Empirical Legal Studies is one of the legal science themes that the multi-year Law Sector Plan focuses on, as part of the broader Sector Plan Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has provided funding. In the field of empirical legal studies, a national collaboration exists that is coordinated by the five law schools of Leiden University, VU Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and University of Groningen, which all focus on ELS within the context of the Law Sector Plan. The various law schools in the Netherlands bundle their expertise and experience at the service of PhD students and other young scholars.
The science theme Empirical Legal Studies gives impetus to empirical legal research within the legal discipline. At the heart of this endeavor is the empirical examination of legally relevant questions. Empirical research on the functioning and the effects of law in practice offers fundamental insights into (behavioral) assumptions underlying various laws and regulations.
De ELS Academy is an important step toward educating a new generation of empirical legal scholars and mainstreaming ELS in legal scholarship.