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About us Faculty of Law Research GCLG

Public Interests and Private Relationships

In the contemporary age of governance, the regulation of societal problems is almost always cross-cutting and requires a mix of rules from private law, public law, other fields of national and supranational law, self-regulatory arrangements, soft law, and modes of governance different from rule-making. The first objective of this programme consists in exploring this regulatory mix for what concerns private relationships or public sectors where private parties play an important role (health care, housing, spatial planning, finance, etc.).

The programme’s second objective is to focus on societal problems and policies first, and consider legal rules only in relation thereto. Therefore the national, supranational and comparative law and governance of private relationships, or public sectors where private parties play an important role , is analysed in connection with societal policies.

Good governance requires a balancing of all public and private interests involved. The programme’s third objective is to focus on the balancing of interests needed in order to realize good governance and social sustainability in the regulation of private relationships , or public sectors where private parties play an important role.

The fourth objective consists in stimulating its participants to perform interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research in two of the three focal areas of the University of Groningen: Sustainable Society and Healthy Ageing.

Research questions

  1. How could democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental/human rights be best safeguarded in non-state law, private self-regulation, privatized public services, and public-private (global) governance?
  2. Which regulatory tasks should be left to classic law, and which regulatory tasks should be delegated to other modes of governance, in order to better realize good governance and social sustainability with regard to the role of private actors?
  3. How should a certain type of private relationship be regulated (and the public and private interests involved therein be balanced) in order to realize good governance and social sustainability?
  4. What justifies the application in a certain country of private (or semi-public) laws and governance arrangements of other countries?

Key areas

This programme explores the aforementioned research questions in six key areas:

  1. Cross-Border Justice
  2. Health
  3. Family
  4. Business and Labour
  5. Property, Contracts and Socio-Economic Justice, and
  6. Internet and the Digital Era
Last modified:06 May 2019 08.48 a.m.