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Mathias Holvoet

Mathias Holvoet

Associate Researcher, Law


Mathias Holvoet is a Senior Associate Researcher at the Institute for European Studies (IES), affiliated with the Faculty of Law and Criminology. Mathias is a member of the Migration, Diversity and Justice Cluster.

On 2 March 2018, Mathias Holvoet defended his PhD thesis entitled “A policy to commit atrocity, understanding the “policy element” for the purpose of defining crimes against humanity”. His promotors were Prof. dr. P. De Hert and Prof. dr. S. Smis.

His main research interest lies in the field of International Criminal Law. His side interests lie in the fields of Public International Law, International Humanitarian Law, European Criminal Law, International and European Human Rights Law and International and European Migration Law.

Within the field of International Criminal Law, his research currently focusses on the phenomenon of 'lone wolfs' and on the implications of the rise of social media for international criminal responsibility.

His work has been published in leading journals in the field of International Criminal Law such as the Journal of International Criminal Justice and the International Criminal Law Review.

From April 2017 until September 2017, Mathias was a Visiting Professional within the Trial Division of the Chambers of the International Criminal Court.

From October 2015 until June 2016, Mathias was a Visiting Researcher at the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, Washington University in St. Louis, United States of America.

From June 2013 until September 2013, Mathias was a Visiting Researcher at Humboldt University, Berlin, Lehrstuhl of Professor dr. Gerhard Werle.

From October 2013 until December 2013, Mathias was a Visiting Researcher at the Institute for International Peace and Security Law, University of Cologne.

Mathias (Antwerp, 1984) holds a Master degree in Law (2008, Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and a 'Master Complémentaire en Droit International Public' (2009, Université Libre de Bruxelles). During his studies, he stayed four months at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark as an Erasmus student (sept. 07-dec. 07).

Subsequent to graduation, Mathias interned for 4 months with the International Criminal Justice Program of the NGO 'No Peace Without Justice' (oct. 09-jan. 10). Following this experience, he interned 4 months at the Belgian delegation for Eurojust, The Hague (feb. 10-may 10). Finally, he conducted an internship for 4 months at the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, The Hague (june 10-oct. 10).

Mathias is also a Member of the Research Group Fundamental Rights and Constitutionalism (FRC) and a Senior Analyst for the Global Governance Institute (GGI).


Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels