Voting rights, elections and election campaigns

Tuesday 14 May 2024, 4:30 pm
PhD candidate
L.S.A. Trapman mr.
prof. mr. P.P.T. Bovend'Eert, prof. dr. B.P. Vermeulen

Elections are at the heart of representative democracy. For elections to be considered free and fair, they must meet some fundamental principles. A Netherlands-focused overview of these principles has so far been lacking. This PhD thesis aims to fill that gap. These principles are derived not only from the Constitution and the ECHR, but also from the broader constitutional framework within which electoral law is supposed to operate. In that context, for example, the role and position of political parties are discussed in detail. Not only does the PhD thesis set out the principles for free and fair elections, it also tests existing electoral regulations against these principles. This is followed by some suggestions for improvement. These include the constitutional enshrinement of free suffrage, the introduction of obligatory internal democracy within political parties, and the opening of legal recourse for candidates who disagree with the election results.

Leon Trapman, born on 28 November 1994 in Velp, received his pre-university (gymnasium) qualification from the Stedelijk Gymnasium Arnhem. From 2012 to 2015, he studied Law at Radboud University. During his Bachelor's programme, he took part in the Law Extra Faculty Honours Programme. He then went on to study for a year at Freie Universität Berlin. In 2016, he enrolled in the Research Master's programme in Information Law at the University of Amsterdam. In this context, he spent a semester at the Cardozo School of Law in New York. In 2019, he returned to Radboud University as a junior lecturer and PhD candidate at the Department of Constitutional Law. He taught tutorials in the second year of the Bachelor's study programme and wrote several articles in addition to his PhD thesis. For one of his publications, he won the Tijn Kortmann Prize in 2022.