Elbert de Jong appointed as chairman of Utrecht Law College

Elbert de Jong

Elbert de Jong's phone has recently been red-hot with interview requests about the climate lawsuit against Shell. As a researcher, he often focuses on liability issues surrounding complex societal issues, such as liability for the consequences of climate change. He is also moving forward with ambitions for education: as of September 1, De Jong will become the chairman of the Utrecht Law College. He hopes to further promote the interaction between education and research. “Bachelor students can work even more on legal questions about which there is not much theory and for which the answers have not yet been formulated.”

Elbert de Jong is professor of Private Law and the first alumnus of the Utrecht Law College to become president of the College. “I have very fond memories of my time as a student at the ULC. It has shaped me to becone the lawyer I am today. This is primarily due to the teachers in the college, they are immensely inspiring. In addition, you meet fellow students who also motivate and stimulate you enormously. I made college friends here for life. If you notice that you have the same interests and start working together to delve into those interests, it brings so much beauty. And finally, Utrecht Law College helps you find your way as a future lawyer. A great deal is organised and facilitated, such as practice courts, evening lectures and in-depth honours courses. ”

In-depth education at Utrecht Law College

The ULC is the honours programme for bacherlor law students who want to prepare themselves more intensively and in a community context for a legal career. They take a number of courses in the honours variant and do extra activities such as internships, working visits and a practice court. The students themselves also organise modules together: series of meetings in which they delve more deeply into a particular subject related to the study programme.
The Utrecht Law College has two study associations: Sirius and Tilia. Together with the lecturers, these study associations form an academic community. The associations have student boards and the college itself has a teacher board, of which Elbert de Jong will be the chairman as of September 1, 2021. He succeeds professor Ferry de Jong. “I have an important role with regard to the curriculum, for example, I have to ensure that the ULC subjects continue to develop and that we keep the standard high. I want to continue to innovate and improve education. ”

New societal issues and questions

“What I especially want to strive for, is a cross-pollination between research and education. As far as I'm concerned, that is perfectly possible in bachelor's education," says De Jong. “Much of the Law research at Utrecht University is socially engaged. We address societal themes that raise many new legal questions. Many of these questions have not yet been answered. I think teachers can translate the questions they work with as a researcher into educational assignments for the Utrecht Law College. It is my ambition to train students who not only have a thorough knowledge of the applicable law, but who are also able to find solutions to unanswered issues with an academic and critical mindset.”