On September 27, the ELS Academy kick-off event for the PhD cohort of 2023-2024 took place in Utrecht.
Helen Pluut, director of the ELS Academy, gave the opening speech. She addressed the new cohort of PhD students, emphasizing how each of them is part of a growing community that gives an impetus to empirical legal studies in the Netherlands. She reflected on how Empirical Legal Studies is in a transition phase: there is an interest and ambition to do sound empirical legal research, but many who have this ambition do not yet have the background and training to do this. PhD students often do not have a supervisor who can guide them in this respect. As a national, interuniversity research school, the ELS Academy aims to fill this gap. Pluut explained how she hopes this cohort will feel part of a community and participate together in the events that are to come this year.
Professor Tom Tyler from Yale Law School responded by saying he wished they would have had a national program like this in the US. He then moved on to give an inspiring keynote presentation in which he combined insights from political psychology and social psychology to answer the very legally relevant question ‘Why do people obey the law?’ His impressive body of empirical work confidently demonstrates that legitimacy trumps risk as a predictor of compliance. It is the fairness of processes that legal authorities use (i.e. procedural justice) that shapes public behavior.
After the keynote presentation, the participants split into groups for the individual presentations of the PhD researchers.
Lunch at de Rechtbank was a great opportunity for the PhD researchers to get to know each other better and mingle with the senior members of the ELS Academy, and of course with Professor Tyler.
The afternoon resumed with more presentations by PhD researchers, with ample opportunity to brainstorm ideas and receive feedback on the methodology.
The last part of the program was definitely not the least: in ‘college tour’ style, Professor Kees van den Bos posed questions to Professor Tyler about for instance the formative years of his career, how to combine different disciplines, and his experiences with publishing and getting rejected.
After posing for a group picture, all participants celebrated the day and what’s to come with drinks and snacks.
Our colleagues of the Erasmus School of Law and the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence Digital Governance are organising an international academic conference with a preference for interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to regulation of AI. It will be held on 8 and 9 June 2023 in Rotterdam.
The deadline for abstract submission is 12 February 2023. Read the call for abstracts here.
The abstract submission deadline of the 2022 International Empirical Legal Studies Conference in Amsterdam has been extended! It is now possible to submit your individual paper abstract, poster abstract or your abstract for a pre-arranged panel until 1 May 2022. ClickCall for Papersfor more detailed information.
The Netherlands Academy for Empirical Legal Studies (ELS) is organizing an International ELS Conference on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd September 2022. The Conference will take place at the Faculty of Law of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and will offer you a unique place to engage, discuss and present your research results in the field of empirical legal research with other international empirical legal scholars.
Click 2022 ELS Conferencein the menu above in order to find all relevant information on the Conference, including the Call for Papers, Key Dates and Practical Information.
The Organising Committee is looking forward to welcoming you in Amsterdam in September 2022!
On February 5th 2021, the first congress of the Dutch Platform Empirical Legal Studies (ELS) took place. The first meeting of the platform served to bring young, enthusiastic and driven ELS scholars together in a research community and enable them to learn more about empirical research in a legal context.
Participants from universities outside of the Netherlands could also attend the conference since the spoken language was English.
The various universities participating in the ELS Platform introduced themselves and their research groups via a short video. The more than 80 participants were then welcomed by Rianka Rijnhout (Utrecht University) and Helen Pluut (Leiden University). Jessie Pool, PhD candidate and member of the ELS team at Leiden Law School, kicked off the conference. She gave a short presentation about ELS and introduced three research themes with problem statements. The participants had to work with these themes in parallel breakout rooms, which were moderated by assistant professors. The aim was to come up with a relevant research question and choose appropriate empirical methodology. The workshops led to creative ideas that were exchanged in a plenary session.
After these interactive workshops, the participants could enjoy a lunch delivered to their homes. The afternoon session started with a presentation by Nina Holvast, Erasmus University, entitled ‘Researching a hidden actor: the role and influence of judicial assistants in Dutch courts’. In her presentation, she took the participants through the process of her recently published research and discussed the results. She elaborately discussed the various empirical research methods that she had used.
After a short break, Shosha Wiznitzer, PhD student at Utrecht University, gave a presentation entitled: ‘Combining surveys and interviews in a defensive medicine study: Why, how, and what (not) to do’. She discussed openly the challenges she encountered in her research and how she responded to them. A very instructive presentation for starting ELS researchers!
The last part of the programme was a live data analysis by Helen Pluut and Rianka Rijnhout. At the beginning of the conference, they had asked the participants to complete a short survey. They analysed the data on the spot by sharing their screens and discussed the preliminary results of the survey. It offered the participants a very insightful and accessible introduction to SPSS and NVivo.
It was an inspiring conference day with many different elements. Despite the online environment, there was a lot of interaction with and between the participants, creative ideas were exchanged, and interesting discussions took place. After the presentations, there was an opportunity to connect and get to know each other. In a virtual Wonder room, the participants enthusiastically joined in a pubquiz team battle while enjoying snacks and beverages that were delivered to their homes. The winning team received Kees van den Bos’ book Empirical Legal Research: A primer.