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The ELS Academy is live!

The Netherlands Academy for Empirical Legal Studies is now live with website!

The ELS Academy serves as a platform that brings together (aspiring) empirical legal scholars from all universities in the Netherlands and beyond. Embodying a national collaboration in the field of Empirical Legal Studies in the context of the Sector Plan for the legal discipline, the ELS Academy is focused on educating and supporting researchers who are interested in empirically exploring questions that are legally relevant. The ELS Academy is founded by the five law schools of Leiden University, VU Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and University of Groningen. All law schools in the Netherlands are invited to participate. The ELS Academy has a board consisting of representatives of the coordinating universities. Helen Pluut represents Leiden Law School and is the director of the ELS Academy.

The goal of the ELS Academy is twofold. First, the focus is on bringing together empirical legal scholars and building an ELS community in the Netherlands. Second, the ELS Academy pools resources in the field of empirical legal studies and makes them easily accessible at the service of PhD students and research groups at the various law schools in the Netherlands.

Empirical Legal Studies is one of the legal science themes of the multi-year Law Sector Plan (website in Dutch), as part of the broader Sector Plan Social Sciences and Humanities. The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has provided funding. In the field of empirical legal studies, a national collaboration exists that is coordinated by the five law schools, all of which focus on ELS within the context of the Law Sector Plan.

Through the Sector Plan for law, the Netherlands invests in innovative empirical legal research and academic talent. At the various law schools, new research groups have been created in which legal scholars often collaborate with social scientists and do interdisciplinary research.

Research within this legal science theme is diverse, both in terms of topics and the empirical research methods that are used. At the heart of this research is the empirical examination of legally relevant questions. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, we do research on law in action and examine what works. Empirical research on the functioning and the effects of law in practice offers fundamental insights into (behavioral) assumptions underlying various laws and regulations and it can contribute to achieving the goals of the legislator.

The ELS Academy organizes regular events that are aimed at fostering community building and always serve a learning purpose. For more information on how to join these activities and more, you may check out the ELS Academy website or follow us on LinkedIn.

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