Approach via the sector plan
ERI is a research cluster within the Utrecht University School of Law. We started in 2019. The reason for this was the Law Sector Plan that started in that year. The Ministry of OCW funds the sector plan, in consultation with NWO.
With ERI and with this sector plan, we try to strengthen scientific research within law in the Netherlands. We also try to strengthen the collaboration with other fields in the social sciences and humanities.
The two themes to which the Department of Law in Utrecht has joined nationally are: Institutions of Conflict Resolution (COI) and Empirical Legal Studies (ELS). COI + ELS = ERI
COI: Institutions for Conflict Resolution
It is of great importance that institutions at the national and European level function effectively and efficiently. After all, this is how important problems and conflicts can be prevented, reduced or resolved. Institutions must comply with constitutional values and legitimacy requirements. For example, they must act on the basis of and in accordance with the law (including, for example, frameworks of Union law and human rights law), operate transparently, be accountable for their actions, allow scope for participation, etc.
Institutions operate in a rapidly changing environment. Endogenous and exogenous factors and developments constantly put their problem-prevention and problem-solving capacities to the test or put pressure on their operation in accordance with the values of the rule of law. Examples include privatisation, digitalisation, fragmentation and decentralisation.
Issues such as sustainability, empowered and individually minded citizens, and cultural clashes are also important. Authority is no longer taken for granted. Trust in institutions such as the judiciary is under pressure as well. Legal research into these developments is therefore of great importance.
Five themes are central to this: