mr. G.J.A. Geertjes

  • PhD candidate
  • comparative constitutional law
  • constitutional conventions

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 1376
Faculty / Department: Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Instituut voor Publiekrecht, Staats- en Bestuursrecht
Office Address: Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number A159


Gert Jan Geertjes is a PhD candidate and junior lecturer at the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law of Leiden University. He teaches a course in constitutional law for first year law students (Beginselen van de democratische rechtsstaat) and tutorials in a course for master students (Privatissimum en Practicum Constitutionele vraagstukken in Europese context). In addition, he prepares a PhD thesis on the influence of consitutional conventions on the Dutch constitution.


Gert Jan holds law degrees from the University of Groningen (Legal Research Master, 2012) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LLM, 2013). After graduating, he joined the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law of Leiden University as a junior lecturer and research associate (2013-2015). In September 2015, he started his PhD research at the same department.


In his PhD thesis, Gert Jan aims to shed more light on the nature of constitutional conventions. Constitutions only contain the most fundamental rules of a legal order and do thus not fully determine how the institutions of a legal system should fulfil their functions. In practice, institutions will have to take recourse to constitutional conventions: informal constitutional rules which regulate the conduct of the several members of the sovereign power.

In the Netherlands, conventions seem to govern for instance the formation of the cabinet, the position of the senate and the ministerial responsibility. Conventions help to ensure that the institutions of the state fulfil their functions in accordance with the fundamental principles or values of the constitution, such as the rule of law, democracy and the protection of human rights. Constitutional conventions therefore seem to be of fundamental importance to every constitutional system. However, for the last decades they have been an understudied phenomenon in Dutch scholarship. The aim of this PhD project is to fill this gap by investigating what role constitutional conventions play in the context of the Dutch constitution.


Last Modified: 20-06-2016