Hans Ulrich Jessurun d’Oliveira studied law and obtained his PhD in 1971. He was a professor of the philosophy of law in Groningen and went on to become a professor at the University of Amsterdam and the European University Institute in Florence. In 1998, he returned to the University of Amsterdam for a professorship in immigration law. Besides his academic career, he was editor of the journals van Propria Cures, Tirade and Merlyn, and head of the Dutch Literary Fund between 1996 and 2003. He wrote books such as Scheppen riep hij gaat van Au (1965) and Vondsten en bevindingen. Essays over Nederlandse poëzie (1967).