Kees Waaldijk, McDonald/Wright Chair of Law & Visiting Professor of Law
Kees Waaldijk is a distinguished LGBT legal scholar best known for comparative law projects focusing on LGBT legal rights, the legal recognition of same-sex couples, and anti-discrimination protections. As of Spring 2012, Waaldijk is the first Chair of Comparative Sexual Orientation Law at Leiden Law School in the Netherlands. He cultivates an international network of scholars interested in LGBT law and his work bridges traditional legal research and empirical research, making him an excellent fit for the Williams Institute’s interdisciplinary focus and growing international presence.
Waaldijk obtained his Masters Degree in Law at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. From 1982 until 1995 he taught Public Law and Legal Skills at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, where in 1994 he obtained his Doctoral Degree. Since 1996, he has taught at Leiden University, where he is currently a professor of Comparative Sexual Orientation Law. From 1987 until 1998 he was also a researcher and adjunct professor at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, in the Department of Gay and Lesbian Studies, and later as researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights. He has been teaching courses on Sexual Orientation Law, as well as post-graduate courses in Legislative Drafting and in Family Law, at various universities.
In 1989 Waaldijk spent a year in the United Kingdom, first as a senior visiting research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and then teaching British Constitutional Law at the University of Lancaster (ERASMUS staff exchange). In 2000 he was a visiting professor at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he taught the course Human Rights Law in Europe. From December 2000 to March 2011 Waaldijk was Head of PhD Studies at Leiden Law School. He was responsible for the PhD program, acted as adviser to the candidates, and organized their evaluations. He advised both the Research Board and the Faculty Board on matters relating to the PhD candidates and their training, monitored the progress of PhD research, and taught on research methodology in law.
Waaldijk has been an adviser on law & sexual orientation to numerous individuals, organizations, lawyers and politicians, and has had an active role in several test cases and legislative lobbies. He was a delegate to the International Lesbian and Gay Association (1987/93), a member of the Dutch Government’s Commission of legal experts advising on the opening up of civil marriage to same-sex couples (1996/97), and a member of the Dutch Council for Family Affairs (1994/99). From 1999 to 2007 he was one of the editors of the annual collection of opinions of the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission. He has been an advisor on evaluation studies commissioned by the Dutch government about the workings of the General Equal Treatment Act (1999), the Law on Registered Partnership (1999 and 2006), and the Law on the Opening Up of Marriage to same-sex couples (2006).
Waaldijk is a founding member of the International Lesbian and Gay Law Association and of the European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law. From 2002 to 2004 he coordinated the European Group of Experts on Combating Sexual Orientation Discrimination, which reported to the Commission of the European Communities, about the implementation of the Employment Equality Directive. In 2009 Kees was shortlisted for the Dutch Government’s bi-annual prize for LGBT emancipation.