Research event

Book presentation and discussion: "Demanding Rights" with author Moritz Baumgärtel

This event is part of the Fundamental Rights Research Colloquium hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights.

Moritz Baumgärtel will open the programme of the Fundamental Rights Research Colloquium for the spring semester with a presentation of his book, Demanding Rights (2019, Cambridge University Press). 

While nominally protected across Europe, the human rights of vulnerable migrants often fail to deliver their promised benefits in practice. This socio-legal study explores both the concrete expressions and possible causes of this persistent deficit. For this purpose, it presents an innovative multifaceted evaluation of selected judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the EU pertaining to such complex questions as the protection of persons fleeing from indiscriminate violence, homosexual asylum seekers, the Dublin Regulation, and the externalisation of border control. Highlighting the demanding character of migrant rights, the book also discusses some steps that could be taken to improve the effectiveness of Europe's supranational human rights system including changes in judicial and litigation practice as well as a reconceptualisation of human rights as existential commitments.

About the author

Moritz Baumgärtel is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance of Utrecht University and at University College Roosevelt, as well as a fellow of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights. He holds a PhD from the Université libre de Bruxelles (2016) and has previously worked as a lecturer at Tilburg Law School. As a senior researcher of the Cities of Refuge research project, he is currently focusing on the international legal obligations and policy initiatives of cities and their local governments in the migration domain. His monograph Demanding Rights: Europe’s Supranational Courts and the Dilemma of Migrant Vulnerability was published as a part of the Cambridge Migration and Asylum Series in May 2019.


Lena Riemer studied law at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and University of Western Cape (South Africa) with a focus on public international law. She is a PhD researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin in the fields of international migration and asylum law. Her research interests lie mainly in the areas of migration, asylum law and human rights.


Alexandre Skander Galand is a postdoctoral researcher at the Hertie School. He is specialised in international criminal law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law. He is a member of the Barreau du Québec (Canada) and holds a PhD in International Law from the European University Institute (EUI). Before joining the Hertie School, he was a postdoctoral research fellow on the ERC-funded project The Individualisation of War: Reconfiguring the Ethics, Law and Politics of Armed Conflict - based at the EUI and University of Oxford. He is an associate editor of the Oxford Reports on International Human Rights Law / UN Treaty Bodies, has consulted for the Case Matrix Network and worked for the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute as part of the War Crimes Justice Project.

Hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights in cooperation with the Department of Law at the Freie Universität Berlin.