Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) has been established in 1880 and is known for its distinctive approach to knowledge. The VU is an open organization, strongly linked to people and society. Approximately 2000 academics are employed by VU Amsterdam. They range from young and talented PhD students, to outstanding professors.

The Faculty of Law of the VU University has been at the forefront of societal development and public service. The Faculty of Law focuses on interdisciplinary and international research. Law in action is a key focus of education and research, and a strong emphasis is put on making a connection between academia and the legal practice. The Faculty of Law is one of the biggest faculties of the VU University. Each year around 600 students start their first year. Research output and education is of high quality.

The Faculty of Law is home to the Amsterdam Law and Behaviour Institute (A-LAB). A-LAB carries out multidisciplinary research on the function, the effects and the meaning of law and legal procedures for those who resort to the legal system. A-LAB was founded in 2010. Members collaborate with different disciplinary backgrounds: criminology, psychology, education, law, demography, research methods and econometrics. A-LAB is an interfaculty collaborative effort of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Faculty of Law, Psychology & Education, Social Sciences, and the NWO institute NSCR (Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime & Law Enforcement).



Dr. Nieke Elbers

Contact: n.elbers@vu.nl – URL: https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/nieke-elbers

Dr. Elbers has conducted 14 years of research into the needs, expectations, and experiences of victims in a compensation process. Her research interests are victim participation, empowerment, procedural justice and legal representation in the civil law and criminal law context.



Prof. Arno Akkermans

Contact: a.j.akkermans@vu.nl – URL: https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/arno-j-akkermans

Prof Akkermans is a civil law professor since 1999. His research is on the impact of law and legal procedure on the wellbeing and health of individuals, in particular in the context of personal injury. He has supervised several studies into compensation in criminal law and is a former member of the tribunal for compensation of victims of sexual abuse in juvenile protection institutions of the Dutch Violent Offences Compensation Fund. He has an extensive network in civil and criminal law


Dr. Nieke Elbers and prof. Arno Akkermans closely collaborate with mrs. Monique de Groot, director of the Dutch Violent Offences Compensation Fund. Together they have an extensive network of practitioners assisting victims of severe crimes. The group has expert knowledge on legal representation and compensation of victims of severe crimes, among which sexual violence. The group has a standing research collaboration with the Dutch Victim Support organization, which supports more than 7500 victims of sexual violence per year. They also have close connections with the Dutch Centres for sexual violence, who conducted research on why women do not report sexual crimes, and with the Central Judicial Collection Agency.