Prof. Paul De Hert's work addresses problems in the area of privacy & technology, human rights and criminal law. A human rights approach combined with a concern for theory is the common denominator of all his work.
In his formative years, De Hert studied law, philosophy and religious sciences (1985-1992). After a productive decade of research in areas such as policing, video surveillance, international cooperation in criminal affairs and international exchange of police information, he broadened up his scope of interests and published a book on the European Convention on Human Rights (1998) and defended a doctorate in law in which he compared the constitutional strength of eighteenth and twentieth century constitutionalism in the light of contemporary social control practices ('Early Constitutionalism and Social Control. Liberal Democracy Hesitating between Rights Thinking and Liberty Thinking' (2000, Promoter: Prof. dr. Bart De Schutter (VUB)).
De Hert has (had) a broad teaching portfolio: Past: 'Human Rights', 'Legal theory', ‘Historical constitutionalism' and 'Constitutional criminal law'. Currently, at Brussels, 'Criminal Law', and 'International and European Criminal Law’ and at Tilburg University, ‘Privacy and Data Protection'.
He is Director of the Research group on human rights (FRC) and Vice-Dean of the Faculty and former Director of the Research group Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS), and of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Law.
He is board member of several Belgian, Dutch and (other) international scientific journals such as The Computer Law & Security Review (Elsevier), The Inter-American and European Human Rights Journal (Intersentia) and Criminal Law & Philosophy (Springer). He is co-editor in chief of the Supranational Criminal Law Series (Intersentia) and the New Journal of European Criminal law (Sage).
Since 2008 he has edited with Serge Gutwirth, Ronald Leenes and others annual books on data protection law (before Springer, now Hart) that, -judging sales numbers, quotations and downloads, attack a massive readership and have contributed to creating the legal, academic discipline of data protection law. De Hert is now series editor of The Computers, Privacy and Data Protection series, now published by Hart.