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About us Faculty of Law Research Centres of Expertise Groningen Centre for Empirical Legal Research

Charlotte Pavillon

An ELS project I have been working on in recent years is the “Op de blaren zitten”- project (co-financed by the Gratama Stichting). This project combined case-law analysis and empirical research on how Dutch courts interpret European law, based on questionnaires and interviews. When devising sanctions on breaches of European consumer law, Dutch courts seldom acknowledge the fact that sanctions must be effective, proportionate and deterrent. We asked both legal officers and judges from eight Dutch district courts how they look upon this triad and the interrelationship between the three requirements. The results of this study have been discussed in different papers, including a peer reviewed article in the European review of private law (ERPL) and were presented during a conference held in The Hague on September 6th 2019.

The second project I have been involved in is the “Assessing the transparency of B2C terms”-project my then research assistant Benedikt Schmitz and I have set up a few years ago. We have developed a readability formula, based on the Flesh formula, that is geared towards legalese and have conducted an online questionnaire study. We opted for online gaming terms and conditions as a case study. This study had two purposes: first, to find out whether the consequences of the most intrusive provisions of terms and conditions commonly used in the gaming industry are understandable in the sense that consumers can foresee the consequences of a term, and second, whether the revised readability formula we developed can indicate comprehensibility better than the original. We hope to publish the results of our study this year.

Last modified:31 March 2021 4.47 p.m.