Two PhD positions in law within the NWO Vidi project ‘Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: A Comparative Analysis of European Judicial Culture(s)’

Job description

The Utrecht School of Law will be appointing two PhD researchers in law within the NWO Vidi project ‘Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: A Comparative Analysis of European Judicial Culture(s)’, headed by prof. dr. Elaine Mak.

The Lisbon Treaty (2009) has set new goals for judicial cooperation between member states of the European Union (EU) with an eye to providing effective legal remedies and fundamental rights protection. This cooperation is stimulated by the European Commission’s agenda (e.g. judicial training) and practices of ‘transnational borrowing’ between courts in the EU. However, it remains unclear to what extent national judicial cultures, i.e. ideas and practices regarding judging and judicial organisation which have developed over time, can and should converge into a shared ‘European judicial culture’.

The PhD projects will address two aspects of judicial culture: legal rules and concepts for European cases (legal dimension; project 1) and leadership in judging EU law cases (institutional dimension; project 2). These projects will interconnect with the project leader’s analysis of a third aspect of judicial culture: professional values for judges (moral dimension). All three projects will combine a comparative-legal analysis with an empirical approach (surveys, interviews, observations). Focus is on civil, criminal, administrative and constitutional courts in selected EU member states and on European judicial networks. The outcomes of the PhD projects will assist in answering the project’s central research question, which concerns the possibilities and constraints regarding further alignment of judicial cultures in the EU. A more detailed research plan is available upon request.

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