If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Personal information

Britta van Beers is professor of law, ethics and biotechnology 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. She was a visiting scholar at the Parisian universities Panthéon-Sorbonne and EHESS in 2005. In December 2019 she was appointed as full professor on the VU University Research Chair.


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 2020

Reactie op M. Cornel en M. Smalbrugge, 'Kiembaanmodificatie: waarom mag het niet?'

van Beers, B. C., 2020, In : Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde. 164, 1, p. 4 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalComment / Letter to the editorAcademic

The Regulation of Human Germline Genome Modification in the Netherlands

van Beers, B. C., de Kluiver, C. & Maas, R., 2020, Human Germline Genome Modification and the Right to Science: A Comparative Study of National Laws and Policies. Boggio, A., Romano, C. & Almqvist, J. (eds.). Cambridge University Press, p. 309-344

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

"The Obsolescence of Human Beings" and the Non-Obsolescence of Law's Natural Persons: Transformations of Legal Personhood Through the Lens of "Promethean Shame"

van Beers, B. C., Dec 2019, Personhood in the Age of Biolegality: Brave New Law. de Leeuw, M. & van Wichelen, S. (eds.). Switzerland: Palgrave / MacMillan, p. 187-204 (Biolegalities).

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

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

Activities 2006 2019

Diner pensant 'speciaal kweken embryo's'

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

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOther eventSocietal

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

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

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Scenarioworkshop kiembaanmodificatie (Rathenau Instituut)

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

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventWorkshopSocietal

Fertility Fraud: From Patient Experience to Legal Reform

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

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventSeminarAcademic

Debate about Michele Goodwin's 'Policing the Womb'

B.C. van Beers (Speaker)
2 Dec 2019

Activity: Lecture / PresentationProfessional


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