Yannick Leen

You will engage in fundamental legal issues in a motivating environment within a small, diverse group of students.
Yannick Leen
Student Legal Theory & Socio-Legal Studies 2019-2020

Hello, my name is Yannick Leen. After completing a double bachelors in Law and Economics and choosing a masters in Policy Economics, I wanted to select a legal masters programme that suited my background whilst teaching me to answer new and interesting questions. How do we ensure tech giants don’t interfere in our democratic process? How can we investigate systemic biases in our legal system? Do we have a moral obligation to future generations to preserve natural resources? Is the law what is written down, or do some moral codes apply regardless of the texts we find? These questions were for the most part put aside during the doctrinal courses of the bachelor of Law. In this master programme, these questions were put front and centre, and I got to engage with the academic side of law.

Legal Theory & Socio-legal Studies focusses on the philosophical foundations and societal effects of the law. It contains three distinct tracks to choose from, but really you are free to choose any courses that are qualitatively sufficient. The Socio-legal track contains courses that implement the insights of social sciences (sociology, psychology, economics) and investigates what these insights can teach us about law and its impact. The philosophy track contains courses focussed on questioning the nature of justice, authoritarianism and what it means to have a rule of law. The recent legal developments in countries like Hungary and Poland and the democratic backsliding that has occurred there, make courses such as The Rule of Law in the Global Legal Context exceptionally relevant for identifying and assessing current global trends.

After some shared introductory courses, the individual track allows you to cherry pick courses that fit your academic interests. These courses can be at Erasmus University Rotterdam or elsewhere, and the coordinators of the master programme will guide you during these choices to ensure the courses you have selected are suitable. Despite (or because) of my background in Policy Economics, I found myself drawn to the philosophical and individual tracks, forcing myself to engage with problems in a new and unfamiliar way. This master programme has perfectly complimented my master programme in economics and will allow me to argue both the economic and moral sides of public policy. If you take the time to select courses that truly appeal to you, you will certainly be rewarded. In two excellent courses focussed on the law and policy of European integration, I was able to satisfy my curiosity for the European Union, applying the theories of law that I had learned thus far to a legal system that now more than ever seems to dominate the public debate.

This master programme will allow you to engage in fundamental legal issues in a motivating environment within a small, diverse group of students. If these are the issues of law that matter to you, no other programme will suffice. You will be guided intensively by academics leading in their fields, who view this master programme as a passion project and are ready to help you jumpstart your legal career.

PS If these topics interest you, Sui Generis is the legal study association for you. Regardless of your choice of master programme, we welcome students with an interest in legal theoretical questions, and organise drinks, interactive seminars, book clubs and more. Contact suigeneris.esl@gmail.com for more information.