Two new assistant professors for Empirical Legal Studies
Niek Strohmaier and Gitta Veldt will start as assistant professors within the project Empirical Legal Studies (ELS). Their appointments are part of the sector plan of Leiden Law School.
In the coming years, Niek and Gitta will be involved in empirical-legal research within the theme 'market, behaviour and the regulating role of the law' and will support the further development of ELS at the faculty.
Gitta successfully defended her PhD on 10 June. In her PhD research, she examined the significance of European product safety standards in relation to private law.
In her new role she will be developing research plans for the empirical study of the actual impact (and effectiveness) of private law in relation to market regulation. For example, the impact of threatened product liability on the behaviour of market operators. And what kind of factors influence a distributor's decision to withdraw products or not?
On 1 July Niek defended his PhD entitled Making sense of Business Failure: A social psychological perspective on financial and legal judgments in the context of insolvency. Niek will continue further on this line of research, in particular on biases in the formation of legal judgments and decision making. Many of these biases and decisions have relevance for the regulation of (financial ) markets. By conducting empirical research, Niek wishes to contribute to the debate on the regulatory role of the law. For example, how can market regulation mechanisms be set up so that the risk of cognitive biases and other imperfections in legal decision making are kept to a minimum? 'I am very enthusiastic about the developments at our faculty in the area of ELS and am looking forward to being part of this and making my own contribution.’
In March Sarah Vandenbroucke and Kimia Heidary started as PhD candidates on the Empirical Legal Studies project.