UA Blog

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Simon van Oort

Simon van Oort from Utrecht University was Highly Commended in 2014 for his paper “State Dissolution and UN Membership: Comparing the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia” in the Law category.

Simon is currently living in The Hague, the Netherlands, where he is putting the finishing touches on his LLM-dissertation on the intellectual history of constitutional review in the Netherlands.

Since taking part in the Undergraduate Awards, Simon has graduated from Utrecht University with a double degree in liberal arts & sciences and law. Since that moment, he has attempted to reconcile his academic interests in law and history with his seemingly insuppressible urge to do something practical. After finishing the MSt in US History at the University of Oxford, he chose to combine the intellectual challenge of the LLM in jurisprudence and political theory at Leiden University with the more hands-on experience of working part time as legal assistant in a top law firm, moving back to the Netherlands to do so. Contemplating his next steps, he hopes to either pursue PhD working on a broadened version of his current research, or to start a career in government legal practice.

Academically, Simon is interested in the histories of constitutional ideas, constitutional theory and political culture. The latter manifested itself in an MSt dissertation on the origins and uses of the phrase ‘Founding Fathers’ in American political discourse.

In my leisure time, I enjoy cycling in the dunes surrounding my new home, coaching a competitive rowing crew and doing laps in the pool in a feeble attempt to swim less like a drunken labradoodle (hitherto unsuccessful).

Taking a break from all these strenuous activities, he can be found cooking a hearty meal or slumping down on the couch reading books and newspapers whilst consuming copious amounts of coffee. Occasionally, he travels to Peterhead on Scotland’s North Sea Coast, home of many a company in the extractive industries as well as his fiancée (and go-to editor).   

Read Simon's Highly Commended Paper on The Undergraduate Awards Library.