Koen Swinnen appointed as Professor of Private Law and Public and Private Interests

As of 1 April 2022, Koen Swinnen is appointed as Professor of Private Law and Public and Private Interests (1,0 fte) at Erasmus School of Law. The chair Public and Private Interests will be shared with Lieselot Bisschop and René Repasi, who have shared the chair since 1 January 2021. The combined chair offers Swinnen the opportunity to research the developments within the field of private law in the context of public and private law.

Swinnen has been affiliated with Erasmus School of Law since 2015; as Associate Professor of Private Law since 2020. He has always been interested in the fundamentals of private law, more specifically in the domain of property law. This exploration has led to numerous national and international lectures and publications, such as the advice for the Vereniging voor de Vergelijkende Studie van het Recht van België en Nederland (Association for Comparative Studies of Dutch and Belgian Law) and articles in Tijdschrift voor Privaatrecht (Journal of Private Law) and the Journal of Law, Property and Society. For his research into digitalisation and property law, Swinnen was also awarded the prestigious TPR research chair – South-Africa 2017-2018, which he held at the North West University (Potchefstroom, Zuid Afrika).

Disruptive phenomena shake the foundations of private law

Swinnen is primarily interested in societal and technological evolutions that are hard to fit into property law or that challenge its traditional principles. These evolutions are called disruptive phenomena and are currently shaking the foundations of private law.

These developments are not just in line with critical social developments like digitalisation and sustainability, but also provide themes in which public and private interests often collide. A growing issue in this context of conflicting interests is whether and how the public legislator must interfere when the fundaments of private law do not cover the problem anymore.

Digitalisation within property law

As Professor of Private Law and Public and Private Interests, Swinnen will mainly focus on comparative, positive, and multidisciplinary research into data and property law in the following years. In his education he will mainly teach private law courses in the Bachelor Law programme and the master programme Private Law.

Swinnen is excited about his appointment: “The combined chair provides the perfect opportunity to combine and confront private law, and traditional property law in particular, with recent societal and technological evolutions that have a substantial impact on both public and private interests.”

The research into disruptive phenomena and the fundamentals of property law, of which digitalisation will be a main focus, is a perfect fit for the School’s motto, where Law meets Business and the university’s Strategy 2024.

The Board of Erasmus School of Law congratulates Koen Swinnen on his appointment and wishes him good luck with his activities.

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