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. In 2022-2023 she was appointed on a Francqui chair at the Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp.


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  bio­med­ical de­vel­op­ments. Of spe­cial in­ter­est to her are the sym­bolic di­men­sions and functions 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, human germline gene editing, sur­ro­gacy, and 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

  • Gezondheidsraad | Den Haag | lid beraadsgroep | 2024-05-14 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Personal information

Contact details

T: +31 20 59 82590

E: [email protected]

MAILING ADDRESS: De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands 

VISITING ADDRESS: Initium Building, De Boelelaan 1077, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands


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