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The objective of this research programme is to critically examine the Europeanisation and internationalization of law and to study the consequences for traditional understandings of justice and legitimacy. The programme also aspires to make suggestions on how to improve legal arrangements, architectures, and the substance of the law where this is possible. The programme is thus not limited to describing and mapping existing law and practices across borders. Instead, it explicitly places the law in empirical and normative contexts, exposes the social effects that it has, asks whether it meets standards of legitimacy and justice, whether it is reasonably acceptable to those affected by it, how it can be evaluated, and how it can possibly be improved.
The research programme is notably not tied to any specific method or methodology.
The general research theme of the programme is ‘Law and Justice Across Borders’. Within the general theme, there is a specific focus on three subthemes:
Law, Justice and Borders as core concepts
The programme understands ‘law’ and ‘lawmaking’ broadly. It includes legal normativity generated through a range of processes and in a variety of forms, including both its descriptive and its normative aspects. Part of this will be a continued critical sense of which kinds of acts or instruments may lay a justified claim to being called law or to otherwise creating legal obligations, rights and remedies.
Justice is understood broadly as referring to the normative point of view: the law as it ought to be. The research under this programme especially includes the study of the legitimacy of political institutions and law making processes, as well as an assessment of the substantive justice of interpersonal, social and economic arrangements as they are shaped by law.
The focus of this programme is on law and justice across borders. This means, in a first instance, law and justice across the borders of legal orders or regimes. Second, the programme focuses on law and justice across political borders. In a third sense, through the cooperation of different research centres, it crosses the sub-disciplines of law. Fourth and finally, by fusing perspectives of law with those of justice, the project crosses disciplinary borders.