Photo of Gerhard van der Schyff
  • Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221, Montesquieu Building, room M 427

    5037 DE Tilburg


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Personal profile

Research interests

Gerhard van der Schyff's main research deals with various topics of comparative and European constitutional law and fundamental rights. This includes a focus on constitutional identity, constitutional review by the judiciary, church and state relations, the right to freedom of religion and the constitutional relationship between the EU and its Member States. Gerhard has published widely, including in journals such as the European Constitutional Law Review and the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. In 2015 he held a Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for Experienced Researchers at the Chair of Professor Christian Calliess at the Free University of Berlin, researching various aspects of constitutional identity. He also won a VENI subsidy, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) on the topic of constitutional review in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and South Africa, which resulted in his second doctorate in 2010 from Leiden University. Gerhard's first doctorate was awarded in 2005 from the University of Antwerp in Belgium on the limitation of rights under the ECHR and the South African Bill of Rights. He has spoken widely at universities and conferences, including events in the United Kingdom, Iceland and Poland. Gerhard's research has been cited in various academic works and by various judges, including Justice LeBel of the Supreme Court of Canada (Alberta v. Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony, 2009 SCC 37), Judge of Appeal Ponnan of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa (De Lange v. Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, [2014] ZASCA 151), Justice Shore of the Federal Court of Canada (Bennett v. Canada (Attorney General), 2011 FC 1310), Justice Jubran of the Supreme Court of Israel (sitting as the High Court of Justice in matter 7348/08 in 2009) and Justice Malan of the Johannesburg High Court (Taylor v. Kurtstag NO, [2004] 4 All SA 317 (W)). The Dutch cabinet also made use of Gerhard's research in drafting its response to the 2010 report by the State Commission on the Constitution.


Gerhard van der Schyff is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Law, Jurisprudence and Legal History at Tilburg Law School. Gerhard holds or has held various editorships, at present he is an editor of the European Constitutional Law Review.




Gerhard van der Schyff teaches on a wide number of topics in English and Dutch ranging from constitutional law to fundamental rights and legal systems. Gerhard teaches at LLB and LLM level and has supervised various LLM theses, as well as examined or co-supervised PhD dissertations.

Current courses

Click here for my courses.

External positions

Member of editorial team in chief (public law) (Nederlands Tijdschrift voor kerk en recht)

1 Sep 2010 → …

Editor (European Constitutional Law Review)

1 Sep 2009 → …

Board membership (Stichting Studiefonds voorZuid-Afrikaanse studenten)

1 Jun 2009 → …

Availability for peer reviews (Inter universitair centrum voor onderwijsrecht (ICOR))

1 Aug 2005 → …


  • Comparative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • South African Constitutional Law
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Rule Of Law
  • Church State Relations

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.

Africa Arts & Humanities
European Convention Arts & Humanities
Bill of Rights Arts & Humanities

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Research Output 2002 2017

Championing equality: Evaluating the relationship between the state and religion in South Africa

van der Schyff, G., 2017, In : Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Kerk en Recht. 1, p. 55-73 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Considering the relationship between law and religion in the Netherlands: The case of ritual slaughter

van der Schyff, G., 2017, Ritual Slaughter, Animal Welfare and the Freedom of Religion. Sap, J. W., Zoethout, C. M. & van der Schyff, G. (eds.). Amsterdam: VU University Press, p. 75-99 25 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Constitutional culture in the Netherlands: A sober affair

Adams, M. & van der Schyff, G., 2017, Constitutionalism and the rule of law: Bridging idealism and realism. Adams, M., A. M. & Hirsch Ballin, E. (eds.). Cambridge University Press, p. 358-385 28 p.

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

Constitutional identity of contemporary China: The unitary system and its internal logic

Zhai, H., 2017, 238 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisScientific

Activities 2002 2008

  • 18 Oral presentation
  • 3 Editorial activity

Symposium on constitutionalism in the Netherlands and South Africa

G. van der Schyff (Speaker)
4 Apr 2008

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific

Het recht op godsdienstvrijheid in Zuid-Afrika in perspectief

G. van der Schyff (Speaker)
8 May 2008

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific


G. van der Schyff (Speaker)
29 Oct 2007

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific


G. van der Schyff (Speaker)
17 Oct 2007

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific

Seminar to LLM students

G. van der Schyff (Speaker)
8 May 2007

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific

Projects 2007 2007

Methoden van rechtspraak

van Dijck, G., Adams, M., Overbeeke, A. J., van der Schyff, G., Tanghe, F. E. M., Bomhoff, J. A. & Huls, N.

1/06/07 → …

Project: Research project