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dr. Nieke Elbers

About dr. Nieke Elbers

Nieke Elbers graduated in 2006 at the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Maastricht. In 2013, she successfully defended her PhD thesis at the Faculty of Law at the VU University Amsterdam. Her thesis was about the negative effect of the personal injury compensation process on the recovery after a traffic crash. From 2014-2016, she was a postdoc researcher at the University of Sydney, Australia, where she conducted a study about procedural justice of compensation systems after a traffic – or work injury. She closely collaborated with policy makers, lawyers, and health care practitioners.

Since 2016, Nieke has been working at the NSCR, as a postdoc / project leader on Empirical Legal Studies (ELS). The ELS project aims to stimulate lawyers to conduct more empirical legal research. In general, lawyers are not trained in empiricism, and therefore not much empirical legal research is being conducted. This is a shortcoming. Often assumptions are made about how law is affecting human behaviour without testing whether these assumptions are true. Also, lawyers can struggle with judging empirical research, which can lead to wrong legal decisions. Empirical legal research is needed to prevent this. ELS is an important scientific innovation, which will provide answers to societal questions.

Nieke is a member of the Empirical Legal Studies Cluster.

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NWO-initiative Empirical Legal Studies up and running

NSCR has initiated a national project called Empirical Legal Studies (ELS) to improve the use of empirical methods in the law discipline. The initiative applies to...