INFAR Colloquium and Seminar at Princeton University

12-13 June, 2017 INFAR members dr. Jeff Handmaker, prof. Sanne Taekema, prof. Karin Arts and INFAR visiting professor Kim Lane Scheppele organised a colloquium at Princeton University.

The colloquium, entitled ‘Legal Mobilization in a World Marked By Populism and Crisis‘, drew a select group of speakers from across the USA and abroad. The goals of the invitation-only colloquium was to bring together scholars and experts to better understand legal mobilization (LM), both as an academic concept and approach, and as a strategy for advocates; to stimulate a relevant research agenda on LM that is informed by current, pressing challenges faced by legal advocates; and to share strategies for LM in light of contemporary political crises in the USA and the Netherlands.


On 13 June, 2017, a public seminar was organized as an extension of the colloquium. At the seminar titled ‘Legal Mobilization at a Time of Political Crisis in Europe and North America‘, INFAR members dr. Jeff Handmaker and prof. Sanne Taekema presented their research at a panel along with prof. Susam Akram of Boston University, Jelle Klaas from the Public Interest Litigation Project, and Baher Azmy from Center for Constitutional Rights.

For full announcement, see here


Both the colloquium and the public seminar were organised by INFAR in co-operation with the Public Interest Litigation Project (PILP) of the Dutch Section of the International Commission of Jurists (NJCM), the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) and the Law and Public Affairs Program of Princeton University.


Seminar: Recent Developments in Militant Democracy

The INFAR Research Excellence Initiative at Erasmus School of Law invites you to a seminar on:


“Recent Developments in Militant Democracy”


In this seminar, prof. Roel de Lange and dr. Nick Efthymiou will give a presentation of a new report they wrote, discussing ways constitutional systems – in particular those of Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America – defend themselves against the rise of anti-democratic organisations. The report was written on request of the Dutch government. It was submitted to the Dutch parliament earlier this year.

Prof. Kim Lane Scheppele, professor of sociology and international affairs at Princeton University, will serve as a discussant.


Date: Friday, 2 June 2017, 14:00-15:45.

Venue: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Woudestein Campus


To register, please RSVP by sending an email to Marielle Duijndam, duijndam@[remove-this]

Joint Research Seminar: Challenges to the Rule of Law in Europe

A joint research seminar, organized by Erasmus School of Law, University of Groningen and European Research Centre for Economic and Financial Governance (

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 from 15:30 h until 17.45 h
Erasmus School of Law, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam, Sanders Building, Room 0-12

The INFAR Research Excellence Initiative at Erasmus School of Law and the European Research Centre for Economic and Financial Governance (EURO-CEFG) invite you to a joint research seminar on ‘Challenges to the Rule of Law in Europe’. The seminar brings together the contributors and editors of two important new books on the rule of law problem in Europe:

  • Closa/Kochenov (eds.), Reinforcing the Rule of Law Oversight in the European Union
    (Cambridge, 2016)
  • Jakab/Kochenov (eds.), The Enforcement of EU Law and Values (Oxford, 2017)

To attend, please RSVP by sending an email to Marielle Duijndam (secretariaatM5@[removethis]

Confirmed speakers:

  • Prof. Dr. Dimitry Kochenov (University of Groningen)
  • Prof. Dr. Fabian Amtenbrink and Dr. René Repasi (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • Prof. Dr. Kim Lane Scheppele (Princeton University)
  • Prof. Dr. Laurent Pech (Middlesex University London)
  • Prof. Dr. Leonard Besselink (University of Amsterdam)

Integrating Normative and Functional Approaches to Rules of Law (INFAR) is a research project of Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus School of History, Culture, and Communication, and the Institute of Social Studies. EURO-CEFG is a joint research initiative initiated by researchers from the Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam conducting interdisciplinary reasearch around the theme of economic and financial governance in the EU.

SEMINAR: The Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights: Synergies or Tensions?

The International Institute of Social Studies and Erasmus School of Law, in collaboration with the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Working Group of the School of Human Rights Research invite you to attend a seminar on:

The Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights: Synergies or Tensions?

Date: 29 May, 10.00-13.30 hrs.

Venue: ISS, The Hague

In this seminar, the speakers and participants will investigate in what way human rights protection interacts with promoting Agenda 2030, and more in particular the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and which synergies and tensions can be identified.

More particular questions to be explored include:

  1. if synergies are to be expected, which human rights (aspects) are most likely to contribute to sustainable development, and
  2. how does the interdependence of human rights affect the interplay with the SDGs: is a focus on particular human rights or on inequality advisable or does it require integral human rights protection (and is the latter feasible?)

The seminar is an activity of the Research Excellence Initiative INFAR (Integrating Normative and Functional Approaches to Rule of Law and Human Rights), which is a collaborative project involving Erasmus School of Law (ESL) and the ISS.

In case you wish to attend or if you wish more information, please register through and send us your name, and contact details.

On Friday 26 May all registered participants will receive an email with the latest update and logistical details.

The second generation of Rule of Law reform

12 Jan. 2017, 16 – 17 hrs, IDLO Offices, The Hague

Rule of law approaches have been criticised by practitioners and scholars
alike, either for their perceived lack of impact or insufficient contextual
grounding. Responding to these criticisms, a second generation rule of
law approach is emerging as an alternative to the conventional
approaches in law and development interventions. This approach has
been characterised involves complex interactions between various civic
and state actors and values the importance of power structures, context,
culture and other factors. Second generation approaches do not pay
attention to formal structures alone. Informal and flexible structures are
also recognised as significant.

We have invited like-minded colleagues in the field to hear reflections on
these developments from the following two prominent scholars:
Kim Lane Scheppele is Lawrence S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology
and International Affairs at Princeton University and Visiting Scholar of
INFAR. Her academic and advisory work covers an extensive range of
rule of law and justice related questions.
Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Former Dean at
the University at Buffalo School of Law. His scholarship has addressed
constitutional human rights and transitional justice questions
concerning some of the most pressing dilemmas of our time.
Sanne Taekema will moderate the discussion. She is Professor of
Jurisprudence at the Erasmus School of Law of Erasmus University
Rotterdam and co-ordinator of the INFAR project.

This event is organised by the INFAR Project (Integrating Normative
and Functional Approaches to Rule of Law and Human Rights) of the
Erasmus University Rotterdam ( and the
Department of Research and Learning of the International Development
Law Organization (IDLO).

Varieties of Consequential Reasoning and the Rule of Law: Theory and Institutional Contexts

An Erasmus Rotterdam-Queen Mary Workshop

Organized by research programme Rethinking the Rule of Law in collaboration with The Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC) at Queen Mary University, London.

Location: NH Atlanta Rotterdam
Date: Friday 25 November 2016
Time: 10:00-17:30 hrs. incl. lunch

Legal decision-makers and judges frame their judgments in terms of the legal order they work with. Usually, this means that their decisions are argued for on the basis of the existing legal norms. However, these decisions do not only look back, they also have consequences for the future. In this workshop we will consider the forward-looking aspects of legal decision-making: in what ways do legal decision-makers, and judges in particular, refer to and consider future consequences in their reasoning? More particularly, the focus of the workshop is on tracing the relationship between different types of consequences that play a role in legal reasoning and how consequential reasoning relates to the rule of law.


For more information, the programme or registration, please click here.

Seminar: A European New Legal Realism

Time: Wednesday 14 December 2016, 13.00–15.00
Place: Erasmus Law School, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Polak 3-22
Organizers: Professor Jan Klabbers (Helsinki), LL.D. Elisabeth Eneroth (Lund)

Participation is free, please register via

Abstract: The purpose of the seminar is to present and discuss three contributions to the special issue in Retfærd. Nordic Journal on Law and Justice, Vol. 39, Nr. 4, 2016 on European New Legal Realism (ENLR). The seminar begins with a presentation of the premises for a ENLR as elaborated by Associate Professor Jakob v. H. Holtermann and Professor Mikael Rask Madsen (both iCourts, Copenhagen) in their article “What is Empirical in Empirical Studies of Law? A European New Legal Realist Conception”.

The presentation is followed by comments by Professor Henrik Palmer Olsen (iCourts, Copenhagen) and Professor Stuart Toddington (Huddersfield) as presented in their article “Legal Realism: In Search of a Science of Law”. These comments are followed by a presentation by Elisabeth Eneroth (Lund) of an alternate theoretical and methodological route to the premises of a ENLR as presented in her article ”Critical Substantive Validity Testing of Legal Norms”. The three presentations are followed by comments by Professor Jan Klabbers, visiting professor at Erasmus Law School (Helsinki). The seminar ends with a debate among the participants on the possibilities and/or limitations of a ENLR as presented by Holtermann and Madsen as well as interjections on the comments and alternative route presented by Olsen, Toddington and Eneroth.



13:00–14:00 A European New Legal Realism

  • Jakob v. H. Holtermann and Mikael Rask Madsen
  • Henrik Palmer Olsen and Stuart Toddington
  • Elisabeth Eneroth


  • Jan Klabbers

14:00–14:15    Response to the Critics

14:15–15:00   Panel Debate and Questions from the Audience