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.



Niels Graaf, a PhD candidate in my research project on European judicial cultures, has written a critical reflection on German law libraries. You can find his blogpost on the LawLog of the Center for Global Constitutionalism.

Lisa Ansems, a PhD candidate working with Prof. Kees van den Bos and me, has written a blogpost (in Dutch) on the value of empirical legal studies (ELS) for legal scholarship and the relation of ELS to legal-doctrinal studies. You can read her reflection on the website of the Werkgroep Rechtswetenschap, a platform for debate about the future of Dutch legal academia.


Academic experience

June 2016-, Professor of Jurisprudence, Utrecht University / Sept 2018-, Vice-Dean for Education at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance

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
Research project: De rechtspraak in balans (on judicial organisation and New Public Management in the Netherlands, France and Germany)
Prizes: Research Prize 2008 Erasmus University Rotterdam, Thesis Prize 2009 European Group of Public Law

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

Photograph Vanessa Mak

Photograph Vanessa Mak