Auke Willems

Auke Willems

PhD researcher Migration, Diversity & Justice


After graduating with a degree in Law (LLB) from the University of Amsterdam, Auke successfully completed an LLM in International Law at the University of Edinburgh, in which he focused on international criminal law and wrote his dissertation on the EU-US Extradition Agreement under supervision of Professor Bill Gilmore. He then went to the University of Glasgow, where he wrote his LLM by research thesis on the topic of European criminal law under supervision of Maria Fletcher and Professor Noreen Burrows.

Since January 2013 Auke is working as a PhD-researcher at the IES, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, under supervison of Professor Paul de Hert and Anne Weyembergh (ULB). Auke's research interests include studies into procedural rights in criminal proceedings throughout the EU and the functioning of mutual trust within mutual recognition based criminal justice cooperation. His PhD project focuses on the topic of mutual trust and the EU flagship instrument on procedural rights, the 'Roadmap on procedural rights', which aims at setting a common minimum standard for procedural safeguards at EU level. In this project it is being examined what mutual trust is in EU criminal justice cooperation, and how the Roadmap as a 'trust-building' measure can foster trust. An important aspect of the study is a comparison with criminal justice cooperation between states in the USA. 

Auke has carried out parts of his research as a visiting student at Babeș-Bolyai University (2013) and wrote the comparative component of his thesis as a Visiting Doctoral Researcher at Columbia University Law School (2014-2015).

He is currently a visiting doctoral student at the European University Institute in Florence.

His research interests center around EU criminal law, international criminal law and human rights law. He has published on these topics, is a regular author on the section 'EHRM in kort bestek' on case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, and is an assistant editor to the New Journal of European Criminal Law.

Profile and Publications



  • Willems, A. and De Hert, P. 2015. 'Dealing With Overlapping Jurisdictions and Requests for Mutual Legal Assistance While Respecting Individual Rights. What Can Data Protection Law Learn From Cooperation in Criminal Justice Matters?', in P. de Hert et al. (eds.), Enforcing Privacy: Lessons From Current Implementations and Perspectives for the Future (Wydawnictwo Sejmowe, Warsaw, 2015), p. 49-76.
  • Willems, A. 2014. ‘Commentaar bij Artikel 40 en 42/44 EVRM’, SDU Commentaar EVRM, Deel 2, Procedurele Rechten (SDU Uitgevers, Den Haag), p. 270-278 en 315-318. Link
  • Willems, A & De Hert, P. 2013. ‘Commentaar bij Artikel 2, 3 en 4 Protocol 7 EVRM’, SDU Commentaar EVRM, Deel 1, Materiële Rechten (SDU Uitgevers, Den Haag), p. 1463-1483. Link
  • Willems, A & De Hert, P. 2013. ‘Politie en Mensenrechten bij Demonstraties en Betogingen. Rechters zijn er nooit bij, maar kijken er wel naar’, Cahiers Politiestudies Nr. 27 (Maklu, Antwerpen), p. 107-149. Link

Conference Papers

  • Willems A. 2017. 'The Transformation of the Principle of Mutual Trust in EU Criminal Law by the Court of Justice of the European Union', The Cambridge International and European Law Conference 2017, University of Cambridge, Law Faculty Link
  • Willems A. 2016. 'Balancing Security and Justice in the EU’s Criminal Law Area', Research Seminar Series, The University of Edinburgh Europa Institute. Link
  • Willems A. 2016. 'Balancing security and justice in EU criminal justice cooperation', Lisbon Catolica Graduate Legal Research Conference, Catolica Global School of Law.
  • Willems, A. 2016. 'Mutual trust as a term of art in EU criminal law', The 10th International Graduate Legal Research Conference, King’s College London.
  • Willems, A. 2015. 'Interstate cooperation on the Two Sides of the Atlantic', ECLAN Ph.D. Seminar on the EU Area of Criminal Justice, University of Copenhagen.
  • Willems, A. 2015. 'Extradition on the two sides of the Atlantic', CrimFest Conference 2015, Cardozo School of Law, New York.
  • Willems, A. 2014. 'Demystifying the trust problem in EU criminal law: enhancing mutual trust by harmonising criminal procedural rights?', ECLAN Ph.D. Seminar on the EU Area of Criminal Justice, Queen Mary University, London.

Peer Reviewed Articles

  • Willems, A. 2016. 'Mutual Trust as a Term of Art in EU Criminal Law: Revealing its Hybrid Character', 9(1) European Journal of Legal Studies (2016), p. 211-249. Link
  • Willems, A. 2016. 'Extradition on the Two Sides of the Atlantic: The U.S. Model as Blueprint for the European Arrest Warrant?', Criminal Law Forum (2016). Link
  • Willems, A. 2014. 'The UN Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems- A Step Toward Global Assurance of Legal Aid?', 17(2) New Criminal Law Review, p. 184-219. Link
  • Willems, A. 2014. ‘The European Court of Human Rights on the UN Individual Counter-Terrorist Sanctions Regime: Safeguarding Convention Rights and Harmonising Conflicting Norms in Nada v. Switzerland’, 83(1) Nordic Journal of International Law, p. 39-60. Link

Articles, Essays & Reviews

  • Trauner F. and Willems A. 2016. 'The Internal-External Nexus: Criminal Justice’, 29 EUISS Brief Issue. Link
  • Willems, A. 2015. 'Euthanasia of Detainee: Granting a Prisoner's Request', 99(1) Criminal Justice Matters, p. 16-17. Link
  • Willems, A. 2014. Book Review of 'Whose Responsibility? A Study of Transnational Defence Rights and Mutual Recognition of Judicial Decisions within the EU', 51(4) Common Market Law Review, p. 1290-1292. Link
  • Willems, A. 2013. Book Review of ‘Criminal Law and Policy in the European Union’, 4(3) New Journal of European Criminal Law, p. 362-366.
  • Willems, A & De Hert, P. 2012. ‘Ernstige zedendelicten grond voor verlies verblijfsrecht EU-burgers’, 3 Tijdschrift voor Mensenrechten, p. 15-16.

Commissioned Research & Policy Work

  • Willems, A. 2013. ‘The UN General Assembly Resolution on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Proceedings- An Example for Europe’, IES Policy Brief 4/2013. Link