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Koen Lemmens

Koen Lemmens
Human Rights
Tiensestraat 45 - box 3441
3000 Leuven
Belgium

tel: +32 16 32 54 34
contact

Biography

Prof. Dr. Koen Lemmens (born 1976) studied law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He obtained his law degree ("Licentiaat in de Rechten") in 1999 (magna cum laude). In 2003, he obtained his PhD at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) with a thesis on "La presse et la protection juridique de l'individu: attention aux chiens de garde! Pour un exercice responsable de la liberté de presse à l'aune de la Convention européenne des droits de l'homme et de la Constitution belge". Koen Lemmens began his academic career teaching an introductory course on comparative law (2004-2011) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he also taught legal theory (2008-2011) and comparative constitutional law (2007-2012). He also taught at the University of Antwerp (2008-2012).

Currently, Koen Lemmens is a professor of human rights law at K.U.Leuven and teaches press law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is also teaching in the E.Ma-programme in Venice, Italy.

He is an attorney at the Brussels bar, specialized in proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights and the Belgian Constitutional Court. Koen Lemmens is also a member of the scientific committee of several legal journals.

Areas of specialization

  • Human Rights
  • (Comparative) Constitutional Law
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Religion/State relation
  • Law and Literature

Publications

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  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2019. Protocol No 16 to the ECHR: Managing Backlog through Complex judicial dialogues?. European Constitutional Law Review
    LIRIAS2821402
    description

    Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
    Accepted
  • Lemmens, Koen; 2018. Noot Girleanu. European Human Rights Cases; 2018; Vol. 19; iss. 11; pp. 667 - 669
    LIRIAS2342981
    description

    Publisher: Nederlands Juristen Comité voor de Mensenrechten
    Published
  • Lemmens, Koen; 2018. The Margin of Appreciation in the ECtHR’s Case Law A European Version of the Levels of Scrutiny Doctrine?. European Journal of Law Reform; 2018; Vol. 20; iss. 2-3; pp. 78 - 96
    LIRIAS1994735
    description

    Publisher: Eleven International Publishing
    Published
  • Lemmens, Koen; 2018. Noot (EHRM, arrest Taulats en Capellera). European Human Rights Cases; 2018; iss. 7; pp. 130 - 131
    LIRIAS1994379
    description

    Publisher: Nederlands Juristen Comité voor de Mensenrechten
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2018. Irreligious Cartoons and Freedom of Expression: A Critical Reassessment. Human Rights Law Review; 2018; Vol. 18; iss. 1; pp. 89 - 109
    LIRIAS1839725
    description
    © The Author(s) [2018]. In a recent article, Neville Cox argued that there is no right under international human rights law to publish 'irreligious' cartoons. Secondly, he questioned the very idea of such a right. Finally, he argued that, given the fact that there is no international right to publish irreligious cartoons and that the message spread by the cartoons was akin to hate speech, the 'real' reason for the international solidarity with Charlie Hebdo may have been 'Islamophobia'. In this article, I will argue that Cox may be right in holding that there is no international right to 'irreligious speech', but I will question his reasoning. Secondly, I will argue that, under robust free speech theory, arguments in favour of suppressing anti-religious speech are highly questionable. Finally, and irrespective of the two previous points, I will argue that Cox's conclusion is mere speculation, and there are no compelling arguments for adhering to it.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2017. Noot. European Human Rights Cases; 2017; Vol. 18; iss. 10; pp. 566 - 569
    LIRIAS1839747
    description

    Publisher: Nederlands Juristen Comité voor de Mensenrechten
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2017. The dark side of ‘Zwarte Piet’: A misunderstood tradition or racism in disguise? A legal analysis. The International Journal of Human Rights; 2017; Vol. 21; iss. 2; pp. 120 - 141
    LIRIAS640649
    description
    © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. There is a passionate debate going on in the Netherlands and Flanders on the figure of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). Zwarte Piet is a character that is part of the tradition of ‘Sinterklaas’1: Piet is the black valet of Sinterklaas. Because of the stereotyped depiction of Sinterklaas’ companion (black face, thick rouged lips, curly hair, golden earrings, pageboy dress) it is argued that Zwarte Piet is a form of racism. Activists advocate, therefore, that Zwarte Piet be abolished or that he lose at least his characteristic features, associated with colonialism and slavery. In this article I will argue that understanding the Sinterklaas tradition is very complicated. There is no consensus on the appearance and the origins of Zwarte Piet, the tradition has changed over time and there seems to be (minor) geographical differences between the various European regions (in this article, the focus is on the Netherlands and Flanders). As a consequence, multiple readings and interpretations of the Zwarte Piet figure are possible. Both the opponents of Zwarte Piet and his defenders have good arguments to back their interpretation of the tradition. Under these circumstances, it is not for the law to decide which interpretation should prevail: in dubio, pro libertate. A solution can only be found through societal debate.
    Publisher: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2017. Noot. European Human Rights Cases; 2017; iss. 3; pp. 172 - 175
    LIRIAS1839724
    description

    Publisher: Nederlands Juristen Comité voor de Mensenrechten
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2017. Is vrijheidsbeneming gemakkelijk staand te houden?. Vigiles: Tijdschrift voor Politierecht; 2017; Vol. 2016; iss. 5; pp. 218 - 222
    LIRIAS1839681
    description

    Publisher: Politeia
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2016. Je suis anonyme. Qui est reponsable de mes dires?. Revue du Droit des Technologies de l'Information; 2016; iss. 61; pp. 127 - 138
    LIRIAS1839706
    description


    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2016. Liegen, moraal en recht: een verrassend complexe driehoeksverhouding. Karakter: Tijdschrift van Wetenschap; 2016; Vol. 55; pp. 9 - 11
    LIRIAS1839684
    description

    Publisher: Academische Stichting Leuven
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2016. Noot: Strafvermindering als compensatie voor privacyinbreuk. Tijdschrift voor Jeugd en Kinderrechten; 2016; iss. 2; pp. 188 - 193
    LIRIAS1839686
    description

    Publisher: De Boeck & Larcier
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2015. Noot: onpartijdig informeren: de persrechter en het strafproces. Tijdschrift voor Strafrecht; 2015; iss. 6; pp. 360 - 362
    LIRIAS1839656
    description

    Publisher: Kluwer
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2015. Noot. European Human Rights Cases; 2015; iss. 9; pp. 509 - 512
    LIRIAS1839688
    description

    Publisher: Nederlands Juristen Comité voor de Mensenrechten
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2014. De politie gefilmd: l'arroseur arrosé?. Rechtskundig Weekblad; 2014; Vol. 2014; iss. 5; pp. 162 - 162
    LIRIAS1839552
    description

    Publisher: Intersentia
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2014. De relatieve waarde van privacy. Rechtskundig Weekblad; 2014; Vol. 77; iss. 36; pp. 1402 - 1402
    LIRIAS1839539
    description

    Publisher: Intersentia
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2014. Mag ik dit zeggen?. Auteurs en Media; 2014; iss. 1; pp. 78 - 79
    LIRIAS1839511
    description

    Publisher: Larcier
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2014. Larvatus prodeo? Why Concealing the Face can be Incompatible with a European Conception of Human Rights. European Law Review; 2014; Vol. 39; iss. 1; pp. 47 - 71
    LIRIAS640663
    description
    © 2014 Thomson Reuters (Professional) UK Limited and Contributors. The French and Belgian burqa bans are heavily criticised by many legal scholars since they constitute a disproportionate and discriminatory (ifnot "racist") interference with the freedom of religion, as protected by art.9 ECHR. In this article, I argue that this critique fails to see that the phenomenon of the burqa raises questions primarily about the concept of concealing the face in public that go beyond mere problems of freedom of religion. The question that has to be addressed is whether (new) cultural practices, even if in some forms they may be inspired by religious beliefs, can be outlawed whenever they affect the core of what it means to live together in a society. I claim that this is a political question-rather than a legal one- and that both possible answers to it are compatible with the ECHR.
    Publisher: Sweet and Maxwell
    Published
  • journal-article
    Schaiko, Guan; Lemmens, Paul; Lemmens, Koen; 2014. Belgium. ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; 2014; Vol. 622; iss. 1; pp. 95 - 143
    LIRIAS139884
    description
    Belgium illustrates the traditional European civil law tradition of emphasis on principles of civil litigation based on individual rights and standing. That tradition, requiring legislative rather than judicial authorization, has blocked general reform of collective representation and led to gradual recognition of individual and rather complex exceptions, overlaid by EU measures. No innovative reforms have yet crystallized.
    Publisher: Intersentia
    Published
  • journal-article
    Lemmens, Koen; 2013. In havenmetropool geldt: dokken. Tijdschrift voor Mensenrechten; 2013; iss. 1; pp. 3 - 3
    LIRIAS1839420
    description

    Publisher: Liga MR
    Published