Dr. Jill E.B. Coster van Voorhout

Senior ​Researcher
Dr. Jill E.B. Coster van Voorhout LLM MSc, a lawyer and sociologist, is an expert in criminal law and procedure, as well as in the prevention and combat of international and transnational crimes. Her work on fact-finding and accountability focuses on enhancing investigations by criminal law and human rights law experts in cases before courts and tribunals or other international fora. Her efforts on enhancing cross-learning between regimes that are designed to counter international and transnational crimes highlight crimes such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling. For example, she has initiated a public-private partnership with a financial institution in order to improve financial investigations and responsible supply chain management by commercial customers. 

Her recent three books are entitled Ineffective Legal Assistance (Brill I Nijhoff Publishers, 2016); Shifting Responsibilities in Criminal Procedures (Eleven Publishers, 2012 edited volume with her chapter); and Human Trafficking for Labour Exploitation (Utrecht University Press, 2009). Her other publications include a handbook chapter in ECHR Case Law (SDU Publishers, 2013); peer-reviewed journal articles; and policy briefs.

Dr. Coster van Voorhout is a frequent commentator in the media on cases before international courts and tribunals; complex international inquiries (e.g. MH17); universal jurisdiction; and transnational and international crimes. She acts as Special Advisor to the ICC legal aid system expert assessment team and as Expert on Boards of two European Commission-funded projects on human trafficking and migrant smuggling. She is also a contributing member of INPROL and AIDP.

Dr. Coster van Voorhout is also a Senior Researcher at the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology at Utrecht University, where she will design and deliver a human trafficking-course at Utrecht University in March 2017 (LLM, Capita Selecta). From March to May 2017, she will also teach a course on international crimes and diplomacy at Webster University.

Before joining the Institute, she has conducted research at Oxford and Nottingham University; Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia; and Utrecht University, where she was awarded the 2010 Utrecht University Law Prize and 2009 fifth-annual Social Sciences Vliegenthart Law Prize for her articles and thesis. Her previous academic and post-academic courses comprise two Professionalization Courses for Counsel (five and eight years’ experience; in English and Dutch: 2010-11); the LLM-course Human Rights and Criminal Law (in English: 2010-11); the LLB- and LLM-course ICC Moot Court (in English: 2008-10); the LLB-course Criminal Law: Introduction (in Dutch: 2008–10); and the LLM-course International and Comparative Criminal Law (in Spanish: 2007).

Dr. Coster van Voorhout holds a PhD in law with a visiting scholarship at Oxford University (All Souls College, thanks to a Wiarda Foundation scholarship). She completed her MSc and LLM in social sciences and legal research (honors program, cum laude) and her BSc and two LLBs in social sciences, international and European institutional law, and international criminal law from Utrecht University. She has always combined theory with practice, inter alia at the Red Cross, a specialized criminal law firm, and a district court.

Languages spoken

  • English
  • Dutch
  • Spanish
  • French

Regional Expertise/Focus

The Hague & The Netherlands

Current Projects

Past Initiative: The Hague Approach

Justice can be a scarce commodity in countries affected by conflicts. The Hague Institute draws lessons from experiences of post-conflict rebuilding activities in Afghanistan…


Recent Work

Protecting Education During Conflict

The Doha Centre for Media Freedom has published an article about the International Conference on Human Rights Based Approach to Conflict Situations in the Arab…

Media Mention
As the sun sets, hundreds line up for food at a transit camp near the Tunisia-Libya border. Credit: David Ohana/OCHA AVMU

Bridging The Hague – Geneva Divide

On 6 January 2017, the Group of Practitioners in Fact-Finding & Accountability unanimously concluded “Bridging The Hague – Geneva Divide: Recommendations to Maximize Benefit…

News Brief