Interaction between legal systems

Law-making is no longer the prerogative of national legislators.

All areas of Law

Law-making and law enforcement are increasingly taking place on various levels: in a global context, in EU context, on a national level and in a private law framework. These various levels influence each other, sometimes directly, on the basis of a hierarchical relation, but often indirectly, for example through the development of trade customs or through an exchange of legal experience or good practices. The continuous interaction and co-operation between the various levels of law-making and jurisdiction affects all areas of law, and is highly complicated.

Fundamental questions

The research conducted at the Leiden Law School aims at understanding the complex interaction between the various levels of jurisdiction and at solving the resulting problems and questions. Interaction between legal systems is the theme which determines the research profile. Researchers focus not only on practical and political problems, but also on a variety of fundamental questions raised by the increasing interdependency of legal systems. Which methods can best be used to accommodate law-making and enforcement in a world of multilevel jurisdiction? How do the actors involved define fundamental legal values and principles? And how can legal coherence, respect for human rights and checks on unwanted concentrations of power best be guaranteed? Are traditional concepts of national law flexible enough to internalise changes in an international context? Global developments such as migration, democratisation processes, developmental and environmental issues, and international crime and terrorism, present an additional research challenge.


Leiden University is well-established in the study of international and European law, (comparative) public and private law, human rights and customary and colonial law. The interaction between legal systems is studied in all institutes of the Leiden Law School and in renowned institutes such as the Europa Institute, the Institute for Immigration Law, the Grotius Centre, the International Institute for Air and Space Law, the International Centre for International Tax Law and the Van Vollenhoven Institute. The Leiden Law School also houses a number of important international journals, for example the Common Market Law Review, Leiden Journal of International Law, and European Company Law.

Participating Faculties

Leiden Law School 

Individual Grants Awarded

  • Vidi: 1
  • Veni: 2
  • Mosaic: 3

Crossing Borders in Fundamental Research

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Last Modified: 21-07-2011