Institute of Public Law
The institute that focuses on Public Law is as broad as the field itself. The Institute of Public Law has six departments, each with its own research agenda.
The researchers from the Institute have one foot in the academic world and the other in the legal one. This is apparent from their partners, which include ministries, international courts and, if child immigrants are involved, youth organisations.
Leiden University has a long tradition of excellence in public international law. This line of research is inextricably linked with the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies. The researchers who work there look at whether public international law still meets the needs of a globalised society. Should the law of war, for instance, be modernised now that states have access to digital resources? And can an ethnic group declare independence?
Leiden University’s Europa Institute was established in 1957, the same year as the European Community. This makes it one of the oldest academic institutions specialising in the law of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Constitutional and Administrative Law
Constitutional and administrative law provides the rules with which government authorities can solve issues in society. It encompasses the national and European legal principles and rules that regulate society and provide citizens with legal protection against the government. In Leiden, constitutional and administrative law are traditionally studied as a whole, the philosophy being that constitutional law cannot be studied without the dynamics and reality of administrative law. The Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law has therefore earned a reputation as a specialised team of generalists.
The Institute of Immigration Law conducts research and provides education on the legal implications of international migration. Since its foundation in 1996, it has become one of the leading centres of expertise in the field of immigration law. The researchers at the department of Immigration Law look at the legal implications of international migration, at the national, European and international level. The questions they study are topical. What, for instance, should a country do with failed asylum seekers?
Air and Space Law
The Institute of Air and Space Law is one of the few institutes in this field in the world. Its researchers focus on legal and policy issues relating to air and space activities. This leads to collaboration with the aviation and space industries. The Institute has offered a broad Air & Space Law programme for decades, which has alumni all over the world.
Labour Law and Social Security
The Department of Labour Law and Social Security is responsible for teaching and research on labour and social security law. The emphasis lies on international and European labour law. Redundancy law and legal protection are other important themes. More than ever, theory and practice go hand and hand in this area of law. Most of the staff members work not only at the University but also as a judge or lawyer.