Events Montaigne Centre

The Montaigne Centre regularly organizes interesting conferences, methodology sessions, lectures and seminars.

Lunch lectures

Every three months the Montaigne Centre organizes a lunch lecture. During an external speaker or a researcher of the Montaigne Centre speaks about a current theme in judicial administration or conflict resolution, whilst a modest lunch is provided. Examples of such lectures are a lecture by Herman van Harten who spoke about the tension between European governance and national administration or Prof. Kees van den Bos who presented qualitative and quantitative research into ‘rejecting the rule of law’. Another example was the visit of Australian professor John Williams, who spoke about the role of judges in the political debate: ‘Should judges speak out?’

Methodology Sessions

Every three months the Montaigne Centre organizes a methodology session. During these sessions a researcher of the Montaigne Centre presents a specific methodological approach that can be used in judicial research. The Montaigne Centre strives to provide a forum to researchers –from both the Montaigne Centre, as from other institutes – where different types of methodological methods in judicial research can be discussed. Marc Simon Thomas, postdoc at the Montaigne Centre, discussed his ideas on “Methodology of legal anthropological research”. He discussed the different methodologies used in his PhD research: starting with his research proposal, via research techniques such as participant observation, interviews, and archival research, to his final writings.
Miranda Boone explained the use of vignettes in comparative research, based on her experiences of a pilot study on breaching processes in twelve countries. The vignette methodology proved to be particularly useful in giving insight into the procedures involved in the decision making process.


The Montaigne Centre organises seminars on a regular basis. In the recent past there were for instance (among others) seminars on the Ombudsman, Rule of Law and Good Governance (March 2014) and on Procedural Justice within Judicial Administration (October 2014). These seminars can be organised by one of our researchers, but can also come from the cooperation with one of our partners.


The Montaigne Centre sees the organisation of conferences as one of its main activities. Not only does the Montaigne Centre organise conferences, it also financially supports ideas and initiatives in line with the research focus of the Montaigne Centre. For instance, in April 2014 the Montaigne Centre co-sponsored the Legal Research Master conference on ‘Innovative adjudication in Dutch courts’ and also the Second Crime Conference on November 6th (2014) held the University of Tilburg was co-sponsored by the Montaigne Centre. This conference in Tilburg was also organized by Pauline Jacobs, who is one of the researchers of the Montaigne Centre. In April 2015 a conference was organized on Procedural Justice. In 2016, Montaigne organized a symposium on Problem Solving Justice. On 17 February 2017 the Montaigne Centre of the Utrecht Law School organizes a one day conference on different types of legal research methodologies.