Jeremy Bierbach (1975) is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics, Jeremy worked as an IT specialist for several years. In 2001, Jeremy emigrated to the Netherlands, and in 2003, he changed his career direction and began studying law at the University of Amsterdam, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Dutch law in 2006 and a master’s degree in constitutional and administrative law in 2007. Jeremy subsequently worked as a legal advisor through Avocado Legal, where he focused on immigration and European migration law. In January 2014, Jeremy joined Franssen Advocaten and was sworn into the Dutch bar as an attorney, and in September 2015 he successfully defended his PhD thesis in European constitutional law at the University of Amsterdam. A commercial edition of his thesis, Frontiers of Equality in the Development of US and EU citizenship, was published in 2017 by Asser Press. He is a member of the Workgroup for Legal Aid to Immigrants (WRV) and the Specialist Association of Migration Law Attorneys (SVMA).
His specialty and focus of interest is in invoking norms of international law — EU law in particular — as a source of protection for members of minority groups who are unrepresented or underrepresented in the democratic process: in particular EU citizens, their non-EU citizen family members, and other non-EU citizen immigrants to the Netherlands. He represented two non-EU citizens, P. and S., in challenging the Dutch state on its laws providing for a fine to be imposed on immigrants who do not pass the civic integration exam (inburgeringsexamen) by a set deadline. The underlying questions of EU law were ultimately referred to and decided on by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2015, establishing important limits on the extent to which immigrants can be penalized without a complete examination of their personal circumstances and needs.