Lab members

Members

Peter van Koppen
Annelies Vredeveldt
Jasper van der Kemp
Miriam Wijkman
André De Zutter

Fellows

Guillaume Beijers
Henk Elffers
Robert Horselenberg
Jan de Keijser
Linda Kesteloo
Ricardo Nieuwkamp
Claire van den Eeden
Tanja van Veldhuizen

Junior Fellows

Alieke Hildebrandt
Lex Borst

 

Members


Peter van Koppen

Prof. Peter J. van Koppen is a psychologist and since 2003 full professor of Legal Psychology at the Faculty of Law of VU University Amsterdam. He studied psychology in Groningen (class of 1978; personality psychology and psychometrics) and law in Groningen and Amsterdam (class of 1977). He obtained his JD in 1984 at the Faculty of Law of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

He is a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities. He is editor of the international journal Psychology, Crime, and Law (since 1992). He is a Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) in Wassenaar (1986-1987 and 1990-1991). He was a member of the Governing Board of the Netherlands Register of Court Experts from 2010 until 2018. Together with D.J. Hessing, Van Koppen took the initiative to found the Criminology departments at Leiden University, VU University Amsterdam, and Erasmus University Rotterdam. He is Past-President of the European Association for Psychology and Law.

Van Koppen published, next to some 40 books, 150 articles and 120 chapters in edited volumes. In 2011, he received the Publication Prize of the Stichting Maatschappij Veiligheid en Politie (Foundation Society, Safety and Police) for his monograph Overtuigend bewijs: Indammen van rechterlijke dwalingen (Convincing Evidence: Limiting Miscarriages of Justice). More recently, he published Gerede twijfel: Over bewijs in strafzaken (Reasonable Doubt: On Evidence in Criminal Cases; 2013) and Routes van het Recht (Routes of Justice; 2017, edited with Jan W. de Keijser, Robert Horselenberg and Marco Jelicic). In 2014, he was awarded the Tom Williamson Award for life time achievement by the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG). In 2016, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the European Association of Psychology and Law (EAPL).


Annelies Vredeveldt
Dr. Annelies Vredeveldt is an Associate Professor at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at VU University Amsterdam. She graduated summa cum laude from University College Utrecht in 2007 and won the University College Alumni Association Award for social involvement and academic excellence. She obtained her Masters degree in Psychology and Law from Maastricht University in 2008, where she received the Top 3% Award. She completed her Ph.D. thesis on the effects of eye-closure on eyewitness memory at the University of York in 2011, for which she received both the American Psychology-Law Society Dissertation Award (first place) and the British Psychological Society – Social Psychology Section PhD Award.

Vredeveldt is an expert in the area of memory in legal settings. Her research focuses mainly on eyewitness memory, investigative interviewing, police reports, cross-cultural testimony, face recognition and deception detection. She has obtained funding for her research from various sources, including an ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council, a Branco Weiss Fellowship from the Society in Science in Switzerland, and grants from the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group in the United States and the Police and Science programme in the Netherlands. She has published about twenty peer-reviewed scientific articles, four books and six book chapters on legal psychological topics. Her work has been featured in international outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today and Life Hacker, and in major Dutch news outlets such as De Volkskrant, Algemeen Dagblad, Elsevier and NOS.

Vredeveldt regularly serves as an expert witness in criminal cases. She serves on advisory committees of the Netherlands Register of Court Experts, to establish standards and assess applications for registration as an expert witness in the field of Legal Psychology. She is also course coordinator of Project Reasonable Doubt, in which groups of students investigate the evidence in closed criminal cases.

 

Jasper van der Kemp
Dr. Jasper J. van der Kemp, a legal psychologist and investigative criminologist, became assistant professor at the VU School of Criminology, Department of Criminal Law & Criminology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in January 2006. Previously he conducted research at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcements (NSCR), being part of the research group on ‘Mobility and Distribution of Crime’ for five years. His PhD research on the modus via and fine-tuning of geographical offender profiling extended from analyzing individual offenders’ movements and location choice to the geographical patterns of crime in the criminal careers of property offenders. The main focus of this work addresses issues relating to geographical offender profiling and investigative focus on the modus via. In 2005 van der Kemp and colleagues won the Wiley Poster Price at the 15th European Conference on Psychology and Law for their poster presentation: “X marks the spot, comparing police officers, students and geographical profiling software on the accuracy of their predictions”.

He currently teaches ‘Crime Analysis & Offender Profiling’ and ‘Spatial Criminology’ courses as well as being the initiator of a training course Geographical Crime Analysis for police analysts. Van der Kemp is the coordinator of the Forensic Criminology minor curriculum of the bachelor Criminology program and member of the Master Criminology committee.

His current research focuses on the behavioral aspects of crime scene investigations and reconstructions and the use of crime scenarios in investigative decision making. Van der Kemp was the research project coordinator of the ‘Better crime scene investigations with lab-on-a-chip-technology’ project. Van der Kemp is founding member of the Crime Linkage International Network (C-Link); an academic-practitioner collaboration for studying the linkage of crimes on the behavioral characteristics. He is consulted by the police in ongoing and cold cases to create geographical analyses or to inform police investigative strategies. Van der Kemp is supervisor at Project Gerede Twijfel and Cold Cases in which groups of students investigate the evidence in closed criminal cases or cold cases.

 

Miriam Wijkman
Miriam D.S. Wijkman, Ph.D., LL.M. is a criminologist. She graduated in Law at the VU University Amsterdam (2005, 2 specialisations: Civil Law and Criminology) after which she worked as a junior researcher at the NSCR (Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement). In 2007, she started as a lecturer/researcher at the department of Criminal Law and Criminology, VU University Amsterdam. She graduated in Psychology at the VU (2012, Developmental Psychology) and obtained a Ph.D. degree in Criminology at the VU. She studied for her thesis the typologies and criminal careers of adult and juvenile female sexual offenders. Since 2015, she works as an assistant professor and her research focusses on offending profiles of (female) sexual offenders, human trafficking and sexual exploitation, and organised crime. Her work has been featured in major Dutch news outlets such as NRC, de Volkskrant and NOS.

She is coordinator of the Bachelor and Master’s programme in Criminology and is supervisor at Project Gerede Twijfel en Cold Cases in which groups of students investigate the evidence in closed criminal cases or cold cases.


André De Zutter
Dr. André W.E.A. De Zutter is a legal psychologist. He works at the faculty of Law in the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology of VU University Amsterdam and Maastricht University. He studies allegations of rape and serves as an expert witness in criminal cases.

 

Fellows



Guillaume Beijers
Guillaume M.E.H. Beijers was coordinator and lecturer Criminology at at VU University Amsterdam. After retiring, he remained active as Senior Research Fellow at the Criminology section. Guillaume is sociologist and methodologist. His teaching predominantly concerned Methods and Statistics of Criminological Research and Statistics. As a scientific researcher, he conducted policy research on criminological and legal sociological issues for decades. Since 2006 he has served as supervisor on Project Reasonable Doubt.


Henk Elffers
Emeritus Professor Henk Elffers graduated in mathematical statistics at the University of Amsterdam and got his Ph.D. in Psychology of Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam on a thesis on Income Tax Evasion. He held various research appointments at Mathematisch Centrum Amsterdam, now CWI (statistics), University of Utrecht (geography), Erasmus University Rotterdam (socio-legal studies) and University of Antwerp (law and psychology). He is currently a senior-researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), and emeritus professor of empirical research into criminal law enforcement at VU University Amsterdam, department of Criminal Law and Criminology, and an adjunct professor at Griffith University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Brisbane). His research interest encompasses rational choice theory of criminal decision making, guardianship, simulation methods in criminology, public opinion and the judiciary, expert evidence in criminal courts, mutual influence of judges and public opinion, judges’ argumentation for punishment modality and severity.

 

Robert Horselenberg

Dr. Robert Horselenberg is a legal psychologist at Maastricht University. He defended his thesis on false memories and false confessions in May 2005. Since then, he has worked as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Psychology and later at the Faculty of Law, both at Maastricht University. His research focusses on interviewing children, eyewitnesses and suspects, and on reasoning with evidence. He publishes on these topics both nationally and internationally. He acts as an expert witness in about ten criminal cases a year. He is a member of the European Association of Psychology and Law, where he is also a member of the Board. Furthermore, he is a member of the international Investigative Interviewing Research Group. In this latter group, he acts as editor of their journal. He is also a member of their executive committee. Since 2013, he is an expert in the Dutch Expert group for Special Vice-cases. He is also reviewer for several international and national journals and co-editor of the book Routes van het Recht, the Dutch handbook on legal psychology. Moreover, he is an initiator of The House of Legal Psychology, as well as a member of the management team and program director. He lectures on various courses at bachelor and master level in legal psychology, and started the Cold Case project in Maastricht in 2012. As a guest lecturer he visits several universities throughout the Netherlands and Europe. He acts as an expert in the media – radio, television, and newspapers – on a regular basis.

 

Jan de Keijser
Prof. Jan de Keijser is professor of Criminology at the Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology at Leiden University. He teaches psychology & law and penology. He is board memebr of the Dutch Registry of Court Experts (NRGD) and provides training and teaching at the Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI) and at the Training and Study Centre for the Judiciary (SSR). In 2000 he got his Ph.D. (cum laude) at Leiden university focusing on consistency in sentencing in relation to the goals and functions of punishment. His research interests are connected to the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. These interests include proof and punishment, forensic evidence, public opinion towards punishment, confidence in the criminal justice system, and the communication between forensic experts and the courts. He published books and articles on these topics in both national and international journals.

 


Linda Kesteloo
Linda Kesteloo, LL.M., is Lecturer/Researcher criminal (procedural) law at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at VU University Amsterdam. In 2013, she was awarded the NWO grant ‘Research talent’ for her Ph.D. project. Her research addresses safeguards for witness reliability from a legal perspective. In 2016, she collaborated with Annelies Vredeveldt and Peter van Koppen on a research project about the influence of collaboration between police officers on the content of police reports. She is currently working with Annelies Vredeveldt on the Bodycams research project.

 

Ricardo Nieuwkamp
Dr. Ricardo Nieuwkamp, LL.M, is a legal psychologist. He holds a Bachelor in Psychology and Neuroscience, a Master in Psychology and Law and a Master in Forensics, Criminology and Law, all from Maastricht University. During his studies he was selected for the Maastricht Research Based Learning (MaRBLe) program, did an internship at TMFI, worked for the NSCR and participated in Project Reasonable Doubt as a student and later as a supervisor. He also assisted expert witnesses in the analysis and reporting of cases on a regular basis. In his PhD research, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), he studied the believability of suspects’ alibis. For his oral presentation of one of his studies, he won the third price for the best oral presentation at the European Association of Psychology and Law (EAPL) conference in 2014, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. He publishes in national and international journals about this topic and provides guest lectures about legal psychology in the Netherlands and in Belgium. From August 2015 until October 2016 he worked as a researcher at KU Leuven to determine the best practices of suspect interviewing in an international context in the context of a Horizon 2020 research project. Since October 2016 he is a researcher within the knowledge centre of Vias institute in Brussels. He is also affiliated with the National Institute for Criminalistics and Criminology in Brussels.



Claire van den Eeden
Dr. Claire A.J. van den Eeden is a legal psychologist. She studied cognitive psychology in Maastricht, where she also completed her masters in Psychology and Law. Until recently she was a PhD student at the Research Group Forensic Science at the Dutch Police Academy and the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at VU University Amsterdam. For her dissertation, she studied the influence of information on the forensic investigation at the crime scene.

 

Tanja van Veldhuizen
Dr. Tanja van Veldhuizen is a legal psychologist. Her research interests lie with investigative interviewing, evidence assessment, and cross-cultural psychology. She studied social psychology at Utrecht University, and was awarded the best paper award at the 2011 annual conference of the Dutch Association of Social Psychological Researchers (ASPO) for her paper about cultural differences in terror management. She conducted her PhD research within the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate House of Legal Psychology. In her dissertation, for which she obtained a joined degree from Maastricht University in the Netherlands and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, she focused on credibility assessments in European asylum procedures. She was awarded the best presentation award at the annual conference of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG) in London in 2015 for a presentation about one of her studies. She regularly gives lectures, workshops, and training on this topic to practitioners in different countries, ranging from NGO representatives to asylum adjudicators and refugee law judges. She is also listed in the expert-roster of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). After obtaining her PhD, Tanja worked as a postdoctoral researcher within the Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law and Administration of Justice at Utrecht University. Currently, she is an investigator for the independent committee appointed by the Ministry of Defence which studies undesirable behaviour and social safety within the Dutch armed forces.

 

Junior Fellows


Alieke Hildebrandt
Alieke Hildebrandt is a Lecturer at the Department of Criminology at VU University Amsterdam. Before that, she did a Bachelor Criminology at VU University Amsterdam, where she also participated in Project Reasonable Doubt. She graduated cum laude in Psychology and Law at Maastricht University in 2017 and is currently completing another Masters degree in Forensics, Criminology and Law at Maastricht University. She worked as a student assistant on various research projects, including collaboration between witnesses, the content of police reports and suspect interviews.

 


Lex Borst
Lex Borst is a Masters student at VU University Amsterdam. After graduating cum laude for the Bachelor Criminology, she is currently doing an MSc in Criminology with a specialization in Investigative Criminology. In 2016 she participated in Project Reasonable Doubt, after which a book with the findings was published in 2018. She currently works as a student-assistant for Project Reasonable Doubt.