Photo of Kim Lecoyer, Human Rights Centre, Ghent University


Kim Lecoyer is a PhD Research Fellow. Her research focusses on legal pluralism and human rights in the context of Belgium and Europe. She is currently working on a research project called Legal Pluralism in Belgium or “Beplulex”, a legal anthropology research on non-state family dispute processes in families with a migrant background in Belgium, funded by Belspo.

Prior to joining the Human Rights Centre in 2011, she earned a Master in Social Psychology (ULB, 2004), a Master in Arabic and Islamic studies (UCL, 2007) and a Master in World Religions, Interreligious Dialogue and the Study of Religion (KUL, 2010), as well as a BA in Law (FUSL, 2008). Her latest master thesis, in world religions, was titled “Women’s call for reform in today’s world religions: Judaism and Islam”; This was an analysis of writings of contemporary female scholars advocating women’s rights and gender equality under Islamic and Jewish religious law. Her current position as a doctoral researcher allows her to combine her interdisciplinary expertise in the domains of law, gender and religion.

The topic of her ongoing doctoral work is a human rights analysis of non-state family dispute handling practices of Muslim families in Belgium. The aim of her PhD research is to examine empirical data regarding Belgian Muslim families, their ways of handling family disputes and related Islamic normative frameworks from a human rights perspective, with a particular attention for gender.

Kim Lecoyer is a board member of ‘KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights’ and President of KARAMAH-EU in Brussels.



POSITION PhD Research Fellow

EMAIL Kim.Lecoyer[@]

SECRETARIAT +32 (0)9 264 69 11

WORKING DAYS Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

OFFICE HOURS 09.00 h – 17.00 h

CONTACT HOURS On appointment

POSTAL ADDRESS Ghent University, Campus Aula, Human Rights Centre, Universiteitstraat 4, 9000 Ghent, Belgium


  • Ph.D. Researcher, Human Rights Centre – Faculty of Law, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Research project Beplulex: “Legal Pluralism in Belgium: a human rights analysis of family dispute resolution in families with a migrant background” (2011 – 2015)
  • Project Assistant, Organizational Development Officer – R&D/Sustainable Construction, SECO, Brussels, Belgium (2009 – 2011)
  • Legal Secretary, Assistant Office Administrator, international law firm WilmerHale, Brussels, Belgium (2007 – 2008)
  • Social psychologist (internship), Ulysse – Psychosocial accompaniment for people in exile, Brussels, Belgium (2004)
  • Job coach and animator (internship), Local Employment Agency Vorst, Brussels, Belgium (2003)


  • Master in World Religions, Interreligious Dialogue and the Study of Religion (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2010)
  • Bachelor in Law, (Université Catholique de Louvain / Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, 2008)
  • Master in Eastern linguistics and literature – Arabic and Islamic studies (Université Catholique de Louvain, 2007)
  • Master in Social and Intercultural Psychology (Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2004)


  • February 2014 & March 2012 – Islam and (para)legal practices in Europe, post-graduate course on law and Islam (Ghent University)
  • April 2015 – ‘Legal pluralism in Belgium’, guest lecture in pre-graduate course on the Social Anthropology of Law and Culture (Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis)


  • Zonta Club Zavel Award for dissertation “Women’s call for reform in today’s world religions” (2011)


  • President of KARAMAH-EU, European branch office of ‘KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights’


  • The legal anthropology of Muslim family justice in secular contexts
  • Legal pluralism, human rights and gender equality
  • Law, gender and Islam
  • Gender and religious or cultural diversity


  • Brems, Eva, Yaiza Janssens, Kim Lecoyer, Saila Ouald Chaib, Victoria Vandersteen, and Jogchum Vrielink. 2014. “The Belgian ‘Burqa Ban’ Confronted with Insider Realities.” In The Experiences of Face Veil Wearers in Europe and the Law, ed. Eva Brems, 77-124. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lecoyer, Kim, and Caroline Simon. Forthcoming. “The multicultural family in conflict: Legal and socio-anthropological perspectives on child residency”. Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
  • Simon, Caroline, en Kim Lecoyer. 2015. “La famille multiculturelle en conflit: Regards croisés sur l’hébergement des enfants”. Tijdschrift voor Jeugd en Kinderrechten, 3 (Forthcoming).

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