mr.drs. (Thomas) T.E. Riesthuis

(external) researcher Erasmus School of Law Sociology, Theory and Methodology
Erasmus University Rotterdam

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Title of research: Reconceptualizing the Intertwinement of Legal Orders: Perspectives from Legal Theory.

Promotor: Prof. H.S. Taekema


Title of research: Reconceptualizing the Intertwinement of Legal Orders: Perspectives from Legal Theory.

Promotor: Prof. H.S. Taekema

International law has become intertwined with domestic legal orders in many ways because of the influence of international legal norms. This intertwinement of legal orders presents us with two problems. Firstly, national and international legal orders interact with each other, resulting in norm conflicts. Secondly, tensions between legal actors arise because of the overlap between different legal orders. These issues force legal philosophers to evaluate the explanatory power of legal theories.

It is difficult to articulate the relations between national and international legal orders within the existing traditions of legal theory. Legal positivists are unable to clarify how domestic and international legal norms interact, and interpretivists have difficulty explaining the authority of international courts. An underdeveloped school in legal theory - legal pragmatism - offers more potential for grasping the intertwinement of legal orders, but does not present a comprehensive theoretical account of law. By drawing on the work of Philip Selznick, a comprehensive account of the concept of law from this perspective will be constructed. The research project aims at assessing the explanatory power of the aforementioned three schools in the light of the intertwinement of legal orders.

The research is twofold, and consists of both a theoretical and a legal doctrinal component. In the theoretical part, the strong and weak points of the three theoretical schools will be investigated. In the legal doctrinal part, the two conceptual problems are examined in the context of the European Convention on Human Rights. In this part of the research the strong and weak points of the theoretical accounts of law can be assessed in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Thomas Riesthuis (1989) studied law and philosophy at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He holds an LL.M. degree in constitutional & administrative law and a M.A. degree in philosophy of law. During his studies he worked as a student assistant at the department of jurisprudence. In 2013, he started as a PhD candidate. His research interests lie in the fields of social philosophy, jurisprudence and legal methodology, especially issues surrounding the nature of legal scholarship and the role of law in the context of globalization.

      • T.E. Riesthuis (2016). [Bespreking van het boek Law, Society and Community: Socio-Legal Essays in Honour of Roger Cotterrell]. Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, 45(1), 78-81.
      • T.E. Riesthuis & J.W. Hiah (Eds.). (2016) Erasmus Law Review, 9(1).
      • H.S. Taekema & T.E. Riesthuis (2017, september 15). Institutions of the Rule of Law: Including Actors beyond the State. Utrecht, WINIR conference Institutions and open societies.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2016, oktober 4). Validity and Adjudication in Multi-level Legal Systems. University of Amsterdam, Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence Research Colloquium.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2016, februari 12). Law's Integrity and Transnational Law. University of Maastricht, Winter Meeting Netherlands Association for Philosophy of Law.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2016, januari 20). A legal philosophical analysis of case law: supremacy and direct effect of EU law. Erasmus School of Law, PhD seminar organized by the INFAR research group with Kim Lane Scheppele.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2015, juli 27). Law's Integrity and Transnational Law. Washington D.C., U.S., IVR World Congress.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2014, januari 24). De confrontatie tussen rechtspraktijk en rechtstheorie: een praktijkbenadering in rechtstheoretisch onderzoek. Universiteit Gent, Wintervergadering Vereniging voor wijsbegeerte van het recht.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2013, juli 25). Philip Selznick's Legal Pragmatism and a Globalised Legal Order. Belo Horizonte, Brazil, IVR World Congress.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2013, augustus 28). Searching for Coherence in Overlapping Legal Orders: Towards a More Pluralist Account? Barchem, The Netherlands, OZSW Summer School 2013: Reciprocity & the Normative Foundations of Legal Orders.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2013, november 20). A critical reading of Paul Schiff Berman's Theory of Global Legal Pluralism (Commentary). Erasmus School of Law, Global Legal Pluralism: An "author meets reader" seminar.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2013, oktober 28). Versplinterde legitimiteit in Europese pluriforme rechtssystemen (Co-referaat). Universiteit Utrecht, VSR/VWR studiemiddag: de legitimiteit van normen en instituties in de meerlagige en pluriforme Europese rechtsorde.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2013, november 15). Pragmatism and the Role of Values in Legal Research. Rotterdam, The Netherlands, OZSW Conference 2013.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2013, juni 28). The Rule of Law and the Interconnection of Domestic and International Legal Orders. Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence, Amsterdam, PhD Masterclass on the rule of law with Brian Tamanaha.
      • T.E. Riesthuis (2015). Co-organizer (with Sanne Taekema) Special Workshop: Transnational Legal Theory. IVR World Congress: Washington D.C., U.S. (2015, juli 27).
  • (external) researcher

    Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Erasmus School of Law
    Sociology, Theory and Methodology
    The Netherlands