European judicial culture

VIDI research project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) 2016-2023

Effective legal protection in the European Union requires cooperation between judges on the basis of shared professional values, legal rules and concepts, and working methods. This research investigates to what extent the judicial cultures in EU member states can and should converge into a shared ‘European judicial culture’.


Integrating Normative and Functional Approaches to Rule of Law and Human Rights (INFAR)

Research Excellence Initiative funded by the Erasmus University Rotterdam 2015-2020 (project leader prof. S. Taekema)

INFAR is a collaborative research project between Erasmus School of Law (ESL), the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), and the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC). The project is dedicated to pursuing high quality research on the rule of law and human rights in an interdisciplinary framework and fostering collaboration between researchers at Erasmus University and beyond.



De ordening van mechanismen van rechtsvorming in de democratische rechtsstaat (Mechanisms of law development in the liberal-democratic legal order)

Commissioned research for the Dutch Council of State 2013-2014 (project leader prof. J. de Poorter)

Book available from Boom Juridische uitgevers


Professional values for the Dutch judiciary: a comparative analysis

Commissioned research and presentations for the Dutch Association of Judges and Prosecutors (NVvR) 2010-2013

Report available for members of the NVvR


Judicial decision-making in a globalised world

Three-year VENI research project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) 2008-2011

Why do judges study legal sources which originated outside their own national legal system, and how do they use arguments from these sources in deciding domestic cases? Based on interviews with judges, this research presents the inside story of how judges engage with international and comparative law in the highest courts of the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, France and the Netherlands. A comparative analysis of the views and experiences of the judges clarifies how the decision-making of these Western courts has developed in light of the internationalisation of law and the increased opportunities for transnational judicial communication. While the qualitative analysis reveals the motives which judges claim for using foreign law and the influence of ‘globalist’ and ‘localist’ approaches to judging, I have also found suggestions of a convergence of practices between the courts which are the subject of this study. This empirical analysis is complemented by a constitutional-theoretical inquiry into the procedural and substantive factors of legal evolution, which enable or constrain the development and possible convergence of highest courts’ practices.


Judicial organisation and New Public Management

PhD research at Erasmus School of Law 2004-2008

Research Prize 2008 Erasmus University Rotterdam, Thesis Prize 2009 European Group of Public Law

The exchange of arguments in debates concerning the modernisation of the judicial organisation in the legal systems of the Netherlands, France and Germany is defined by a mixture of two types of arguments. Principles for the regulation of power in the State, which concern the legitimacy of the judicial organisation from the perspective of the classic conception of checks and balances, have to be balanced with principles which concern the realisation of an optimally transparent, effective and efficient State organisation, and which underlie the New Public Management perspective on the legitimacy of the social order of liberal democracies. The different backgrounds of arguments based on the two types of principles and their implications for the judicial organisation, however, have not been sufficiently acknowledged in the debates in the three examined legal systems. A first step in the clarification of the frame of reference for the debates has been made, in this thesis, by observing the rise of New Public Management principles against the background of the evolution of the conceptions of checks and balances and constitutionalisation in the legal systems of the Netherlands, France and Germany.