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On Wednesday, 29 May 2019 Elaine Mak (Utrecht University) will be giving a guest lecture entitled "The Framework for Judicial Cooperation in the European Union: Unpacking the Ethical, Legal and Institutional Dimensions of ‘Judicial Culture’." The lecture is part of the Amsterdam Law School's Annual PhD workshop.

Event details of Unpacking the Ethical, Legal & Institutional Dimensions of ‘Judicial Culture’ in the EU
Date 29 May 2019
Time 15:00 -16:30

The lecture is based on the research paper with the same name, which Elaine Mak published together with Niels Graaf and Erin Jackson in 2018.


Possibilities and constraints for achieving legal unity in the context of the European Union (EU) manifest themselves in multiple and illustrative ways in the development of cooperation between judges in EU Member States. For example, recent discussions on judicial independence in Hungary and Poland underline that we are still quite far removed from the realisation of a shared European normative basis for judicial functioning, that is: a shared ‘judicial culture’. These discussions simultaneously emphasise the importance of such a basis for the realisation of the ideal of the ‘rule of law’. As a stepping stone for future interdisciplinary legal research, this article provides a theoretical analysis of the concept of ‘judicial culture’ and three of its core dimensions (ethical, legal, institutional), which has not been available in legal scholarship so far. Our analysis demonstrates that by carefully establishing in which types of sources we can locate the respective dimensions, and by designing a methodology for analysing these sources, scholars can analyse judicial cultures in a more in-depth and systematic manner. In this way, specific conceptual ‘lenses’ become available for the collection of relevant information and empirical data, for the theoretical analysis and comparison of these results and eventually for a normative assessment of the possibility and desirability of convergence of judicial cultures. From this perspective, this analysis aims to contribute to further insight into questions on legal unity and its realisation in a context of diverging social pressures.

The Speaker

Elaine Mak is a Professor of Jurisprudence at Utrecht University and Vice Dean for Education at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. She holds law degrees from Rotterdam and Paris. She obtained her PhD degree at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2008 and from January 2014 until May 2016 was Professor of Empirical Study of Public Law as well as Director of the Erasmus Graduate School of Law. She was a member of the editorial board of the Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy (NJLP) and is chair of the board of the Netherlands Association for Philosophy of Law. She is a member of the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities at the UU and she is a member of Utrecht Young Academy.


The lecture is open to the general public. No registration is required. It will take place at Amsterdam Law School, building REC A, room A3.15, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, Amsterdam.


More information about the Amsterdam Law School's Annual PhD workshop.