Johannes Bijlsma

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Assistant professor
Curriculum vitae

Johannes Bijlsma studied Dutch law at the university of Groningen, specializing in criminal law and legal philosophy. From 2006 to 2009 he was an advocate at the law firm Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn, the office of the state advocate. Since 2009 Johannes works at the section criminal law at the VU University Amsterdam. He was a visiting scholar at the Columbia University in New York in 2012. In 2016 he obtained his PhD with honours from the VU University for a dissertation about the conditions that determine when a mentally disordered defendant should be acquitted by reason of insanity.

Educational activities
Substantive criminal law
Law and governance
Backgrounds criminal law I (coordinator)
Thesis supervisor (bachelor and master)
Post-academic education

Research activities
The research of Johannes Bijlsma is focused on the conditions that determine criminal liability: substantive criminal law. Notably, he is interested in the assumptions regarding psychological functioning that are foundational for criminal liability. Using knowledge from other disciplines like philosophy and empirical sciences, he analyzes these – often implicit – assumptions. This leads to a better understanding of the question why and under which conditions civilians can be held criminally responsible. In his dissertation Johannes used this method to delineate when a mentally disturbed defendant cannot be held responsible for a criminal act.

Johannes conducts research in the programme Empirical and normative studies.

Criminal law, substantive criminal law, insanity defense

Main publications
  • Stoornis en strafuitsluiting. Op zoek naar een toetsingskader voor ontoerekenbaarheid (diss. Amsterdam VU), Oisterwijk: Wolf Legal Publishers 2016.
  • J. Bijlsma, ‘Drank, drugs en culpa. Zelfintoxicatie en culpa in causa: pleidooi voor een voorzienbaarheidseis’, Delikt en Delinkwent 2011, p. 654-678. (Read more in VU-DARE)
  • J. Bijlsma, ‘Het gelijktijdigheidsvereiste bij het opleggen van TBS. Een onderzoek naar een dubbelzinnig criterium’, Delikt en Delinkwent 2010, p. 51-74. (Read more in VU-DARE)

All VU-publications via Metis

Postal address
VU University Amsterdam
Faculty of Law
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam