MONTAIGNE LECTURE WITH PROFESSOR TOM TYLER (YALE LAW SCHOOL): THE GAP BETWEEN FACTS AND VALUES
Empirical legal studies are well established in the United States and are now part of the academic mainstream. In Europe, meanwhile, law reviews still rarely feature empirical work and doctrinal analysis continues to dominate legal research and teaching. Yet there is increasing pressure as well as growing demand—from research-funding institutions, policy-makers and legal practitioners—for European academic lawyers to investigate the empirical foundations of their theoretical claims and to explain how legal rules emerge from social interactions and shape social outcomes. Traditional legal research seems to be under pressure and debates are taking place on the aims and methods of the academic study of law. As a result, empirical legal research seems to become a booming business and it becomes more and more important for legal researchers to borrow insights, theories and methodologies from other disciplines.
But how to bring empirical evidence to the fore, in such a way that it can be understood and used by lawyers and legislators? Legal scholars are often having trouble with the translation of empirical results to the normative conclusions they are used to. How to deal with this gap between facts and values?
On Friday the 20th of May, professor Tom Tyler (Yale Law School), who is both a Professor of Psychology and a Professor of Law, will teach us how to deal with translational problems and with the tension between facts and values by showing how to do research on the interface between Law and Psychology. His lecture will be followed by reactions of professor Ivo Giesen (Utrecht University), who uses insights from social sciences when analyzing the behavioural assumptions underlying private law, and professor Frans Leeuw, who is director of the Research, Statistiscs, and Documentation Center (WODC) and professor of Law, Public Policy and Social Science Research at the University of Maastricht.