the basis of this refined basic rights framework it is possible to formulate recommendations based on the evaluated differences between Flanders and the Netherlands.
In this way an insight is gained into the question whether basic rights are dead letter in practice and whether the law opposes to or supports good care. 


Universiteit Antwerpen

Non-standaard vormen van tewerkstelling en digitalisering van het werk: de invloed van en op het Europese internemarktrecht (transl.: "Non-standard forms of employment and digitalisation of work: the impact of and on European Union internal market law")

PhD project; researcher: Bartłomiej Bednarowicz

Start 1/10/2015; end 30/9/2019

This research touches upon the current legal issues regarding the personal and territorial scope of application of European Union internal market law in the field of employment and social law, as far as work in the so called gig economy is concerned. It therefore contains a legal analysis of the phenomenon often referred to as Uberisation of labour, taking a perspective of the fundamental freedoms governing the EU internal market: cross-border work and services - performed by virtue of digital work in the scheme of crowdwork and on-demand work via apps, either as workers, or as (false)-self-employed. Furthermore, it dwells into the issues depicting application, impact and in the later stages, also enforcement of EU internal market law and access to employment and social rights with regard to the new labour market patterns, attempting to investigate the legal status of individuals engaged into work in the gig economy

Hoe kan het EU recht bijdragen tot de beleidsdoelstelling van de Europese Unie inzake de strijd tegen armoede en sociale uitsluiting? (transl.: "How can EU law contribute to the European Union's policy objective of combating poverty and social exclusion?")

PhD project - FWO; researcher: Ane Fernandez de Aranguiz

Start 01/09/2016, end 31/08/2020

The fight against poverty and social exclusion is a policy objective that is high on the political agenda of the European institutions. This is reflected in policy initiatives such as the Europe 2020 Strategy and supported by provisions in the EU Treaties as well as in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. However, these policy objectives and general legal provisions do not have a direct impact on legal claims for financial or other support by persons faced with poverty or social exclusion. This reveals the ambiguity between the EU policy objective of fighting poverty and social exclusion on the one hand and the very modest or even marginal implementation of it in legally binding instruments of EU law on the other. The main objective of this research is to examine how this ambiguity can be lifted, and how EU legal instruments can be improved or developed in order to make more and better contributions towards the realisation of these policy objectives. More specifically, it will study the role the provisions in the EU Treaties, the general principles of EU law and fundamental rights could play in the fight against poverty. It will further provide a critical analysis of the impact of existing EU legal instruments on poverty and social exclusion and come up with proposals to make them more coordinated with the policy objectives. Finally, it will examine what kind of new EU legal instruments could be developed in the fight against poverty and social exclusion.


Vrije Universiteit Brussel

De rechtspositie van het onderwijspersoneel in de Vlaamse Gemeenschap

Evelien Timbermont

Current PhD research: 2013-2018

Social security rights for migrant workers in Viet-experiences from international organizations and the European Union

Le Thu Nguyen

The objective of this research is to understand which legal standards and principles could be used as a benchmark and good practices for Vietnam in view of an improvement of migrant workers’ social security rights.

Current PhD research: 2014-2017


Université de Liège

Le principe d’exécution de bonne foi des conventions et le contrat de travail

Quentin Cordier

The study examines the impact of the principle of good faith and the general principle of law that no one can abuse of her or his right to the employment contract in a chronological approach of the employment contract: the good faith at the stage of pre-contractual negotiations, the good faith and abuse of rights at the stage of performance of the contract and the abuse of rights on the occasion of termination of the employment contract. The research also examines the effect of the principle of good faith during periods of suspension of the employment contract and in case of unilateral changes of the terms of the contract.

The research project began in October 2016 and is scheduled to be completed early 2018.

Exigences et enjeux de la création d'un marché européen des pensions complémentaires (transl.: "Creating a European market for supplementary pensions: requirements and issues")

Quentin Detienne (doctoral research)

The research project aims at identifying the consequences of the ongoing creation of a European market for supplementary pensions on the autonomy of the Member States of the European Union for organizing their pension systems. In order to do so, it primarily focuses on the influence that European competition law, freedom to provide services and directive 2016/2341 on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision exercise on pension law of three Member States: Belgium, United Kingdom and Sweden. Particular attention is given to direct and indirect repercussions of these market creation on the articulation between legal pensions and supplementary pensions within these Member States.

Start/end of the project: Octobre 1st 2015 – September 30the 2019 (research funded thanks to an «aspirant» scholarship granted by the F.R.S.-FNRS)