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Transnational Legal Studies

Head of department Transnational Legal Studies: prof. A.R. Lodder

phone (020) 598 3150
fax (020) 598 6211
mail secretariaat.2eEtage.rch@vu.nl  
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The traditional dichotomy in national and international law no longer reflects the overlapping and multiple legal orders that characterise our globalising world.  Cross-border phenomena like environmental issues, international crimes, terrorism, and the internet ask for regulative regimes beyond the traditional normative regime based upon the sovereignty of the nation state. Transnational legal studies (TLS) is the paradigm used to address global legal issues. The department focuses on legal systems beyond the state, and not specifically on their relationship to any particular state. Our interest lies in addressing law as a phenomenon in its social, theoretical, symbolic and policy context. We offer various courses and masters, including a bachelor profile Transnational Legal Studies and a master in law (Transnational Legal studies). The department participates in the research program Boundaries of Law.

The Department of Transnational Legal Studies consists of the three sections:
  • European Union Law
    Research in the section European Law has several interacting themes, such as European constitutional law; the role of social and environmental interests in European economic law; the development of European criminal law; and issues of sovereignty and pluralism, more particularly with respect to migrants’ rights, international trade, and the structure and competences of the EU. 
  • Public International Law
    Research of the section Public International Law focuses on the following themes: international peace and security, international economic law, international legal regulation of migration; theory of international law, and the relation international law - international politics. 
  • Internet Governance and Regulation
    The section Internet Governance and Regulation addresses the legal dimension of internet phenomena. Over the last five years some of the issues addressed were Law of Virtual worlds, Law and Web 2.0, and Online Dispute Resolution. Current themes are amongst others, Cyberwar, the Internet of Things, Online Privacy, and the FP7 Hemolia-project on money laundering.

The department provides several courses in the Bachelor Programme in Law (taught in Dutch) of the Law Faculty, such as public international law and European law. The department also offers the minor Transnational Legal Studies (taught in English), and is involved in the minor Law and Society (taught in Dutch) and the minor International Security (taught in English). Furthermore, the department participates in three English-taught Master’s Programmes:

Master in Law: Transnational Legal Studies
Transnational Legal Studies focuses on law in its broader social context. Transnational problems such as environmental pollution, cross-border crime and terrorism, social and global injustice, and migration exemplify that contemporary social reality is ever less determined by national borders. The result is that the legal regulation of these issues increasingly occurs on a transnational level – social reality is increasingly governed by overlapping and intersecting legal orders. The contextual approach of the programme entails that students are not merely taught about the development and application of specific legal regimes in European or international law, but that they are also encouraged to explore the way in which the law itself shapes social reality.

Master Law and Politics of International Security
Issues of international peace and security are becoming increasingly important in legal, political and administrative practice. The concept of ‘international security’ is no longer confined to traditional issues of war and peace, but now also covers topics such as terrorism, criminal law, the protection of human rights and ‘human security’. The programme is based on the assumption that international law cannot be properly understood outside its political context, whereas contemporary international politics cannot be fully grasped without a solid knowledge of international legal institutions. As it, the master LPIS focuses both on public international law and the political sciences in order to address issues of international peace and security.

Master International Business Law
The Master's programme in International Business Law focuses on rules and practices that are relevant for international business transactions. You will study the main legal areas and the interaction between the actors involved in transactions. In addition, you will develop skills to anticipate, analyze and address legal problems that may arise in the practice of international business. 

Please look in the menu on the left for a list of all staff members of the department Transnational Legal Studies.

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