Research mission

The Law and Development research group studies whether and how law can enhance human dignity and global justice, in particular for those adversely affected by economic and other forms of globalization. This question is addressed through the prism of both structural inequality between states in North and South (‘developed’ versus ‘developing’ states), and within states.

The research group unites researchers working on legal research topics that are relevant from a development perspective. Throughout its research, it addresses diversity and conflict as cross-cutting issues. The research group adopts a critical approach to law, and seeks to investigate what law actually ‘does’ in society, amongst others through interdisciplinary and empirical research.

The Law and Development research group has two research lines.

In the research line ‘Human Rights and Global Justice’, we explore reconceptualizations of international human rights law (through notions of transnational human rights obligations and the right to development), in order to ensure that it can act effectively as a corrective to abuses of power and failures by a variety of actors that exercise power. We also test the effectiveness of human rights in offering protection against threats to human dignity, particularly in a non-Western context, and in situations affected by globalisation.

In the research line ‘Law and Sustainable Development’, we scrutinize to what extent law can offer social and environmental justice in the context of a globalizing economy.


The research group’s views on teaching and research can be found here. They were prepared in the context of reflection processes within the Faculty of Law.