Ius Commune postgraduate training course 2023-2024. Foundations of Ius Commune
Maastricht, Tuesdag 2 - Thursday 4 April 2024
GoalThe goal of this Foundations course is to make the PhD-researches acquainted with various bodies of literature (within social sciences, economics, private law, history of law and public law) that have, from various angles, addressed the question if, why and how a Ius Commune ought to be constructed. We will discuss possible analytical approaches towards legal research. It is hoped that the reference to some of these approaches might provide you with some ideas to constitute an analytical framework for your own topics. Hopefully you will see some connections between the ideas that were developed in that respect in the various disciplines and that will be presented during this part of the training programme. Please note that this is not a course about practical methodology, but about various abstract perspectives on legal research.
Combined lectures and discussionsThe current programme consists of two days of lectures in which the foundations of Ius Commune are analyzed from different angles and a third day of round table discussions. The lectures address different approaches to legal research from a higher level of abstraction. The lecturers have as such not been asked to provide clear cut answers to how to structure the practical methodology of your research. The particular methodology of your research is something you should discuss with your supervisor, or perhaps during the Ius Commune Masterclass in Leuven and Amsterdam. No prior reading is necessary although every lecturer can provide useful documentation material for the junior researchers. During the lectures, there is already the possibility of feedback and discussion (Socratic method). Moreover, after the lectures there is a possibility for the junior researchers to reflect on the relevance of the presented material for their topic. The third day, the junior researchers are to present their ideas on which analytical perspective on the law they will use in their PhD research during a panel discussion together with the lecturers. In an informal round table discussion you will be asked to (i) explain from which analytical approach you will structure your research and (ii) reflect on the usefulness of the various lectures and ideas presented on the first two days for your own research. Hence, this discussion does not take the form of formal presentations by the PhD researchers. During this round table discussion most of the lecturers (and a few others) will be present to reflect. The idea is that during this round table discussion ideas may be generated that improve your research.
LecturersDr. Alexandre Biard is Senior affiliated researcher at Erasmus University Rotterdam
Dr. Catalina Goanta is Associate Professor in Private Law and Technology at Utrecht University
Dr. Daniel On is Assistant Professor in Private Law at Maastricht University
Dr. Agustin Parise is Associate Professor of Law at Maastricht University
Prof. Dr. Niels Philipsen is Associate Professor at Maastricht University and Professor of Shifts in Private and Public Regulation at Erasmus University Rotterdam
Prof. Dr. Jure Vidmar is Professor of Public International Law at Maastricht University
Dr. Antonia Waltermann is Assistant Professor of Legal Theory and Legal Philosophy at Maastricht University
Prof.Dr. Em. Bruno de Witte is Emeritus Professor of European Union Law at Maastricht University
Topics of the lecturesObviously, a lot of material exists concerning the foundations of Ius Commune. Nevertheless, within the limited time available of 3 days, it seems necessary to focus on a few issues. In April, there will be a specific course about comparative legal research in Utrecht. Therefore, the following issues will be discussed during this course on foundations of Ius Commune:
Dr. Alexandre BiardLaw and behaviour. Behavioural insights and their relevance for legal research
In this lecture a behavioural approach is presented to legal problems. Increasingly law and psychology literature is used to explain how (private or corporate) individuals may react to legal rules. Indeed, many legal instruments (either of legislative or case law nature) are based on the assumption that rational individuals will react in a rational way to incentives provides through legal mechanisms. Since the early 1960's psychologists like Tversky and Kahnemann have shown that, however, the decision-making of individuals, especially when it takes place under uncertainty, is influenced through a variety of so-called heuristics and biases. The influence of these shortcomings (also referred to as the result of so-called bounded rationality of individuals) has been well documented in psychological literature. The relevance of this literature is now also discovered in other sciences, primarily in economics (in the so-called behavioural economics literature) but increasingly by lawyers as well. In this lecture it will be shown that some of this literature in which empirical studies concerning the actual behaviour of people is examined is very relevant for lawyers and more particularly for legal research as well.
Dr. Catalina GoantaComputational legal studies: examples from consumer protection
In this lecture a social science approach for dealing with the intertwinement of law, society and behaviour is provided. Starting with presenting and discussing the sequence in empirical social science research (problem formulation, use of (explanatory) theories and data collection and analysis) examples of (theory-driven) social science research regarding the Judiciary will be looked at in more detail and the lecturers will present a few examples regarding research on the dispensation of justice and introduce an overarching approach regarding the role of law in society. Also, attention will be paid to evaluation research concerning law, regulation, enforcement and 'inspection'.
Dr. Daniel OnEuropean private law as a field of academic research
In this course, attention will be paid to some of the more recent developments in the fields of European private law and methodology of comparative law. The different ways in which comparative law studies can be pursued will be discussed by reference to influential comparative lawyers of the past. Their views will be related to the present debate on harmonization with an emphasis on the question if one should look for similarities and/or differences in comparing legal systems. Where possible, public law will be addressed as well.
Dr. Agustin PariseComparative Legal History and the Foundations of Ius Commune
This course will deal with the common foundations of law in Europe. Researchers should benefit from the treasure house of European legal history to its full extent. The course will first address foundational questions on legal history and comparative law. The course will then focus on comparative legal history as a tool to explore the development of law across time and space. The course aims to offer insights on what legal history and comparative law have to 'teach' as regards the most recent developments in the law of Europe, both in the private and public domains.
Prof. Dr. Niels PhilipsenThe relevance of law and economics for the foundations of Ius Commune
The course addresses the economic analysis of law and first of all explains why law and economics research may at all be useful for comparative legal research and for Ius Commune research. A few examples will be given of what law and economics has to offer. More in depth, attention will be given to how law and economics thinks about issues of federalism and how economics considers e.g. a European civil code project or the search to common principles. Hence, this will provide some insights in the economic justifications for harmonization of legal rules.
In the economic analysis of law, attention has not only been paid to rules of private law, but also to public law. More particularly, public choice and political economy have given a lot of attention to the influence of interest groups on wealth maximizing politicians. Hence, some attention to these aspects of public law will be given as well.
Prof. Dr. Jure VidmarInternational law in theory and practice
This lecture considers the theoretical underpinnings and practical application of international law. It addresses the nature of international legal obligations and discusses the actors in the international legal system. In so doing, the lecture provides for a conceptual overview of what international law can and cannot regulate.
Dr. Antonia WaltermannLegal philosophy and the foundations of Ius Commune
This lecture focuses on normative evaluations and recommendations in Ius Commune research, through the lens of legal theory and legal philosophy. It situates evaluative questions such as 'should the law change?, 'should harmonization occur?' and recommendations as to the form that changes in the law should take in a broader picture of legal research, emphasising the importance of normative standards in this connection. At the same time, the lecture will also point to how these questions rely on factual and conceptual assumptions about the impact of legal change on society in general. This demonstrates how evaluative questions open legal research to other disciplines..
Prof. Dr. Em. Bruno de WitteIus Commune and European constitutional law
In this part of the course, attention is given to issues of multilevel governance in Europe. The frequent interaction between the national, European and international level is a highly complex but important aspect that will be addressed in this part of the course. This part pays attention to the relevance of comparative law for EU law, the interaction between EU law and national law, the interaction between legislation and case law, the relevance of fundamental rights and more generally practical issues to be considered for defining topics for EU law research.
LanguageThe Foundations course will take place in English.
Faculty of Law
6200 MD Maastricht
Tel.: + 31 43 - 388 3207/3257