Website launch Netherlands Academy for Empirical Legal Studies

Website Launch

logo ELS Academy

The Netherlands Academy for Empirical Legal Studies has launched their website: The ELS Academy was founded by the five law schools of Leiden University, VU Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and University of Groningen. The ELS Academy serves as a platform that brings together (aspiring) empirical legal scholars from all universities in the Netherlands and beyond.

Embodying a national collaboration in the field of empirical legal studies in the context of the sector plan for the legal discipline, the ELS Academy is focused on educating and supporting researchers who are interested in empirically exploring questions that are legally relevant.

About the ELS Academy

The goal of the ELS Academy is twofold. Firstly, the focus is on bringing together empirical legal scholars and building an ELS community in the Netherlands. Secondly, the ELS Academy pools resources in the field of empirical legal studies and makes them easily accessible at the service of PhD students and research groups at the various law schools in the Netherlands.

Empirical Legal Studies is one of the legal science themes that the multi-year Law Sector Plan focuses on, as part of the broader Sector Plan Social Sciences and Humanities (website in Dutch). The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has provided funding. In the field of empirical legal studies, a national collaboration exists that is coordinated by the five law schools, all of which focus on ELS within the context of the Law Sector Plan. All law schools in the Netherlands are invited to participate.

Through the sector plan for law, the Netherlands invests in innovative empirical legal research and academic talent. At the various law schools, new research groups have been created in which legal scholars often collaborate with social scientists and do interdisciplinary research.

Research within this legal science theme is diverse, both in terms of topics and the empirical research methodology that is used. At the heart of our research is the empirical examination of legally relevant questions. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, we do research on law in action and examine what works. Empirical research on the functioning and the effects of law in practice offers fundamental insights into (behavioral) assumptions underlying various laws and regulations and it can contribute to achieving the goals of the legislator.

The Academy also organizes regular events that are aimed at fostering the community. For information on how to join these events and more, you may check out the ELS Academy website. You may also follow us on LinkedIn.

The ELS Academy has a board consisting of representatives of the coordinating universities. Sonja Bekker, Kees van den Bos and Rianka Rijnhout represent Utrecht University.