How will judicial cooperation in the European Union develop and which role do national courts and the EU institutions play in this context? To what extent should courts adapt their working methods in order to respond to the effects of globalisation and managerialism on national legal systems? These questions are central in my academic research and teaching.

My research has introduced an independent and innovative approach to the study of the role of public institutions, in particular courts, in a changing legal and societal context. Empirical methods are applied to move beyond insights from classic (comparative) legal research. Furthermore, this research fine-tunes an original constitutional-theoretical underpinning of normative change, developed first in my PhD thesis. My research connects with current academic and societal debates concerning for example the tension between ‘rule of law’ principles and New Public Management and the role of international, European and comparative legal sources in judicial decision-making.



On Monday 19 June 2017, I delivered my inaugural lecture as Professor of Jurisprudence at Utrecht University on 'The T-shaped Lawyer and Beyond: rethinking legal professionalism and legal education for contemporary societies'. A booklet of the lecture has been published by Eleven International Publishing. See also the self-test elsewhere on this website!

A short interview (in Dutch) about the lecture is available at the website of the journal Mr.: 'Elaine Mak fileert de T-shaped lawyer'.


Academic experience

June 2016-, Professor of Jurisprudence, Utrecht University

Jan 2014-May 2016, Professor of Empirical Study of Public Law, in particular of Rule-of-Law Institutions, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam (chair endowed by the Erasmus Trustfonds) / Director of Erasmus Graduate School of Law (EGSL)

Sept 2009-May 2016, Associate Professor of Jurisprudence, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam

Feb 2008-Aug 2009, Assistant Professor of Jurisprudence, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam

Feb 2004-Jan 2008 PhD candidate, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam


Higher education

24 Jan 2008, PhD in law (cum laude), Erasmus University Rotterdam, PhD supervisor: prof. M.A. Loth

2003, DEA de Droit Public Comparé des États Européens, Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

2002, LLM de Droit Français et de Droit Européen, Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

2001, LLM Dutch law (cum laude), Erasmus University Rotterdam, main courses in the fields of private law and international law


Research visits

April-May 2015, Visiting Fellow, Institute of European and Comparative Law, University of Oxford

May-June 2012, Visiting Fellow, European University Institute, Florence

March-May 2011, Visiting Scholar, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington DC

May-June 2009, Visiting Scholar, Centre for European Legal Studies, University of Cambridge

Nov 2006-Aug 2007, Visiting Scholar, DFG Graduiertenkolleg ‘Verfassung jenseits des Staates’, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin