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Slingenberg, Lieneke

Slingenberg, Lieneke


The Social Rights of Irregular Migrants. A Quiet Revolution in European Judicial Discourse

Research Question

Increasingly, European courts and supervisory committees judge that the exclusion of irregular migrants from all social benefits is in violation of human rights. Which arguments are used in this case law? Which role does the notion of ‘vulnerability’ play? What does this case law mean for the theory about the direct effect, absoluteness and universality of (social) human rights?

Project Description

This project will investigate the legal reasoning employed by European courts and committees in cases about the social rights of irregular migrants. It will indentify general trends, relevant factors for state responsibility and compare the argumentative techniques of the different bodies. In addition, it will identify and analyse the implications of this case law for traditional legal theory and it will examine, by including moral philosophy, what the significance and meaning of the notion of ‘vulnerability’ is, that judges increasingly refer to.

Selected Publications

• “The Reception of Asylum Seekers under International Law. Between Sovereignty and Equality”, Oxford: Hart Publishing 2014.

• “Social security in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights”, in F. Pennings & G. Vonk (Eds.), Research Handbook on European Social Security Law (Research Handbooks in European Law), Edward Elgar Publishing 2015, pp. 53-83.

• “Toepassing van het Europees Sociaal Handvest in Koppelingswetzaken. Eén Rechtsvraag, drie hoogste rechters”, NTM/NJCM-Bulletin 2015-4, p. 418-435.

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