Prof. dr. Chantal Mak

Chantal Mak is a Professor of Private law, in particular fundamental rights and private law, at the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law. Her research focuses on the constitutional legal framework for private law in Europe and the influence of constitutional law (including fundamental rights) on private law matters, with a special interest for the role of the judiciary in European private law.

Chantal’s work in the project aims to contribute to a normative theory of judicial rulemaking for the field of European private law. She analyses the implications of theories of European constitutionalism and philosophical theories of deliberation for judicial reasoning in this area. The focus lies on the potential of fundamental rights to deliberate value-choices in judicial rulemaking in the field of private law.

In addition to peer-reviewed articles on this subject, a monograph is planned on the role of the judiciary in the development of private law in Europe.

Dr. Betül Kas LL.M.

Betül Kas holds a Ph.D. degree from the European University Institute in Florence. As part of her doctoral research, Betül worked for six-month as a trainee at the Court of Justice of the European Union and spent research visits at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (Oxford) and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law (Hamburg). 

Her research within the ‘Judges in Utopia’-project aims to investigate how judges in private legal disputes handle different conceptions of social justice in setting the boundaries to private autonomy in the multi-level European legal order. The project coincides with her broader research interests in remedies and judicial protection, judicial co-operation, the interplay between the national and European legal order, the process of building of a European society and socio-legal research methods.

Anna van Duin LL.M. MJur (Oxon)

Anna van Duin is a PhD candidate at the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law. After graduating from Leiden University (LL.M in Civil Law, cum laude) and the University of Oxford (MJur), she has worked as an attorney-at-law, specializing in civil litigation. In her PhD research, Anna analyses the role of national civil courts in the protection of EU (consumer) rights. She focuses on Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights – the right to an effective (judicial) remedy and a fair trial – in European private law adjudication, more particularly unfair terms cases from Spain and the Netherlands. 

Anna is a regular contributor to the blog ‘Recent developments in European Consumer Law’. She has also been actively involved in the EU-funded projects ACTIONES (Active Charter Training for Judges through Interaction of National ExperienceS) and RE-Jus (Roadmap to European effective Justice). Anna has a special interest in civil procedure and dispute resolution.

Laura Burgers LL.M. BA

Under supervision of prof. mr. C. Mak and dr. M. Bartl, Laura Burgers conducts a PhD research on the boundaries of democratically legitimate judicial law-making in European private law in response to environmentalist claims, notably claims concerning climate change and claims aiming at non-human entities to acquire legal personality. Drawing on existing environmentalist claims in European private law, the boundaries of (Habermasian) democratic legitimacy as a normative framework are illustrated, as well as ways in which the judiciary may break free from these very boundaries whilst still living up to the demands of democratic legitimacy. Conclusions will constructively be formulated in the form of recommendations for European private law judges wanting to render decisions in a legitimate manner.

Fien de Ruiter BA

Fien de Ruiter is the assistant working for this project. She has completed her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and is currently finishing her law degree. Last year, she helped with the REJus-project, which is a project closely linked to Judges in Utopia.