Johan Vande Lanotte

Senior Legal Counsel Corporate Law

Johan Vande Lanotte has built a vast experience and expertise as a professor of constitutional law and as a company director. As Senior Legal Counsel he helps to internationalise VSA and pushes the firm to engage in out-of-the-box analyses of social issues in order to broaden its horizons and build new expertise.

Johan Vande Lanotte said goodbye to politics at the end of 2018 in order to focus exclusively on the law. As well as having been a successful politician, he holds an honorary position as Minister of State and is professor of constitutional law and human rights by special appointment at Ghent University. He is also a basketball fan and poetry enthusiast.

The firm is increasingly aware of the importance of defending human rights and has actively risen to the challenge. In this context, Johan Vande Lanotte uses his expertise in the fields of constitutional law and human rights to contribute to the firm’s international expansion.

Johan is also active within the Business Unit, one of the areas in which Van Steenbrugge Advocaten specialises. As a former Minister of Economy and initiator of the Code of Economic Law, he will actively guide the business unit.

More generally, Johan will coach the firm’s young, talented team, pushing them to wander off the beaten track, challenging them to think out of the box, and thus placing the lawyer’s role in a broader, social perspective.

Degrees and qualifications

Doctorate in Law, Ghent University, 1986
Doctoral thesis: De noodzakelijke decentralisatie? Rechtsvergelijkende studie naar de mogelijkheden, basiskenmerken en publiekrechtelijke vormgeving van een decentralisatie op intermediair niveau binnen de Belgische context, awarded the Prize of the Belgian Institute of Public Administration, 1986.
Licentiate degree in law, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1981
Licentiate in Political and Social Sciences, University of Antwerp, 1978


Lawyer at the Ghent Bar (1986 – 1987)
Deputy Auditor General in the Council of State (1989)
Auditor in the Council of State (1989 – 1990)
Lecturer in Law at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (1988 – 1991)
Professor of Constitutional Law & Human Rights by special appointment at Ghent University (1988-present)
Head of the Department of Constitutional Law at Ghent University (1991 – present)
Co-founder of the Human Rights Centre at Ghent University (2004)
Political career of 30 years including 13 years as Deputy Prime Minister (1988 – 2018)
Holder of the Francqui Chair at the Faculty of Law at Hasselt University (2019)


Constitutional law
Human rights
Administrative law
Negotiation & mediation

Opinion & blog

What are we waiting for to give the ICC research additional resources? 
Contact research, an invasion of your privacy?
Assisted suicide: no material restrictions, says German constitutional court
New situations and new problems require new solutions.


Dutch, French, English

Publications International Human Rights Law, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

Johan Vande Lanotte en Yves Haeck, Handboek Europees Verdrag voor de Rechten van de Mens, Antwerpen, Intersentia, 2004-2005, 3 volumes, 2.777 p.
André Alen, Johan Vande Lanotte, Eugeen Verhellen, Fiona Ang, Eva Berghmans and Mieke Verheyde (eds.), A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Leiden/Boston, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2005-present, separate volumes per right/liberty.
Jeremy Sarkin, Yves Haeck and Johan Vande Lanotte (eds.), Resolving the tension between crime and Human Rights: An evaluation of European and South African Issues, Antwerp/Apeldoorn, Maklu, 2001, 355 p.
Johan Vande Lanotte, Jeremy Sarkin and Yves Haeck (eds.), The Principle of Equality. A South African and a Belgian Perspective, Antwerp/Apeldoorn, Maklu, 2001, 252 p.
Johan Vande Lanotte, Yves Haeck, Jan Lathouwers, Bruno Tobback and Mieke Van de Putte, Het Europees Verdrag voor de Rechten van de Mens in Hoofdlijnen, Antwerp, Intersentia, 1997, 293 p.

Publications on Belgian Constitutional and Administrative Law

Johan Vande Lanotte, Siegfried Bracke and Geert Goedertier, België voor Beginners. Wegwijs in het Belgisch Labyrint, Brugge, Die Keure, 2017, 18th edition, 317 p.
Associated YouTube video channel: Belgium for Beginners – Johan Vande Lanotte.
Alain Gerlache, Johan Vande Lanotte, Marc Uyttendaele, Siegfried Bracke and Geert Goedertier, La Belgique pour débutants. Le labyrinthe belge: guide pratique, Brugge, Die Keure, 2017, 317 p.
André Mast, Jean Dujardin, Marnix Van Damme and Johan Vande Lanotte, Overzicht van het Belgisch Administratief Recht, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2017, 21th edition, 1.522 p.
Johan Vande Lanotte, Geert Goedertier, Yves Haeck, Jurgen Goossens and Tom De Pelsmaeker, Handboek Belgisch Publiekrecht, Brugge, Die Keure, 2015, 2 volumes, 1.666 p.
Johan Vande Lanotte, Jean Dujardin, Jurgen Goossens en Geert Goedertier, Basisbegrippen publiekrecht, Brugge, Die Keure, 2014, 7e editie, 461p.

This list of publications is non-exhaustive. Johan Vande Lanotte’s complete bibliography can be found on the website of Ghent University.


0032 (0)9 269 10 69
personal assistant: Jeroen Adams, – 0032 (0)9 269 10 62