Universiteit Leiden

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COI PhD Day 2023

On 13 October 2023, the third PhD day organised within the context of the research theme Institutions for Conflict Resolution (COI) took place in Leiden. COI is a collaboration between Leiden University, Utrecht University, and Radboud University Nijmegen that serves to implement the Netherlands Sector Plan Law.

On Thursday 13 October, the annual PhD day for all PhD candidates associated with COI took place in Leiden. For Leiden’s PhD candidates, this meant they could finally host their colleagues from Utrecht and Nijmegen, as the first PhD day had to be held online due to COVID-19 restrictions. After the usual train-related issues, as well as some flexibility from the organisers, speakers, and our guests, our morning programme could finally start. All PhD candidates were divided into groups of three to discuss pre-submitted papers, all leading to passionate discussions in which the overarching research themes of COI, such as ‘Society and the Courts’, ‘(Il)legitimacy’ and ‘Procedural justice and judicial responsibilities’, were addressed. 

Following the news that our ‘opening speaker’, Tim van den Bergh from HiiL (the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law), had arrived after a long train journey, the focus shifted to the day’s theme: people-centred justice, and specifically, how this ideal relates to criminal justice. What are the boundaries of people-centred justice? And might it lead to an undesirable ‘privatisation of criminal law’? It goes without saying that these questions provided plenty of material for discussion during lunch. 

The afternoon programme was led by Marten van der Meulen, who encouraged us to bring our ‘socially relevant’ research (his words) to the attention of a wider audience. During his workshop, Marten emphasised the need for a slight adjustment of our academic mindset, as indicated in the film with the same title: ‘Don’t do ‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’’! This useful advice did not stop us from inviting our colleagues from Nijmegen and Utrecht for a boat trip and dinner. Despite the rain, a collision, and a rescue operation involving a drowning umbrella, we look back on a successful day, full of interesting discussions.

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