Roland Pierik is Associate Professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam.
In addition, he is:
The Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence (PSC) is the meta-juridical research institute in the Amsterdam Law School. We are the pivotal centre for the legal-theoretical, i.e. empirical, historic and normative study of the law. Our research revolves around our research program Law in Contexts.
The Health Council of the Netherlands – de Gezondheidsraad – is an independent scientific advisory body whose legal task it is to advise ministers and Parliament in the field of public health. I have been appointed by Royal decree on 1 January 2018. I am actively involved in the Standing Vaccinations Committee and the ad hoc HPV Committee (human papillomavirus).
My research interests revolve around the question of how liberal democracies should deal with cases of colluding fundamental rights or conflicts between fundamental rights and other central ideals within constitutional democracies: the rule of law or democracy. I study fundamental rights both as legal-philosophical concepts and as legally enforceable rights as they have been formalized in human rights conventions, especially the ECHR.
I have analyzed a myriad of such legal disputes and policy dilemmas: the discussion of the crucifix in Italian public school before the EC(t)HR; the role of human rights in the regulation of transnational clinical trials; The shared responsibility of nation states to protect fundamental human rights for all; and the tension between universal human rights and national identity.
His research interests lie at the intersections of legal philosophy, political theory, law and public policy, especially contemporary liberal theories of justice and their application in plural societies. His recent work focusses on human rights, fundamental rights, the rule of law, religious diversity, and globalization.
Since 2013, my research interests increasingly gravitated towards the legal regulation of childhood vaccination against infectious diseases. Several (conflicting) fundamental rights are pivotal in these discussions: the freedom of religion and conscience of non-vaccinating parents, the right to bodily integrity, but also the right to health of unvaccinated children – in particular Art. 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, stating that in all actions concerning children, their best interests must be a primary consideration of state agencies. Other relevant considerations are the responsibility of the state to protect public health and vulnerable citizens.
I am currently working on a monograph entitled Inducing Immunity: The Regulation of Vaccination (with Marcel Verweij). In this book, we analyse the conditions under which a liberal-democratic government should make vaccination against infectious diseases such as such as measles, polio and whooping cough mandatory.
Unequal treatment of MSM men in blood donation policies
Together with Marcel Verweij, I carry out an ethical research project for Sanquininto the recruitment policy of donors. Stricter rules currently apply to men who have sex with men (MSM) than to other donors. Some see this as discriminatory and stigmatising - see for instance Ellemeet et al.'s motion in Parliament (29 447 no. 53). How can the safety of donor blood be guaranteed without discriminatory donor recruitment policies?
Before I came to Amsterdam, I taught political theory at Radboud University Nijmegen (2000-2006) and legal theory at Tilburg University (2006-2009). In 2015 and 2016 I was affiliated as a ‘visiting fellow’ to the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Leuven. Before that, he was a visiting scholar at the Centre for the Study of Social Justice of Oxford University (2013), University College London (2005), Columbia University (2004) and Ottawa University (1997-1998).
“Mandatory Vaccination: an Unqualified Defence.” Journal of Applied Philosophy (2018, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 381-398).
“On Religious and Secular Exemptions. A Case Study of Childhood Vaccination Waivers.” Ethnicities (2017 vol. 17, no. 2, pp.220–241).
“Human Rights and the Regulation of Transnational Clinical Trials” Political Studies (2015 Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 870-886).