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Koen Lemmens

Koen Lemmens
Human Rights
Tiensestraat 45 - box 3441
3000 Leuven

tel: +32 16 32 54 34


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


query=user:U0071951 year:[1999 TO 2019] sresource_type:thesis-dissertation&institution=lirias&from=1&step=20&sort=scdate
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  • thesis-dissertation
    Nouws, B; 2019. 'Van de woede der Noormannen en vertalers verlos ons heer!' Opvattingen over vertaling en juridisch vertaalbeleid in België, 1830-1914.
    Ever since the Belgian state has existed, the so called 'language question' has been on the minds and tongues of many people, including leading politicians, judges, jurists and administrative officials (groups that were intimately intertwined in the 19th century). Though French was chosen the sole official language immediately after the Revolution in 1830 and without much debate, claims would soon (and predictably) arise to accommodate Dutch-speaking speaking citizens, who constituted a numeric majority of the population, and of whom many did not master French. One way to enable them to communicate with local and state governments, administrations and courts, was to have these institutions use Dutch (next to French) themselves. The strife for the use of the vernacular in public institutions has been well documented by historians, who have however barely dwelled on another option, which was to communicate with Flemish people through translations. Belgium's (overt and covert) policy on translation has never been mapped out, nor has the role played by translations in the daily practices of local institutions, like city councils and lower courts. It is the intent of this PhD and that of two fellow doctoral students to do just that. More specifically, my research will focus on the ideas and beliefs about translation of people at different institutional levels and from different social and geographical backgrounds in the long nineteenth century. Who thought translations were a good/bad way to go and why? What translations were deemed necessary/redundant? How were translations supposed to be organized, according to different people? How did translation beliefs differ for the central and local level and between cities? What can these beliefs tell us about different group's views on (multilingual/monolingual) citizenship, nationality and nation building, democracy, human rights, the status of different languages, etc.?

  • thesis-dissertation
    Lemmens, Koen; 2003. 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 du droit belge.