Erasmus School of Law participates in two focus areas of the Dutch Sectorplan for Law, an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science, which aims at repositioning the legal discipline within the academic environment to be better equipped to help addressing contemporary societal challenges. Erasmus School of Law participates in the focus areas Rebalancing Public & Private Interests and Empirical Legal Studies.
The evaluation committee for the Sectorplan, recently presented its mid-term evaluation (2019-2021) report to the Minister of Education, Culture & Science. According to the Dutch Research Council (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek), Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf, accompanied by a delegation which included the Dean of Erasmus School of Law, praised the positive outcome of the report, and considered the plan “to be working well, with important lessons for wider use in all sectors”.
To continue what we are doing, the committee recommends the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science to allocate the resources for the second three-year period (fourth to sixth years) to the faculties without changes.
The committee found the focus area Rebalancing Public & Private Interests to have been structurally embedded at both participating faculties (EUR and RUG) and clearly aiming at creating scientific relevance and societal impact. They applaud the collaboration between the faculties, with other focus areas of the Sector Plan and with various other stakeholders as well as the participation in the societal debate. Moreover, the committee found the Sector Plan themes to be reflected in the educational programme.
Regarding the focus area Empirical Legal Studies, the committee highlighted how its interdisciplinary approach between law and empirical science enriches the legal sector and discipline. In addition, the committee emphasized how the knowledge base provided by Empirical Legal Studies attracts other researchers and allows connecting with many other disciplines within and beyond the Sector Plan.
The report and its findings are a great motivation to keep developing both strategically important research focus areas for the years to come.