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After having worked at the UvA for over thirty years, Dorien Pessers, professor of The Foundations of Private Life in Legal Theory (Rechtstheoretische grondslagen van de persoonlijke levenssfeer), will give her farewell lecture on 7 July at 16:00 in the Aula.

Dorien Pessers

The Farewell Lecture

In her farewell lecture, entitled 'Law and the phantasms of medical biotechnology' (Recht en de fantasma's van de medische biotechnologie), Dorien will speak about eugenic tendencies in medicine and the resulting legal questions.


Dorien Pessers studied law at the Katholieke Universiteit Brabant (now: Tilburg University). After having worked for three years as editorial secretary at the Dutch legal journal Nederlands Juristenblad (NJB), she went to work at Radboud University Nijmegen, then moved to the University of Amsterdam in 1985. She initially taught Women's Studies before later joining the Department of General Law. In 1999 she earned her PhD with a thesis entitled ‘Love, solidarity and law. An interdisciplinary study of the reciprocity principle' (Liefde, solidariteit en recht. Een interdisciplinair onderzoek naar het wederkerigheidsbeginsel). This was followed in 2001 by her appointment as a professor at VU University Amsterdam, and subsequently at the UvA in 2007. 

Pesser's other activities included editor and member of staff at the Nederlands Juristenblad, editor of Nemesis and co-founder of the Clara Wichmann Institute. She was a member of the Dutch Government Committee on opening marriage to individuals of the same gender (Staatscommissie openstelling huwelijk voor personen van hetzelfde geslacht). For five years she was the chair of the Stimulus Advisory Committee on Legal Research (Stimulerings-Adviescommissie Rechtswetenschappelijk Onderzoek) of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). From 2006 she was Deputy Justice at the Court of Amsterdam. In 2009 she succeeded Prof. T. de Boer as chair of the Centre for the Rights of Children at the UvA. From 1992 until 2002, she was a columnist for Dutch daily de Volkskrant

In 2005 Pessers was requested by the Netherlands Government Information Service to conduct a television interview with Queen Beatrix on the occasion of her 25th anniversary as sovereign.

Pessers is a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (Koninklijke Hollandse Maatschappij der Wetenschappen).