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

Michelle Bruijn

Michelle Bruijn conducts quantitative empirical legal research to study case law on drug-related closures and subsequent evictions in the Netherlands (Article 13b Opium Act). She reviews and codes case law on this topic to document case characteristics that might appear important to the outcome of court cases. Examples of such characteristics are the type of drug-related crime, the type of drugs discovered, the type of premises, and the arguments put forward by the accused. Michelle statistically analyses the collected data to estimate the association between the case outcome and several case characteristics. She uses programs such as SPSS and R to conduct regression analyses.

Two key publications using such quantitative empirical legal research method are:

  • Bruijn, L. M., Vols, M., & Brouwer, J. G. (2018). Home closure as a weapon in the Dutch war on drugs: Does judicial review function as a safety net? International Journal of Drug Policy, 51, 137-147.
  • Bruijn, L. M. (2018). De ontwikkeling van de Wet Damocles: burgemeesters trekken zwaard in de strijd tegen drugs. Tijdschrift voor Bijzonder Strafrecht & Handhaving, 4 (3), 143-162.

She recently started working on an empirical legal research project commissioned by the Dutch Research and Documentation Centre (WODC), together with Michel Vols. This research project focuses on the administrative power of mayors to close properties, including owner-occupied housing, if drug related activities occur on or near the property (Article 13b Opium Act). The research team will study the use of this power, the effects of a closure (e.g. on the perpetrator, household, landlord, neighbors), and the reasoning of the court in such cases. For this project, they will use surveys, conduct interviews, case studies and quantitative case law analyses.

Last modified:14 May 2020 3.41 p.m.