Empirical legal studies

Law and policy / Research policy

Empirical legal studies

(full text only available in Dutch)


This special issue deals with Empirical Legal Studies (ELS), studies investigating the law in the real world and using empirical methods. Findings of empirical research may have direct or indirect relevance to legal practice and policy. Internationally as well as in the Netherlands, ELS is on the rise. In the last decade most Dutch law faculties have introduced chairs in ELS, thereby recognising that nowadays it is not enough to educate students just in knowledge of the law and in classical legal skills. There is a growing need for lawyers who are able to appreciate the findings of empirical research and to integrate these in their professional activities. In this issue the history of ELS is being told, starting with the birth of Legal Realism in the United States in the beginning of the 20th century. An important subject in this issue is how to make empirical legal research successful so it can lead to improvements in legal practice, in legislation and in legal education. Moreover, several existing examples of ELS from various legal areas are reflected on, as well as on their application in practice.

Publication data

Place of publication:
The Hague
Boom juridisch
Year of publication:
Justitiƫle verkenningen 2016/06