Social Justice Expertise Center (SJEC)

Developments in globalization and industrialization continuously push governments, international organizations, and NGOs to reexamine the opportunities available to people at all levels of society to attain basic socioeconomic necessities and capacities. 

Research into existing social justice initiatives shows a need for an institution that serves as a one-stop shop for individuals, businesses, NGOs and policymakers seeking advice and information or needing technical assistance relating to social justice; specifically pertaining to international labor rights and regulatory framework.


Therefore, The Hague Institute for Global Justice and Leiden University have established the Social Justice Expertise Center (SJEC), an institution whose programs are designed to detect these deficiencies and address them for relevant stakeholders.


The following are the aims and working methods of SJEC:


  • SJEC conducts research, publishes and develops policy advice on the application, implementation, and enforcement of existing labor right frameworks. 
  • SJEC organizes and facilitates thematic formal and informal multi-stakeholder dialogues on relevant international labor issues.
  • SJEC undertakes tailor-made capacity-building projects which aim at equipping labor rights stakeholders with the necessary tools for maximizing the outputs of their professional endeavors.
  • SJEC aims to develop a well-recognized online platform for fundamental labor rights documentation.

Expected Outcomes

International Labor Rights Case Law (ILaRC) Journal 
SJEC is currently collaborating with BRILL Publishers to produce the International Labor Rights Case Law (ILaRC) Journal. ILaRC focuses primarily on international developments relating to case law on fundamental rights at the workplace. The Journal provides access to the relevant texts of key international cases, drawing upon the decisions of regional and international mechanisms. This includes (quasi)judicial decisions from the ILO Committees, the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as well as key national courts such as the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of India. ILaRC also contains commentaries on selected decisions from leading international labor law academics from around the world.  The Editorial Board of ILaRC consists of:


  • Professor Niklas Bruun
    Professor of Private Law, University of Helsinki
  • Mr. Lance Compa
    Senior Lecturer, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University
  • Professor Judy Fudge
    Professor of International Labor Law, University of Kent
  • Professor Roel Nieuwenkamp
    Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct,
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
  • Justice Silvana Sciarra
    Professor of Labor Law, University of Florence
    Judge at the Italian Constitutional Court
  • Professor Nicola Smit
    Dean of Potchefstroom Faculty of Law, North-West University
  • Ms. Anne Trebilcock
    Former Legal Counsel, ILO
    Labour Law Institute, University of Göttingen
  • Professor Paul van der Heijden (Journal Editor-in-Chief)
    Professor of Labor Law at Leiden University
    Independent Chairman of the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA)
  • Dr. Abiodun Williams
    President, The Hague Institute for Global Justice

The first of the triannual ILaRC issues was published in April 2015. The 2nd and 3rd issues will be published in July and November 2015, respectively. To subscribe, visit the following link.


Contact Persons

Dr. Julie McBride

Manuella Appiah


Training Seminars for Labor Practitioners (ILaRC Seminars)

The Social Justice Expertise Center shall organize regular stakeholders’ workshops on fundamental labor rights case-law. These seminars will be used to highlight the most relevant recent fundamental labor right decisions and their importance for future of global labor rights application. The ILaRC seminars shall welcome legal practitioners, civil society representatives and scholars active in the field of labor rights. Special training sessions will also be organized for judges working within international labor rights decision-making and who have an interest in keeping up to date on developments in other (quasi-)judicial bodies. 


Each seminar shall be delivered by a highly esteemed scholar in the field of international labor rights. For attorneys in the Netherlands, the training can be used as a means to acquire the study credits as required by the Netherlands Bar Association (NOvA).


The inaugural training session is scheduled for November 2015.


Contact person

Manuella Appiah


Online database for Fundamental Labor Rights 

As part of achieving its ambitions of becoming a well-recognized online hub for fundamental labor rights documentation, SJEC will develop an online database containing a sophisticated search engine that will allow labor rights stakeholders access to structured documentation relating to the subject. The content of the website will specifically focus on fundamental labor rights documentation. The documentation will comprise of international legal frameworks, links to relevant organization that deal with fundamental labor rights organizations and publications on the subject and so on. The interactive web-portal shall also serve as a means to subscribe to and access issues of the International Labor Rights Case Law (ILaRC) Journal. The construction of the database will commence in Spring 2015. 

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News and Commentary

Inaugural Issue of the Journal of ‘International Labor Rights Case Law' (ILaRC) available
07 Apr 2015  |  by Hague Institute Staff


The Social Justice Expert Center (SJEC), a collaboration between the department of Social Law of Leiden University and The Hague Institute for Global Justice has launched the inaugural issue of a new journal on fundamental labor rights. 

Prof. Van der Heijden Chairs ILO Committee on Freedom of Association Meeting
04 Nov 2013  |  by Professor Paul van der Heijden


Professor Paul van der Heijden, Senior Visiting Scholar at The Hague Institute, chaired the October 2013 meeting of the Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva. Paul van der Heijden has been the independent Chair of this tripartite committee since 2002.



contact person for this project
Head of Global Governance
+31 (0)70 - 30 28 197

Senior Visiting Scholar, Social Justice Expertise Center (SJEC)
+ 31 (0)70 - 30 28 913
Visiting Researcher, Social Justice Expertise Center (SJEC)
+ 31 (0)70 - 30 28 913
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