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Expert interviews in legal research: why, who and how?

Interviews are a common practice in legal research, especially in (EU) legal research focused on institutions, processes, and decisions. In this short talk, Emilia Korkea-aho, Professor of European Law and Legislative Studies, will discuss expert interviews in legal research, with a specific focus on legal experts such as civil servants, practicing lawyers, policy-makers and politicians, judges, and similar professionals.

First, she will address the “why” question, explaining the objectives of conducting expert interviews and the reasons for using interviews in research. The next question (“who”) relates to the identification of an expert: Who qualifies an expert? How can we identify an expert for the purposes of our research? Is everyone potentially an expert? Then Emilia discusses the question of “how” to conduct interviews: How to find and access experts and how to determine when we have conducted a sufficient number of expert interviews? She will also briefly touch upon the importance of confidentiality. Finally, she will discuss how to use interview data in a thesis or a dissertation.

The meeting will be online. After the presentation there’s time for a Q&A and discussion. You are cordially invited to join. If you would like to attend this meeting, please send an email to Anniek van der Schuijt, E: j.m.vander.schuijt@vu.nl, on 1 October at the latest. She will send you the Teams link to join the online meeting. If you are interested but not available, please let Anniek know and a recording of the lecture can be sent to you afterwards.

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