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B.C. van Beers

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Personal profile

Personal information

Britta van Beers is associate professor at the department of legal theory and legal history. She is the Director of the Faculty of Law's Graduate School. In her research she explores the legal-philosophical dimensions of the regulation and governance of biomedical technologies.

She graduated in law and philosophy (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam and studied at New York University School of Law. After graduation she worked and studied in Tokyo as part of a 1-year post-graduate programme of Japanese language and culture, organised by the University of Leiden.

Since 2002 she has been part of the law faculty of the VU, first as a PhD candidate, and later as assistant and associate professor. She has been a visiting scholar at the Parisian universities Panthéon-Sorbonne and EHESS.


One of the main themes in her re­search con­cerns the legal and le­gal-philo­soph­i­cal mean­ing of con­cepts such as per­son, hu­man­ity and dig­nity, es­pe­cially in the light of cur­rent bio­med­ical de­vel­op­ments (e.g. Van Beers 2009 and 2017). Of spe­cial in­ter­est to her are the sym­bolic di­men­sions and ef­fects of the law within the reg­u­la­tion of new tech­no­log­i­cal is­sues. Good il­lus­tra­tions are the in­ter­na­tional books that she co-edited on the con­cept of hu­man­ity across in­ter­na­tional law and bi­o­law (Van Beers, Cor­rias & Werner 2014), on the sym­bolic di­men­sions of law in gen­eral, and bi­o­law in par­tic­u­lar (Van Klink, Van Beers & Poort 2016) and on personalised medicine, individual choice and the common good (Van Beers, Sterckx & Dickenson 2018). She is par­tic­u­larly in­trigued by the legal and philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions raised by the reg­u­la­tion of as­sisted re­pro­duc­tive tech­nolo­gies, such as wrong­ful birth and wrong­ful life ac­tions, sur­ro­gacy and re­pro­duc­tive tourism (e.g. Van Beers 2015 and 2016). Cur­rently, she is in­volved in in­ter­na­tional re­search pro­jects on the gov­er­nance of per­son­alised med­i­cine and on re­pro­duc­tive tourism.

Main publications:


Van Beers teaches the following courses:

  • Bioethics, technology and law (master)
  • Encyclopedie II (Philosophy of law, B3)

Additionally, she coordinates the university minor Technology, law and ethics

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Ancillary activities are updated daily


  • K Law
  • biolaw
  • health law
  • legal theory
  • B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
  • philosophy of law
  • bioethics

Research Output 2003 2019

Welkom in de CRISPR-dierentuin: Juridische grenzen aan genetische modificatie van het nageslacht in het CRISPR-tijdperk

van Beers, B. C., 17 Jun 2019, In : Nederlands Juristenblad. 2019, 24, p. 1722-1730 9 p., 1371.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Dickenson, D., van Beers, B. C. & Sterckx, S., 2018, Personalised medicine, individual choice and the common good. van Beers, B., Sterckx, S. & Dickenson, D. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 1-16 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

Personalised medicine, individual choice and the common good

van Beers, B. C. (ed.), Sterckx, S. (ed.) & Dickenson, D. (ed.), Nov 2018, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 308 p. (Cambridge Bioethics and Law)

Research output: Book / ReportBook editingAcademic

Position paper deskundigenbijeenkomst in Tweede Kamer over wijziging Embryowet

van Beers, B. C., 4 Jun 2018

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formOnline publication or WebsiteProfessional

Van individu naar dividu: Lessen uit de Silicon Valley voor de regulering van kunstmatige voortplanting

van Beers, B. C., 2018, In : Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidsrecht. 42, 3, p. 204-217 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic

Open Access

Activities 2006 2019

Fertility Fraud: From Patient Experience to Legal Reform

B.C. van Beers (Organiser)
16 Oct 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventSeminarAcademic

Scenarioworkshop kiembaanmodificatie (Rathenau Instituut)

B.C. van Beers (Participant)
4 Jun 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventWorkshopSocietal

Grenzen aan genetische keuzevrijheid

B.C. van Beers (Speaker)
6 Jun 2019

Activity: Lecture / PresentationProfessional

The Shifting Limits of Self-Determination in Dutch Euthanasia Law and Practice

B.C. van Beers (Speaker)
11 Apr 2019

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Diner pensant 'speciaal kweken embryo's'

B.C. van Beers (Participant)
19 Sep 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOther eventSocietal


mr. C.J. Goudsmitprijs

B.C. van Beers (Recipient), 15 Apr 2011


Praemium Erasmianum Studieprijs

B.C. van Beers (Recipient), 15 Dec 2011


Press / Media

In de maak: fairtrade draagmoederbaby

B.C. van Beers


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

De Baby-Industrie

B.C. van Beers


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Het recht op een kind bestaat niet

B.C. van Beers


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Wat betekent de nieuwe donorwet?

B.C. van Beers


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment