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Personal profile

Personal information

Ester Herlin-Karnell is Professor of EU Constitutional Law and Justice and a University Research Chair at VU University Amsterdam. She is the Director and founder of the VU Centre for European Legal Studies. She holds degrees from Oxford University (DPhil), King’s College London (LLM) and Stockholm University (Jur Kand). Ester has held visiting fellowships at New York University School of Law (Emile Noel fellow), European University Institute and at Michigan University Law School. She has also recently been a visiting fellow at the WZB, Berlin Social Science Centre, in the Centre for Global Constitutionalism (in spring 2014 and spring 2015 respectively) and at the Global Trust Centre, Tel Aviv University (fall 2015) as well as at the Minerva Centre for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions, Haifa University and at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (early spring 2017 respectively).
Her research interests lie in constitutional law and theory, criminal law, AFSJ law, EU law, EU external relations, political theory and transnational risk regulation. In 2012 she received a personal VENI grant funded by the Netherlands Scientific Organisation for a research project entitled ‘Balancing the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in a Multi-Speed European Union’ (2013-2015) and she is currently working on a monograph project entitled ‘The Constitutional Structure of Europe’s Area of “Freedom, Security and Justice” and the Right to Justification’ forthcoming with Hart publishing (Hart series in Security and Justice). She is the author of the “Constitutional Dimension of European Criminal Law” (Hart publishing 2012). She is also the co-author (with C. Semmelmann and G Conway) of ‘Advanced EU law in context’ (forthcoming Hart publishing 2018) and (with N. Ryder) of ‘Market manipulation and insider trading: regulatory challenges in United States of America, the European Union, the United Kingdom’ (forthcoming Hart publishing 2018) as well as the co-editor (with M Fletcher & C Matera) of The European Union as an Area of 
Freedom, Security and Justice (Routledge 2016) and with Poul F Kjaer of a special issue in Transnational Legal Theory (2017 issue 1 ) on dimensions of justice and justification in EU and transnational contexts. She is currently working on, inter alia, an edited volume co-edited with Matthias Klatt entitled Constitutionalism Justified forthcoming with Oxford University Press 2018 and with R Haverkamp and C Lernestedt on an edited book entilited What is Wrong with Human Trafficking? Critical Perspectives on the Law forthcoming with Hart publishing 2018.


Ester Herlin-Karnell currently participates in the faculty research programme Boundaries of Law and in activities of the Centre for European Legal Studies. She is also a VU Amsterdam representative at the Centre for External relations (CLEER) Asser institute and a member of the Meijers committee of human rights, international migration and criminal law.

Main Publications

All VU Amsterdam publications, via Research Output

Other publications before 2009 see SSRN Author page

and Researchgate



European constitutional law
Internal market law
European security law and counter terrorism
Human rights and globalization (honours programme)
Visiting professor (recently at Haifa Global Law School)

Current PhD supervision at VU Amsterdam

Mr Aravind Ganesh, project entitled "A Legal Theory of the EU as a Global Human Rights actor",


Mr Francis Dusabe, "Supranational Prosecution of the Crime of  Corruption: A comparative study of European and African perspectives"


Ancillary activities

  • Commissie Meijers | Amsterdam | Adviseur | 2015-07-01

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

EU Social Sciences
justice Social Sciences
criminal law Social Sciences
European Law Social Sciences
Law Social Sciences
offense Social Sciences
money laundering Social Sciences
subsidiarity Social Sciences

Research Output 2009 2018

Advanced EU Law in Context - forthcoming

Herlin Karnell, S. E. M., Conway, G. & Semmelmann, C., 2018, (Accepted/In press) Oxford: Hart publishing Oxford forthcoming.

Research output: Book / ReportBookAcademicpeer-review

EU Security Governance and Financial Crimes

Herlin Karnell, S. E. M. & De Busser, E., 2 Oct 2018, In : German Law Journal. 19, 5, p. 1117-1123 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Activities 2009 2018

The public uses of coercion and force:from constitutionalism to war

Herlin Karnell, S. E. M. (Organiser)
1 Feb 20182 Feb 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConferenceAcademic

Paper on the pros and cons of European integration in criminal law

Herlin Karnell, S. E. M. (Speaker)
25 Jan 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

ICON-S annual conference

Herlin Karnell, S. E. M. (Chair)
5 Jul 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConferenceAcademic