Marion Sandner

Doctoral researcher

Marion Sandner pursues her doctoral studies jointly at Hasselt University and the University of Antwerp, within the framework of the iBOF Research Project Future-proofing Human Rights: Developing Thicker Forms of Accountability.

Under the supervision of prof. Stijn Smet (Hasselt University) and prof. Wouter Vandenhole (University of Antwerp), Marion investigates approaches to balancing economic and social rights dilemmas during structural crises.

Before starting her doctoral research, Marion was working in human rights practice for nearly ten years. Most recently, Marion held the position of Programme Officer on Economic and Social Rights at the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network in Copenhagen (EuroMed Rights). She previously led the treaty monitoring work on children’s rights and economic, social and cultural rights at Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, worked as human rights advisor at the German development agency GIZ and as research associate at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), and worked as a Carlo Schmid Fellow in the Regional Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Pacific.

Marion studied international human rights law (LL.M.) at the National University of Ireland, Galway (Irish Centre for Human Rights) and international relations (B.A.), specialising in public international law, at TU Dresden and Université d’Abomey-Calavi (UNESCO Chair of Human Rights and Democratisation). She has complemented her academic studies with the participation in summer schools on, amongst others, economic, social and cultural rights and distributive justice (European University Institute, 2018) and on minority rights (Middlesex University, 2012).

Marion is particularly interested in economic, social and cultural rights, distributive justice, the relationship between human rights law and development, and Third World approaches to international law.


University degrees

  • LL.M. in International Human Rights Law, Irish Centre for Human Rights/National University of Ireland, 2012.
  • B.A. in International Relations (specialisation in public international law), Centre for International Studies/Technische Universität Dresden, 2011.

Professional positions

  • Doctoral researcher Hasselt University and University of Antwerp (since 2022)
  • Programme Officer at EuroMed Rights (2019-22)
  • Senior Associate (Treaty Monitoring) at Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain (2017-19)
  • Human Rights Adviser at GIZ (German development agency; 2014-17)
  • Research Associate at Global Public Policy Institute (2014)
  • Carlo Schmid Fellow at Regional Office for the Pacific of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2013)

Featured publications

  • Sandner/Casla (2024), Solidarity as Foundation for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Human Rights Law Review, Volume 24, Issue 2, June 2024,
  • Macondes Smith/Sandner/Vandenhole (2024; forthcoming), Social protection in international human rights law, in Bender/Kaltenborn (eds), Global Social Protection – Institutional Perspectives, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Blog Posts
  • Sandner, ‘Backwards steps on the enjoyment of rights – a matter of state intervention or of interference? Retrogressive measures before the European Court of Human Rights‘ (Strasbourg Observers, 30 April 2024).
  • Sandner/Casla, ‘Solidarity as a Precondition for the Realisation of Socio-economic Rights‘ (Opinio Juris, 22 May 2024).
  • Conference Presentations
  • ‘Tensions between minimum core obligations in times of crisis: How do judges balance ESCR in the face of resource constraints?’ (Economic and Social Rights in Ireland and the United Kingdom Conference, University College Dublin, 16/17 June 2022).
  • ‘Solidarity, Responsibility and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in International Law and Global Politics’ (Interdisciplinary Human Rights Circle Workshop, London School of Economics, 2 May 2023).
  • ‘The challenges of balancing economic, social and cultural rights in times of crisis: Minimum core obligations and distributive justice’ (World Congress of Constitutional Law, University of Johannesburg, 5-9 December 2022).
  • ‘Solidarity as Foundation for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Lessons from International Law and International Relations’ (Public International Law Cluster, University of Essex, 14 March 2023).