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Menu for Justice - Toward a European Curriculum Studiorum on Judicial Studies

Menu for Justice

Taskforce Doctorate 

TF Coordinator: Philip langbroek (Law Faculty - University of Utrecht); Markku Kiikeri (University of Lapland). 

Ø    TF Members: ULB IEE; Central European University; University of Calabria; University of Bologna; University of Luxemburg;  University Arena Oslo; Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics Wroclaw; Carlos III Universidad Madrid;

Legal and judicial professionals usually do not need to hold a PhD degree, which is instead considered a fundamental step in the career of a legal academic. Like lawyers and judges, legal academics are taught in substantive law and methodology, and as practicing academics they provide  important comment on the legal and judicial process.  Therefore, PhD programs in law can have an indirect impact on the legal and judicial professions.

First of all, judges and legal professionals undertake specific and regular collaborations with legal scholars, and dialogue within the legal and judicial professions can be influenced by legal doctrines developed by academics. Secondly, PhD programs represent an effective mechanism for fostering a particular legal culture across generations. In addition, PhD students who develop into highly reputed academics may subsequently be appointed as judges in some European countries. Lastly, PhD programs may represent a significant opportunity to develop better and more comprehensive forms of training for judges and lawyers. And the more PhD programs involve a dialogue with practicing lawyers and judges the more they may contribute to meeting the growing societal demands for professionalism in the legal and judicial professions.

These considerations form the foundation of the work of Task Force 3. Along with the other task forces, Task Force 3 will be examining the regulatory structure of PhD programs in all European countries, as well as the contents of such programs, the barriers to change and any particular innovations in doctoral programs in law and legal studies. TF3 will place a particular focus on the analysis of barriers to and opportunities for introducing PhD programs in judicial studies. Task Force 3 will perform its role across Work Packages, 2, 3, and 4.

Its members will first collect and analyze data concerning PhD programs in legal affairs in the member states. This will include collecting information on the types of disciplines and methodological approaches currently on offer in most programs.  Part of the assessment of PhD programs will involve the extent to PhD training is or could be more effectively linked to the promotion of greater legal and judicial understanding of European law. Task Force 3 will look to highlight any innovative PhD programs addressing judicial and legal affairs in Europe, as well as any programs with strong interdisciplinary content and methodological approaches. This work is ultimately aimed at mapping out the key elements for a future PhD program in judicial studies.



 TF Members