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Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid x Jaar 2013 x
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Derkje Hazewinkel-Suringa: moed en middenweg

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden First female Dutch law professor, anti-fascism, Dutch criminal law
Auteurs Leny de Groot-van Leeuwen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Derkje Hazewinkel-Suringa entered law studies only after marriage and fulfilling about fifteen years of motherhood duty. Once at the university however, she rapidly became a student-researcher, delivered a PhD dissertation on ownership transfer and was appointed as the first female law professor in 1932, at the age of 42. Her professorship was in a remarkably different field, namely criminal law. Twenty years later she published the Introduction to the Study of Criminal Law, which would become the basis for criminal law teaching in the Netherlands for decades. A major reason behind this success was that the book, emphasizing active study of the law rather than passive reproduction, coincided with the general sprit of the post war era. Besides her scholarly work in which balance and synthesis were the major features, Hazewinkel-Suringa was a very outspoken actor in matters political. In 1936, when virtually the whole country was trying to accommodate the rise of fascism in the mighty neighbouring country, she became member of an anti-fascism committee. In 1938 she wrote a plea to the minister of Justice to allow entry of German-Jewish children into the country. During the German occupation (1940-1945) she proposed to close the university because of the dismissal of Jewish professors. She continued her protests against the social mainstream after the war, e.g. writing against the reintroduction of the death penalty (primarily focused on collaborators with the German regime). Hazewinkel-Suringa’s acts of individual courage could not make a difference in the overall political atmosphere of these times.


Leny de Groot-van Leeuwen
Leny de Groot-van Leeuwen is hoogleraar Rechtspleging en voorzitter van het gelijknamige onderzoeksprogramma van het onderzoekscentrum Staat en Recht van de Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. Zij publiceerde in boeken en tijdschriften over de juridische beroepen en de legitimiteit van rechtspraak.
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