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About us Faculty of Law Organization Departments Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Public Administration Research

Rule of law

The concept of the rule of law is frequently invoked in discussions about the relationship between government and citizens. A society that upholds the rule of law places freedom, legal certainty, and equality before the law at its core, ensuring that citizens' rights and freedoms are protected both against fellow citizens and the government. Key elements of the rule of law include fundamental rights, the separation of powers, the principle of legality, and an independent judiciary. However, the rule of law is neither a quiet possession nor a static concept; it is often the subject of vigorous legal, political, and social debates. In our country, for instance, the rule of law plays a crucial role in the aftermath of the childcare benefit affair, while recent developments in Poland and Hungary have triggered a European rule of law crisis.

As researchers, we explore the rule of law from various disciplines, including law, public administration, and sociology. Our approach involves examining how recent developments, such as the Urgenda ruling, have influenced the trias politica model and the relationship between the principles of equality, fundamental rights, and the concept of the "human dimenation" and "customization." We also investigate how administrative law can contribute to the transformation from a "repressive" to a "responsive" rule of law.

In addition to studying the theoretical aspects of the rule of law, we collaborate with other researchers from the Groningen Centre for Empirical Legal Research (GELR) to examine its practical functioning. By taking a citizen's perspective (CITIZENS-LAW), we aim to gain insights into how the rule of law is experienced by individuals in their daily lives. Furthermore, we strive to contribute to the strengthening of the rule of law in Europe through our research endeavors.

Last modified:26 June 2023 11.22 a.m.
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