Ellen Desmet

Faculty of Law and Criminology
Department of European, Public and International Law
Expertise: Migration law; Human rights law

Ellen Desmet is an Assistant Professor of Migration Law. She teaches migration law, coordinates the migration law component of the Human Rights and Migration Law Clinic, and co-lectures legal anthropology.

Her research program analyses how migration law functions in a globalised world and interacts with changing realities of – among others – refugee flows, increasing inequalities and an ageing population in Europe. The question arises whether – rather than with a ‘refugee crisis’  – we are not confronted with a crisis of the legal system regulating migration. International, European and national migration law is studied in an integrated way from a critical perspective, with particular attention for human rights implications. Where relevant, legal research methods are combined with socio-scientific ones, and interdisciplinary research projects are set up.

Until September 2016, Ellen was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Human Rights Centre (50%) and at the Law and Development Research Group of the University of Antwerp (50%). She was the Project Manager of the Interuniversity Attraction Pole (IAP) “The Global Challenge of Human Rights Integration: Towards a Users’ Perspective” (UGent) and the methodological advisor of the Localising Human Rights research program (UAntwerpen).

Before joining the Human Rights Centre in 2012, Ellen worked as a Senior Research and Policy Advice Officer at the Children’s Rights Knowledge Centre, and she was a Substitute Lecturer in Anthropology of Law at the KU Leuven. She complemented her Law Degree with a Master in Cultures and Development Studies and a Master in Development Cooperation, and holds a PhD in Law from the KU Leuven (2010).