| 2024-2027

Trust in Specialized Courts: The Unified Patent Court as a Case Study to Disentangle Trust Dynamics


In various sectors experts call for the establishment of specialized courts, because court cases require special technical expertise and speedy procedure (e.g. environmental law, intellectual property (IP) law). Use of specialized court systems, compliance and cooperation with the courts will depend on the extent to which the stakeholders concerned trust the courts. The overall objective of this research project is to get a better understanding of trust dynamics in the context of specialized courts. The literature on trust in courts is generally focused on court systems in general, criminal justice, the Court of Justice of the EU or the European Court on Human Rights, and do not deal specifically with specialized courts. The start of the operations of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), a new highly specialized patent court in Europe, is a unique opportunity to contribute original insights to the trust literature. The creation of the UPC has happened in an environment characterized by political and legal controversy and is associated by challenges of its independence and impartiality. So the question is whether stakeholders will still trust the court. Using the UPC as a case study will allow us to better understand trust dynamics regarding specialized courts and to develop recommendations regarding trust-building mechanisms.


  • FWO Research Foundation Flanders - Research project

Project team