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mr.drs. Maurits Helmich

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Research interests

Maurits Helmich’s research covers topics of legal philosophy, constitutional law, and political theory. He is especially interested in theoretical questions about indeterminacy in law, the exercise of judicial discretion, and the way in which legal normativity can be used to discipline action under the law. More broadly, Maurits is involved with debates concerning jurisprudential methodology, the nature of political authority, and the mediating potential of liberal institutions.   Currently, Maurits is working on his doctoral project (“Depoliticizing the Judge? On the Limits of Legality as a Constraint to Judicial Power”). It is often said that, in adjudicating cases, judges ought to refrain from entering the “political” domain, and should instead stick to passing principled legal judgment. But how is this notion supposed to curb judicial power in practice, and what if this norm of judicial “apoliticality” itself becomes the subject of dispute? By using a wide set of international case studies, Maurits aims to formulate an answer to these questions.   Before starting his current project, Maurits studied at Leiden University. There, he obtained *cum laude* master’s degrees in both law and philosophy. He wrote his master’s theses on topics concerning the freedom of expression, and to what extent the right to be heard can override rights not to be silenced.


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