1 12, 2023

We are happy to present PhD Cohort Representative (2023-2024)

2023-12-01T12:47:21+01:00December 1, 2023|Uncategorized|

Dear ELS Academy Members,
We are very happy to introduce to you Anne Brekoo, a representative of the PhD cohort of 2023-2024. Here is a couple of words from Anne:
My name is Anne and I am a third-year PhD student in the ‘European Doctorate on Law and Economics’ at Erasmus University Rotterdam. My PhD research focuses on international criminal law, and specifically investigates the consequences of jurisdictional pluralism with respect to criminal behaviour.
As the cohort representative, I will act as the central contact person. So if you have any questions, feel free to reach out. My aim is to organise a range of social and academic events, to really create a sense of community amongst us young legal empiricists at an inter-university level. If anyone would like to help me out with this, please let me know because it would be great to form a small group for the organization of community-building events .
I look forward to meeting you all again soon!
Warm wishes,
10 10, 2023

ELS Academy Presents a New Book

2023-11-06T10:16:31+01:00October 10, 2023|Uncategorized|

This time, the ELS Academy shines its spotlight on a fresh publication!

“Research Methods for Empirical Legal Studies: An Introduction” authored by Catrien Bijleveld is the feature of the moment.

Jessie Pool has graciously provided her thoughts on the work: “Bijleveld’s new book serves as an essential guide for both novice and experienced empirical legal researchers. It provides a solid introduction for beginners and offers valuable insights for advanced scholars. The book seamlessly combines theory with practical examples, making the complex field of empirical legal studies accessible for a broad audience.”

The book has found its place within the ELS library at Leiden Law School. Interested in obtaining your personal copy? Do so here:

28 09, 2023

ELS Academy PhD Kick-Off Event

2023-10-21T16:46:10+02:00September 28, 2023|Conference|

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.

23 01, 2023

Call for abstracts: Conference on Law, AI, and Regulation (LAIR)

2023-01-23T12:25:38+01:00January 23, 2023|Conference, Erasmus University Rotterdam|

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.

14 04, 2022

ERI Seminar: Europe’s Nature Governance Revolution: Environmental Democracy in Action?

2022-04-14T11:23:17+02:00April 14, 2022|Seminar, Utrecht University|

By Edwin Alblas (Wageningen University). Date: April 20th from 15:00 to 17:00 at the Newtonlaan 201, in room 24 on the 4th floor, Utrecht.

The EU has some of the world’s most ambitious and highly-developed environmental laws on its books, but their effectiveness is severely compromised by non-compliance and poor implementation. The ‘Effective Nature Laws’ (ERC funded) research project breaks new ground by mapping empirically the evolution of EU environmental governance laws between 1992-2015. Recently completed, this major interdisciplinary project, led by professor Suzanne Kingston, combined leximetric analysis, quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as a lab-experiment. Edwin Alblas, assistant professor in environmental law at Wageningen University and post-doc researcher at the RUG, will present the methodology and results of this project during the ERI Seminar: Europe’s Nature Governance Revolution: Environmental Democracy in Action? The seminar will take place on April 20th from 15:00 to 17:00 at the Newtonlaan 201, in room 24 on the 4th floor, Utrecht. Edwin Alblas uses different types of research methodologies, including surveys (country comparative) and text analysis of large sets of legislative documents see examples in the publications below.

  • Kingston, S., Alblas, E., Callaghan, M. and Foulon, J., Magnetic law: Designing environmental enforcement laws to encourage us to go further. Regulation & Governance (2021).
  • Kingston, S., Wang, Z., Alblas, E. et al., The democratisation of European nature governance 1992–2015: introducing the comparative nature governance index. Int Environ Agreements (2021).

Sign up for the meeting via

22 03, 2022

2022 International Empirical Legal Studies Conference

2022-03-22T12:25:06+01:00March 22, 2022|Conference|

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 Conference in 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!

1 02, 2022

Call for registration pre-conference PhD day

2022-02-01T12:15:43+01:00February 1, 2022|Uncategorized|

Call for registration: PhD Day on March 9!

VSR Recht en Samenleving , ELS Academy and KU Leuven are organizing a pre-conference day, for and by PhDs. The day will take place at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of KU Leuven, preceding the VSR Conference (March 10 and 11).

This PhD day will revolve around the empirical method of interviewing and the ethical aspects thereof, which will be explored through keynote presentations by Danielle Chevalier (Leiden University) and Paulien de Winter (University of Groningen) and various workshops. Lab members Kimia Heidary and Helen Pluut will give a workshop together. Read the programme here.

Registration is possible until February 14th. #phd #els #conference

18 10, 2021

New literature

2022-05-24T13:17:15+02:00October 18, 2021|Literature|

Several interesting books relevant to the field of Empirical Legal Studies have been released recently:

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