Leonard Besselink held the chair of Constitutional Law in the Faculty Law from 2012 to 2022, and is affilliated to the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, ACELG. Although emeritus since September 2021, he still teaches and is engaged in research. Since 2021 he holds a position at the School of Law of LUISS Guido Carli in Rome, where (previously and presently) he has also been teaching in the School of Government.
He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Society of Sciences and Humanities.
He obtained a doctorate in social and political sciences at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy.
His research focuses on issues of European, comparative and national constitutional law. In particular the constitutional nexus between EU and national constitutional law is one of his main research themes as well as issues of fundamental rights protection in Europe.
For a cv, key publications and full list of publications (with links to digital versions in the UvA repository) see the other tabs on this page.
Leonard F.M. Besselink
work: +31 20 525 3966 (secretariat)
Leonard F.M. Besselink has been Professor of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam from 2012 to 2022, and is affilliated to the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, ACELG, and is emeritus since September 2021. Prior to his position in Amsterdam he held the chair of European Constitutional Law at the University of Utrecht.
He holds a degree from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (Bologna Center), and a doctorate in social and political sciences of the European University Institute, Florence (Italy).
He is a member of the Royal Dutch Society of Sciences and Humanities, and was a member of the Royal Committee on the Constitution (Staatscommissie Grondwet 2008-2010) tendering advise to the Netherlands government on amending the NL Constitution to bring it up to date in various respects.
He has participated in many research consortia and has published mainly in the fields of national constitutional law, European constitutional law and comparative constitutional law, with a particular thematic focus on the nexus between public international, European Union and national law, as well as issues of the rule of law and fundamental rights protection in Europe.
He has taught at the Universities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, as well as LUISS (Rome), and has given countless guest lectures as well as invited speeches at many academic institutions, international conferences and colloquia.
He has supervised a variety of doctoral dissertations and been an external examiner of doctoral dissertations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark and Finland.
Leonard F.M. Besselink
Constitutional conflict between EU and national law and its resolution: The rule of law, ultra vires review, constitutional identity review and primacy. In: Studies in Honour of Judge Manuel Dacosta Andrade, Lisbon 2023 (forthcoming)
A Composite European Constitution/ Een samengestelde Europese constitutie. [Inaugural Address Jean Monnet Chair European Constitutional Law, University of Utrecht, 10 January 2007.] Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2007, 22 + 22 pp.
The Notion and Nature of the European Constitution after the Lisbon Treaty. In: European Constitutionalism beyond Lisbon, Jan Wouters (ed.), Luc Verhey (ed.), Philipp Kiiver (ed.), Uitgeverij Intersentia, 2009, pp. 261-281.
[With Monica Claes, Šejla Imamović, Jan Herman Reestman] National Constitutional Avenues for Further EU Integration, Study, European Parliament, Directorate General for Internal Policies, Policy Department C: Citizens' Rights And Constitutional Affairs, Legal Affairs Committee, Constitutional Affairs Committee, PE 493.046 EN, Brussels March 2014, 277 pp. [common responsibility for main, synthetic part of the report; responsibility for the chapters on Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Malta, Bulgaria]
Does EU Law Recognize Legal Limits to Integration? Accommodating diversity and its limits. In: The EU Between 'an Ever Closer Union' and Inalienable Policy Domains of Member States, Herausgegeben von Prof. Dr. Thomas Giegerich, LL.M. (Virginia), Oskar Josef Gstrein, LL.M., Sebastian Zeitzmann, LL.M. 2014, 557 S., Broschiert, ISBN 978-3-8487-0995-3 pp. 59-78.
Parameters of Constitutional Development: The Fiscal Compact In Between EU and Member State Constitutions. In: The EU after Lisbon: Amending or Coping with the Existing Treaties? Rossi, Lucia Serena, Casolari, Federico (Eds.) Springer Verlag 2014, X, 334 p. 2 illus., 1 illus. in color, ISBN 978-3-319-04590-0 , pp. 21-35
The primacy of the rule of law and member states’ constitutional identities [Reflections on divergence and convergence, and solving constitutional conflict]. In: The Rule of Law's Anatomy in the EU: Foundations and Protections (Oxford, Hart, forthcoming)
The Bite, the Bark and the Howl: Article 7 TEU and the Rule of Law Initiatives, in: The enforcement of EU law and values: ensuring Member States' compliance. Jakab, A. & Kochenov, D. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 128-144, 17 pp., Chapter 8 [April 2017]. Pre-publication in a longer version as Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2016-01.
Talking about European Democracy. (2017). European Constitutional Law Review, 13(2), 207-220. doi:10.1017/S1574019617000128. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-constitutional-law-review/article/talking-about-european-democracy/C1B1E92CE91F11EFC0B0765A264B5AF0#
On Some of the Pre-Conditions for Democracy under the Rule Of Law. Περιμένοντας τους Bαρβάρους. Law in the days of Constitutional Crisis. Studies offered to Mirosław Wyrzykowski. CH Beck/Nomos 2021.
National and constitutional identity before and after Lisbon, In: 3 Utrecht Law Review (2010), November 2010, pp. 36-49. at http://www.utrechtlawreview.org/
Respecting Constitutional Identity in the EU. A Case Note to ECJ (Second Chamber), Case C 208/09, 22 December 2010, Ilonka Sayn-Wittgenstein v Landeshauptmann von Wien. In: 49 CMLRev (2012) nr 2 pp. 671–693
The Persistence of a Contested Concept: Reflections on 10 years Constitutional Identity in EU law. In European Public Law, volume 27, issue 3, 597-612
The Protection of Fundamental Rights Post-Lisbon: The Interaction between the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights and National Constitutions. Questionnaire and General Report. In: Reports of the XXV FIDE Congress Tallinn 2012, Volume 1: The Protection of Fundamental Rights Post-Lisbon, Tallinn 2012, Tartu University Press. Pp. 1-139.
Parameters of Constitutional Conflict after Melloni. In: European Law Review 2014,39( 4), 531-552.
Should the European Union Ratify the European Convention for Human Rights: Some Remarks on the Relations between the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice. In: Constituting Europe: the European Court of Human Rights in a national, European and global context. Andreas Føllesdal/ Geir Ulfstein/ Birgit Peters (eds.) Cambridge Studies on Human Rights Conventions, Cambridge University Press, ISBN-13: 978110702444, 2013 , pp. 301-333
The European Union and The European Convention On Human Rights: From Sovereign Immunity in Bosphorus to Full Scrutiny under the Reform Treaty? In: Changing Perceptions of Sovereignty and Human Rights: Essays in Honour of Cees Flinterman, Intersentia Antwerpen 2008, pp. 295-309
Multiple Political Identities: Revisiting the ‘Maximum Standard’. In: Citizenship and Solidarity in the European Union – from the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the Crisis, the state of the art. Alessandra Silveira (ed.), [Euroclio Series] Peter Lang, (Bern/Bruxelles) 2013.
Entrapped by the Maximum Standard. On Fundamental Rights, Pluralism, Subsidiarity in the European Union. In: Common Market Law Review, vol 35 (1998), no. 3, pp 629-680
Grenzen aan grenzenloosheid - algemene leerstukken van grondrechtenbescherming en de EU, L.F.M. Besselink en H.R.B.M. Kummeling (red.), WEJ Tjeenk Willink Deventer 1998, XIII + 287 pp.
National Parliaments in the EU’s Composite Constitution: a Plea for a Shift in Paradigm. In: Ph. Kiiver (ed.), National and Regional Parliaments in the European Constitutional Order, Groningen: Europa Law Publishing, 2006. ISBN: 9076871639, pp. 117-131
The Proliferation of Constitutional Law and Constitutional Adjudication, or How American Judicial Review Came to Europe After All. Utrecht Law Review. Volume 9, Issue 2, March 2013, pp. 19-35.
Ius Publicum Europaeum: Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit in den Niederlanden. In: Handbuch IUS PUBLICUM EUROPAEUM, Band VI: Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit, Prof. Dr. Armin von Bogdandy, Prof. Dr. Peter M. Huber (hersg.), C. F. Mueller Verlag, Heidelberg 2015, pp. 357-411. ISBN 978-3-8114-6006-5; updated and in English as Constitutional Adjudication in the Netherlands. In: The Max Planck Handbooks in European Public Law. Volume III: Constitutional Adjudication : Institutions. Edited by Armin von Bogdandy, Peter Huber, and Christoph Grabenwarter. Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780198726418. 2020. Lxvi +906 pp (also as e-book), at pp. 565-618. DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198726418.003.001
Being A Constitutional Court In A Post-Sovereign Inter-Constitutional Order. In: 35.o Aniversário Tribunal Constitucional. Conferência Internacional. Lisboa – Centro Cultural de Belém. 24 e 25 de maio, 2018. [Commemorative Conference of the 35th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court, Lisbon 2018], pp. 95-107, Lisbon 2022. OA: https://www.tribunalconstitucional.pt/tc/content/files/tc_ebook_35anos/94/
Constitutional Law of the EU Member States, Leonard Besselink, Paul Bovend’eert, Hansko Broeksteeg, Roel de Lange, Wim Voermans (eds), Kluwer Deventer, 2014, VI + 1765 pp. ISBN 978-90-13-09176-2 [and (co-)author of the chapters on The Italian Republic and on The Kingdom of the Netherlands]
Ius Publicum Europaeum: § 6 Grundstrukturen staatlichen Verfassungsrechts. In: Handbuch IUS PUBLICUM EUROPAEUM, Band I: Nationales Verfassungsrecht, Prof. Dr. Armin von Bogdandy, Prof. Dr. Pedro Cruz Villalón, Prof. Dr. Peter M. Huber (hersg.), C. F. Mueller Verlag, Heidelberg 2007, pp. 327-388; English version forthcoming at OUP Max Planck Handbooks on European Public Law
The Constitutional Duty to Promote the Development of the International Legal Order: the Significance and Meaning of Article 90 of the Netherlands Constitution. In: Netherlands Yearbook of International Law, Volume XXXIV, 2003, pp. 89-138
De Nederlandse Grondwet en de Europese Unie. [The Netherlands Constitution and the European Union, with H.R.B.M. Kummeling (Introduction and Chapter 1), R. de Lange (chapter 5 on decentralization), P. Mendelts (draft chapter 3 on parliament) and S. Prechal (Introduction and concluding chapter)] Europa Law Publishing, Groningen 2002. xii + 279 pp. NUR 823; ISBN 90-76871-10-8