The Legal Theory section participates in the research programme ‘Boundaries of Law’. The research focuses on the question what can and cannot be regulated by law under the Rule of Law. Moreover, it explores the boundaries of the science of law: what distinguishes legal science from other disciplines and how can it engage in interdisciplinary research? Current social developments are analyzed critically, for instance the fight against terrorism, historical injustice and biomedical inventions and discoveries. Central themes are the foundation and limitations of the liberal rule of law; the democratic legitimacy of the European Union; the legal concept of a person; the symbolic dimensions of biomedical law (within the center Bio-law and Symbolic Interaction), the relationship between law and time (within the Center for Research of Time and Law); the authority and legitimacy of law; legal research methods and the limits and possibities of interdiscplinary research.
The Legal History section participates in the research programme ‘Public and Private Interests in Financial and Business Law’ which is part of the Kooijmans Institute. Within this programme it focuses in particular on the theme of legal certainty. The researchers are also affiliated to the programme ‘Contract Law and Law of Obligations’ of the Research School Ius Commune and participate in the VU Center for the History of Science. Current research themes are: loss of legal rights under prescription in the ius commune; partnership and assignation under Byzantine law; and liability for latent defects in the early modern period.