Institutions for Conflict Resolution 



How can the judiciary best respond to the expectations placed on it to resolve societal problems? What is the function of the courtroom as an arena for societal change?


In recent years, courts have increasingly become a forum where the general public and civil-society organisations turn to make their case when they feel other institutions are failing. Controversial issues that have come before thecourt include climate protection, COVID-19 restrictions, nitrogen regulations, abortion rights, and more. 


Expectations of what the courts can achieve are high, sometimes perhaps too high. There is a risk that in the general public’s perception, fundamental principles of law (such as independence and impartiality of judges) are coming under pressure. 


Our aim is to study how the judiciary can best respond to the expectations placed on it to resolve problems. We believe there are three components to an optimally functioning legal system: access, legal protection, and effective conflict resolution. Our findings will be contextualized by comparing them to results achieved by other institutions for conflict resolution. 


Cooperation and team science is in our blood. We, for example, cooperate with the European Network of Councilf for the Judiciary and organise annual meetings with societal partners. Would you like to cooperate with us as well? Please contact! 


And check the websites of the three founding universities to find out more about our research: Leiden University, Utrecht University and Radboud University.